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How to say no without hurting this mums feelings?

(29 Posts)
tunise Mon 10-Jan-05 16:25:32

How do i tell a mum that my two sons don't want to go to her sons birthday outing? The boy is a bit of a bully and finds it hard to make friends which i know upsets her. She isn't having a proper party because she thinks not many kids will come, so is planning a day trip out.

I said my boys would love to go, they told me this afternoon they dont want to! I can't make them, so any ideas on how to tell her gently. My kids are very blunt and honest and are bound to land me in it if i make up a bullshit excuse.

Ideas?

noddyholder Mon 10-Jan-05 16:26:33

could you not persuade them to go and make out they were being lovely boys for doing so!

nailpolish Mon 10-Jan-05 16:27:56

could you go too?

beansprout Mon 10-Jan-05 16:30:35

Sorry, am rubbish at this stuff! Could you just have a "prior arrangement and go somewhere else on that day? (Told you I was rubbish!!)

jellyhead Mon 10-Jan-05 16:31:16

How old are your boys?

tunise Mon 10-Jan-05 16:34:09

I could go too, but would rather not. To be honest the selfish part of me was rather looking forward to a Saturday without kids!
The bribe stakes for making them go would need to be quite high too, i think this kid has managed to hurt them both in the last week.
I should have said no to start with but i'm really bad at saying no to anyone or anything!

tunise Mon 10-Jan-05 16:34:35

5 and 6

jellyhead Mon 10-Jan-05 16:40:48

Would they really not go ? They would probably enjoy it.
I feel a bit for the other mother. Is her son the same age?

mears Mon 10-Jan-05 16:43:41

I would encourage them to go because perhaps they would get to know him better. If his mum is there it is unlikely he will be horrible to them. Perhaps he doesn't socialise well and doesn't mean to be horrible. If they have a great day they may well become good friends. If the day does not go well both you and his mum will know not to get them together again.

tunise Mon 10-Jan-05 16:44:35

Her son is 5 as well, i really do feel for her and if i put myself in her shoes it makes me feel very sad for her and her son as well.

Piffle Mon 10-Jan-05 16:46:52

I know my friend just had a lot of invitations she sent out for her son who is new and not very well liked yet.
Everyone said no very bluntly and rudely, I am not sure that you can do anything without saying that your sons don't wish to go...
Could you give your kids food poisoning the day before so then they have legit excuse?
Only joking, it is an absolute minefield, I think I'd rather do it or hear it bluntly but in a kind a way as poss...
would be interested in follow up as to how it goes if you could?
Good luck
xx

tunise Mon 10-Jan-05 16:47:31

Yes Mears i know where you are coming from. We actually used to live next door to each other so had quite a lot of play dates that ended in tears, we keep trying but i think you can't force who your kids are friends with.

lou33 Mon 10-Jan-05 16:48:10

blame it on dh. Tell her he had organised something without telling you , prior to your acceptance of her invitation.

Fimbo Mon 10-Jan-05 16:48:34

Perhaps you will have to bribe your sons to go, as if you make up an excuse now she will probably guess and then that will end up making you feel worse! I hate myself sometimes when I can't say "no" to people.

tunise Mon 10-Jan-05 16:49:43

Piffle, it's a complete minefield, i think the world of playground is far worse than office politics !

Fimbo Mon 10-Jan-05 16:51:42

I am with you there Tunise. My friend's dd is in the same class as my dd and gets a bit huffy when I invite other children home to tea!

nailpolish Mon 10-Jan-05 21:03:32

lou had a great idea - might use that myself someday

weightwatchingwaterwitch Mon 10-Jan-05 21:09:22

Gosh, this is hard isn't it? I think I'd (gulp) be honest and say to her 'I'm really sorry, I accepted on their behalf and I shouldn't have done as they don't want to go'. You don't have to give any more explanation and it doesn't sound as if it'll come as any great surprise to her if they've had all these disastrous play dates. After all, you can't make them! And a party is supposed to be a nice thing. I have done this before, my son just didn't want to go to a party, I didn't know why and he wouldn't tell me so I just had to accept his decision and turn down the invite. I told the mother he just didn't want to go and thanks but no thanks. I don't know if she was offended but I didn't know her well so slightly different to your situation. I think she'd prefer you were honest than made something up, it's kindest really. They're only little and as you say, if you lie, they'll land you in it but equally, she should understand that you can't make them go if they don't want to.

albosmum Mon 10-Jan-05 21:25:52

I think you should say yes - and go with them - If the situation were reversed what would you like to happen.
I would bribe, beg my boys etc

iota Mon 10-Jan-05 21:26:23

Can't you say something like - I'm sorry but they don't seem to be getting along too well at the moment?, without laying any blame.

A year ago, my son has refused to go to tea with the son of a friend of mine - they are at the same school, but have made separate friends. It was a bit embarrassing, but we just decided that they were different personalities with different interests. Funnily enough they are now getting friendly with each other

pinkdiamond Mon 10-Jan-05 21:34:42

Message withdrawn

tunise Mon 10-Jan-05 21:40:14

Cheers to you all, it's so helpful to hear other peoples viewpoints. I think i shall just be brave and be honest but in the kindest way i can.

Maybe i could make out that they aren't very keen on a whole day away. Not that they are mummies boys but maybe they could be just this once .

iota Mon 10-Jan-05 21:41:53

tunise - good for you - I would DEFINITELY put my children's feelings first

jangly Mon 10-Jan-05 21:43:04

If the little boy is a bit of a bully, the sooner he realizes that this does not win him any friends, the better. Tell his mum your boys do not want to go and explain - gently - why not. Its hard, I know, but he needs to learn this as early as possible.

weightwatchingwaterwitch Mon 10-Jan-05 21:45:55

I'm sure she'll understand Tunise. You're not doing anything wrong.

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