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Birthday party problem

(28 Posts)
WigWamBam Wed 11-May-05 13:45:17

It's my dd's 4th birthday next week, and she's having a party (of course!), which my sister was going to come and help me with. Her boyfriend has a 6 year old son, who wasn't invited to the party, but my mother has let it slip in passing that my sister's boyfriend has re-arranged his access so that he can bring his son to the party.

Now, I have no real problem with the boy, but he's quite difficult to deal with. He has a very troubled background, his mother is verbally and sometimes physically abusive to him, and this affects the way he behaves. He's quite physical, sometimes a little violent, doesn't really play with other children (he tends to play alongside) but doesn't share well, takes toys, and is very competitive and doesn't really play fairly. While I would love to do something nice for him, I'm not sure that a birthday party full of 4 year olds (and some a little younger) is the appropriate place to do it. I'm also not sure that the activities I've got lined up for the party will be very interesting for him - I have a face painter/balloon sculptor and some simple games like Pin the Tail on the Donkey planned, but mainly I'm just letting them play in the garden, dress up, and so on, which I don't think will interest him very much.

I don't think there's a right answer, but I don't want to offend my sister. I'm not sure how to approach this, and wondered what other people's opinions might be.

flashingnose Wed 11-May-05 13:51:01

I think I would take the bull by the horns and be completely honest - ask your sister outright if they're bringing the little boy. Then say you're worried about him being bored and what about you all going out for a meal together on the other day of the weekend? You could sell it to her as a family Birthday party IYKWIM.


milward Wed 11-May-05 13:54:01

Tell your sister how you feel - she might think the same as well. How about her boyfriend & son go to the local playpark for the duration of the party - coming back for some cake at the end.

WigWamBam Wed 11-May-05 13:55:16

They might go for that, I just don't know whether I'm being churlish or unreasonable for not really wanting him coming to the party itself. They know that his behaviour is difficult and have said in the past that they would like him to spend more time with my dd to get him used to being reasonable when he's with other children, which I think is OK, I'm just not sure whether it's unreasonable to ban him from the party.

Fimbo Wed 11-May-05 13:55:41

Could your mum help you with the party, then your sister and her boyfriend could keep an eye out for the little boy, with perhaps something special for him to do indoors if he gets a bit wild (perhaps buy a cheap drawing pad and pens and say to him that they are specifically for him to make him feel a bit special) or even just digging for worms etc in the garden. Your background story on the little boy brought tears to my eyes. Hope your dd has a lovely birthday.

nutcracker Wed 11-May-05 13:56:28

If he is treated badly at home then maybe he would really enjoy the party though and may even behave.

I think i'd have aword with your sister saying that it is fine to bring him but that you are worried he may be bored, feel left out or whatever so could they have a backup plan like the park or something so that it doesn't spoil the party if he does play up.

WigWamBam Wed 11-May-05 13:57:23

It's partly because he has such a bad background that I'd like to do something nice for him, which is why I feel so guilty for not really wanting him let loose amongst a bunch of four year olds!

flashingnose Wed 11-May-05 13:58:07

That's a really good point nutty and a great idea

WigWamBam Wed 11-May-05 14:02:56

Yes, it's a good idea, nutty. I'd really like to do something nice for him and if her boyfriend would be willing to take him to the park if things weren't going to plan then that's probably a good compromise. I do think that if the boy comes then his dad has to come too, and take responsibility for supervising him.

Thanks all.

WideWebWitch Wed 11-May-05 18:08:23

Agree with nutty, why not give him a chance and have a back up plan. I bet he doesn't get invited to many parties if his life is so terrible. How sad.

WigWamBam Wed 11-May-05 18:14:21

It is sad. He's not a bad lad, which is why I feel so guilty for not being certain whether he should come or not.

I think I'm going to do as nutty suggested - warn them that he might be bored, make sure we've got at least one activity that he is interested in, but have a fall back plan so that if everything goes pear-shaped, his dad can take him to the park with a football and run some energy off.

nutcracker Wed 11-May-05 18:15:21

am not used to having good ideas and people agreeing with me

Mud Wed 11-May-05 18:15:24

a 4 year old girl's party is not the place for a difficult 6 year old

be honest with sister and tell her that you don't want this child to ruin DD's party and that no other 6 year olds will be there

WigWamBam Wed 11-May-05 18:25:13

I feel a bit mean thinking about doing that, Mud. There will be boys at the party, so he won't feel it's too girlie for him, I just want to try and do the right thing by everyone.

Mud Wed 11-May-05 18:33:58

4 year old to a 6 year old boy - big leap

WigWamBam Wed 11-May-05 18:41:17

Yes, I know - which is one of my concerns.

Mud Wed 11-May-05 19:09:59

hence not mean..

nutcracker Wed 11-May-05 19:11:37

I think it is mean, he isn't even getting a chance that way. How will he ever prove himself if everyone assumes he will be naughty and doesn't give him a chance.

Mud Wed 11-May-05 19:12:51

let him prove himself when it isn't a little girl's 4th birthday party IMHO

flashingnose Wed 11-May-05 19:13:44

In defence of 6 year old boys at 4 year old girls' birthday parties - my ds behaved pretty well at his sister's !

Mud Wed 11-May-05 19:18:03

his sister's party - completely different from child's aunt's boyfriend's son

nutcracker Wed 11-May-05 19:18:41

Yes but if everyone has that attitude when exactly will he get cjance to prove himself ????

I don't see the prob with him being a boy and being 6 and the party being for 4 yr old girls either really. At the end of the day it will be a social situation which he should be able to handle at his age. If though he is continually kept away from these situations who could blame him for never learning to behave properly.

So long as his dad will be there to supervise him then I really can't see what the prob is. If he misbehaves his dad will have to remove him.
He may surprise everyone and have the time of his little life.

tamum Wed 11-May-05 19:33:39

At the risk of embarrassing nutty, I completely agree with her. I think it's great that you are trying to do your best for the little boy, WWB, and though I can see why you're concerned I do think it would be very nice if he could be there. His dad may well already have told him about it, and it would be very sad if he was let down.

WigWamBam Wed 11-May-05 23:06:18

Thanks, all. I think Nutty has it, to be honest. It's not often he gets the chance to do anything nice, or even gets given the chance to prove that he can conduct himself in a reasonable manner, and I think I'm going to give him the chance. We can always arrange for his dad to take him out to the park for a runaround if things get too bad. At least that way the party isn't spoiled for anyone else.

What kind of things do 6 year old boys like to do these days that I could set up for him/the rest of them?

FIMAC1 Wed 11-May-05 23:24:13

My ds aged 6 loves Footie - if he does need to go out for a while to the Park maybe a set of Goals (pop up would do) if there aren't at the Park and a footie ball would be enough to get him to go - otherwise Knex, Lego, Small set of Plastic Cowboys and Indians? (got some recently complete with Teepee and Totom pole etc!) He also loves small plastic model soldiers

Hope that it all goes OK and they all have a nice time together

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