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ds1 doesn't want ds2 at his birthday party - wwyd?

(50 Posts)
elliott Sun 04-Sep-11 20:38:51

I am in a bit of a dilemma here. i have two boys, two years apart who are very different characters. They do get on well sometimes and do care about each other a lot, but there is also intense rivalry and increasingly, verbal needling and bickering/arguing. Ds1 often feels hard done by as ds2 is much more outgoing and popular whereas ds1 has less well developed social skills.
Anyway, their birthdays are only a few days apart. Last year, ds1 had a party for which ds2 was too young, so he couldn't come and I had to find a friend to take him for the day. Ds1 went to ds2's party the same weekend.
This year, ds1 turns 10 and has chosen a party that ds2 could go to, if i organise it after he turns 8, but not if it takes place before his birthday. ds1 is now making a big fuss that he doesn't want ds2 at his party. I feel that this is mean and I am inclined to insist that ds2 is allowed to come to the party, but I am wondering if I am doing the right thing. wwyd?

Amaretti Sun 04-Sep-11 20:43:28

I have two boys with the same age gap. I would insist DS2 go, but rein him in if he got too bumptious or threatened to take over.

2cats2many Sun 04-Sep-11 20:44:03

I would insist that DS2 is invited. Your second son is fully old enough to know that he is being left out on purpose, and that just seems cruel. Part of being a parent is, from time-to-time, teaching your children to do the right thing, even if its something they don't necessarily want to do. This seems like one of those times to me.

limetrees Sun 04-Sep-11 20:46:04

Mine are much younger (5 and 3) so I may be out of line but I would insist DS2 came to the party. I just think that in 20 years time, it may be that all of DS1's schoolfriends are no longer in his life, but DS2 is.

bananatrifle Sun 04-Sep-11 20:48:15

It's a tricky one. My two eldest sound very similar to yours when they were younger (they're much older now). For the first 10 years or so any birthday celebrations or outings included the both of them.

Once they hit double figures (about where yours are now) then they definitely didn't want the other one there - it was a day for them and their friends only. I tried to accommodate that as much as possible, but if it was a party at home, then the other siblings had to be there (of course). If it was an outing, then alot of organising had to take place so the siblings could be looked after somewhere else while I took the birthday boy out with his friends.

Now their in their twenties, they both want the other one here at home when we celebrate their birthdays with meals etc.

I would say though, that if your DS1 really doesn't want his brother there, that's ok, but he can't expect to go to DS2s party (imo)

Good luck smile

bananatrifle Sun 04-Sep-11 20:49:26

They're not their - sorry

exexpat Sun 04-Sep-11 20:53:34

I'd have to disagree with the first few posters and say why should he have his younger brother at his birthday party, which is his big day? Presumably you do family stuff with him and his brother all the time, so I think it is fair enough to just have his friends at a birthday party. You can always have a minor family celebration separately, maybe just a small cake and candles while you open family presents?

My DCs are further apart (DS is 4 years older than DD) so maybe it seems more natural for them to do separate birthday things - DS has actually been to most of DD's parties, but as a 'helper', and she was happy with that; she hasn't been to most of his birthday parties/treats, which tend to be more grown-up things, like a joint cookery lesson with some friends, or film then pizza, and I would never insist that he let her tag along.

JustLea Sun 04-Sep-11 21:03:07

I'am a first time mummy but I was bought up with 2 sisters..one older by 4 years and one younger by 2 years and choosin whether we were at each others birthday parties was never an option..not even thought about!

No matter what their differences are DS2 shouldnt be left out of a family occassion despite what DS1 has said. There is and always will be rivlary between siblings no matter what age they are (me and my sisters still fight like cat and dog!) but at the end of it all we know blood is thicker then water..you can choose your friends but you cant choose your family smile

Best Wishes x

bananatrifle Sun 04-Sep-11 21:12:02

I agree with exexpat - it is their day and they shouldn't have to spend it with siblings if they don't want to, as they probably have enough of each other the rest of the year.

It's their chance to be with their friends doing something really nice, without (potential?) aggravation of siblings hanging round.

They start becoming their own people around this age, in terms of not everything revolving around their family - they start finding their own identity.

It tended to be that we'd have the treat out with just friends, but anything that happened at home with birthday cake etc (whether on the same day or not) included family too.

exexpat Sun 04-Sep-11 21:26:09

Exactly, banana - it's all about friends at that age.

And that's where I'd disagree with JustLea - I wouldn't see a 10-year-old's birthday party as a 'family occasion'. You wouldn't invite granny or a toddler sibling along to Laserquest or the climbing centre, it is just the birthday child and his or her chosen friends. Just because they have a sibling relatively close in age doesn't mean they have to be counted as a friend on that one special, personal day a year.

colditz Sun 04-Sep-11 21:28:23

I'd insist on his brother going but would be there to supervise and ensure his brother takes over.

I do not suddenly start allowing selfish behavior just because it is someone's birthday. I consider it to be basic training in Not Being A Dick.

colditz Sun 04-Sep-11 21:29:01

Ensure his brother doesn't take over.

elliott Sun 04-Sep-11 21:33:50

Hmmm. Not really unanimous enough, now I'm in even more of a dilemma!
I do have some sympathy for allowing them to have their own celebrations, and I can certainly foresee other occasions when ds2 will not be old enough to join in. However I also feel strongly that it is basically bad manners to exclude people and that is what I am struggling with - I don't think ds2 should be excluded simply because ds1 would prefer him not to be there.

elliott Sun 04-Sep-11 21:35:42

And where would you draw the line? Would you give twins separate birthdays without each other present? I don't know, it feels uncomfortable to me to parcel ds2 off while all the rest of us go and do ds1's party. Although perhaps it is my fault for setting up the precedent last year.

Kewcumber Sun 04-Sep-11 21:51:15

My brother and sister were never invited to my birthdya parties afetr about age 6 or 7.

Never occured to my mother (or me!) that anyone other than my chosen freinds would come. I would have been in a similar position to your DS1 - prettier more outgoing sister who hogs the limelight. You can;t stop it - its just the way you/they are but a bit sad that you can't have a couple of hours to be free of it on your birthday.

At what age are they going to be allowed to celebrate their birthdays separately (out of interest)

Kewcumber Sun 04-Sep-11 21:52:10

Tell DS1 that if DS2 is not invited then X (family member currently going to teh party) will take him out somewhere nice instead. Then he can choose.

SheldonsBazinga Sun 04-Sep-11 21:58:57

I would insist that ds2 be allowed to go. Apart from anything else, your ds1 went to his brother's party last year so this should be reciprocated.

MistyB Sun 04-Sep-11 22:00:43

This is a real tricky one as you need to balance both of their needs and feelings. In the more medium term, I would recomment reading Sibling without Rivalry as it gives a perspective on the importance of understanding what motivates these feelings and helping your children to understand the opinions of their siblings. Good luck with your decision!!

MyGoldfishIsEvil Sun 04-Sep-11 22:01:04

Personally, I would insist that ds2 is allowed to go - I guess it depends on how your family dynamic is, but I would not allow siblings to be excluded from any family birthday party.

Possibly when they are teens it would be different - but I can't imagine my 9yr old not having his little brother at his birthday party next year.

exexpat Sun 04-Sep-11 22:03:17

Do you have to see it as 'excluding' DS2?

I would see it more that since it is DS1's birthday, he gets to invite a limited number of people to his birthday party - if he doesn't choose to invite DS2, that is his choice. But of course DS2 should be given the same option to choose who he invites to whatever he does for his birthday, and he may well not choose DS1 either.

Slambang Sun 04-Sep-11 22:03:37

My boys are the same age gap. I would not dream of excluding any family member from a birthday party. We usually allow the non birthday sibling to invite a friend of their age to join the party so they aren't left out.

Really surprised anyone would do this. Surely it would create a lot of family conflict and hurt to be not invited to your own brother's party?

JustLea Sun 04-Sep-11 22:09:49

I still believe in what I said. By 'family occassion' I didnt mean extended family i.e grandparents etc, I meant their family unit.

Im sure you'll make the best decision for you and your family smile x

mercibucket Sun 04-Sep-11 22:11:03

You can't insist forever so when is a good time to let him decide? I'm planning on it being at 10 and from this thread it sounds like that might be when he asks

mercibucket Sun 04-Sep-11 22:11:04

You can't insist forever so when is a good time to let him decide? I'm planning on it being at 10 and from this thread it sounds like that might be when he asks

wellwisher Sun 04-Sep-11 22:11:30

I used to hate having my younger sibling around when I was a child. I worried before parties that she would embarrass me or find other ways to disrupt/spoil things and this was one reason why I stopped having parties quite early on.

If you insist that your DS2 should attend your DS1's party, can he have one of his own friends there? this might occupy him and make his presence less of an irritant for DS1.

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