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Do you interfere with your child's party guest list?

(19 Posts)
PotteryLottery Fri 07-Aug-15 13:06:06

Y2 DD wants to invite a couple of children to her party who haven't reciprocated playdates. The children and families are nice, I guess they just have closer pals they prefer to spend time with.

I should just let her invite who she wants and not try to steer her towards children whose families do reciprocate, right?

Or should she learn to be aware that in life some people are just happy to take?

BotleyYellow Fri 07-Aug-15 13:32:53

Lots of reasons why playdates might not reciprocated - maybe their house is really small, they work nights, have someone really ill at home (which was my case for 2 years), don't have enough money for parties, any number of reasons, including maybe they are just shy of asking. Anyway, I wouldn't get involved in the guest list unless it's getting too large. Good luck!

mrz Fri 07-Aug-15 15:01:50

I always invited everyone in the class when they were young as I hated it when my children were left out

goingmadinthecountry Fri 07-Aug-15 21:11:43

I never let the dcs just miss out one or two children, even if they weren't friends. Some parents find it really hard having people over for all kinds of reasons - work, confidence, house size (I know of many children in large houses who were never invited back because they thought parents would judge their perfectly nice small/regular size house), difficult siblings... It may well be nothing to do with the child - parent could have any kind of issue and child always begging to have friends round. Not fair to judge the child because of the parent.

AwfulBeryl Fri 07-Aug-15 21:16:17

I can see why you would want to, but don't think you should.
We invite people who have invited us, close friends and then a couple of other people from their classes.

sleeplessinderbyshire Fri 07-Aug-15 21:25:02

Be warned, judgey pants hoicked up to the max here.....I never allow her to miss out just 1/2 children. I also interfere as there are a couple of kids who are v nice but have awful awful parents who I cannot bear the idea of having in my house, if party were at a venue I might be ok with it but I'm not standing in my kitchen having a coffee with anyone who is openly racist or swears at the kids in the playground

LibrariesGaveUsPower Fri 07-Aug-15 21:31:04

Yes I would steer but not for that reason.

More things like if you are only inviting three kids and know two really don't get on.

Sapat Fri 07-Aug-15 21:34:54

DD just finished Yr 2. We invite 8-12 children, about half are family friends so non-negotiables, the other half are her choice with a little bit of guidance. We always have birthday parties at home (small house) so can't invite the whole class nor would we want to. I have 3 kids, I am not going to 90 birthday parties every year! I make the cake, all the party food and we extend the invitation to siblings and parents but keep the party cost to about £50.

Whole class parties are pretty rare from yr 2 onwards where we live anyway.

Pico2 Fri 07-Aug-15 22:16:07

It wouldn't even occur to me to exclude children that my DD specifically wanted to invite. I might add more children because of my own friendships with their parents or who I thought should be included for any reason. But I take a "the more the merrier" attitude. It also isn't likely to be the child's decision not to reciprocate playdates, so why should the child miss out?

I also don't see hosting a playdate as being something with a giver and a taker. I have children over for playdates because my DD enjoys having them here - she gets as much out of those at our house as going to someone else's house. In some ways it is harder to go to someone else's house than it is to host them in your own, particularly if you are a small child and a little nervous of new environments. I'd guess that we have had more playdates here than have been reciprocated, but I haven't counted, that would seem a bit mean to do.

DeeWe Fri 07-Aug-15 23:37:25

Would never leave out or invite because of invites being received. And judging by invites mine have had, no one else does that either.

The only time I'd steer is if one child was typically nasty to my dc but that week was being nice.
That's partually because there was a bully in my primary form class who the parents (but not the children) realised that she worked out when about invites were coming out and was sweetness and light to get invites. Apparently she was very consistant on this. I just remember her blowing hot and cold, but the parents noticed.

BackforGood Sat 08-Aug-15 23:23:47

Or should she learn to be aware that in life some people are just happy to take?

What an odd thing to say/write. I've never kept a note of who had been to ours, and if my dc had been invited there or not. There are 101 reasons why it might not be practical to invite other children into your home, but I wouldn't 'not invite' them into my home because of that - what a horrid attitude you have confused

Over the years, there have been a few dc that have come here a lot, but haven't been able to invite my dc back for one reason or another, but I'd never give it a thought. Always thought it was a bit of a compliment that other dc felt comfortable being here, tbh. With hindsight, there was one friend of my dd1's who used to invite my dd1 round quite a lot, but who dd1 only invited here a fraction of the times. She wanted dd1's company, so invited her, but, with other things going on, we didn't have people round to play anywhere near as much, the parents never judged us for that though. I must know nicer people than you.

In response you your question though, I would let my dc choose who they wanted to invite. I might say 'What about X?' but, ultimately, it was their birthday, so they choose who their closest friends were at the time.

Pico2 Sun 09-Aug-15 00:30:02

If you find in your life that you are more a giver than a taker, then enjoy the experience of giving and be glad to be in a position where you are able to give.

PotteryLottery Sun 09-Aug-15 08:40:25

Less horrid, more hurt when I see them take other children home to play, but not my DD.

Backforgood: How do you know the other parents aren't judging you? But it's ok for you to judge me as horridwink

Pico: yes, that's a lovely way to look at it, I do enjoy hosting as it makes DD happy, even though it is a hassle for me for a number of reasons.

P.s It's not a whole class party.

Millymollymama Sun 09-Aug-15 17:05:28

When my children were party age, many parents controlled the party invitations, largely confined to parental friendship groups as far as I could see. The children did not appear to have free choice. We constantly had 16-20 children to parties but my DD1 received about 2-3 invitations a year back. She became sad about this and, in the end, we actually wondered what on earth was going on. Yet she loved school and did very well. It does make you think about how many years you can "give" whilst continually seeing your child excluded by others. In the end she chose 4 special children to accompany her and her sister to a wonderful 10th birthday at an extremely prestigious hotel/restaurant in the Oxfordshire countryside where the owner/chef welcomes children and came out to see her personally. We all had a fantastic day. Suddenly she had "friends" who wanted to come. Giving parties is easy; trying to explain to your child that they have not been invited to a "friend's" party, again, is very, very hard. The answer is to provide a fabulous treat for a select few. Your child, when asked, will know who they are.

Condemned Sun 09-Aug-15 17:38:44

Our daughter has had very few invites to parties 1 or 2 a year (she had just finished year 6). Most of the girls in her class are Muslim and don't tend to have parties that aren't just family and family friends (although one family always invite her and she has had wonderful belly dancing sessions). Some invites we have turned down as we didn't feel they were safe - Dads in and out of prison and had attacked the teacher no stable female figures.
She has been to a couple of amazing massive Nigerian parties with soundsystems and amazing food.
One friend came to her parties but never reciprocated with her parties but I didn't interfere.
Overall I felt a bit sad for her but would have found 30 invites a year a nightmare and she has experienced some very differnt parties, best not to stress too much over it IMO

fatfloosie Sun 09-Aug-15 17:42:15

I try to interfere as little as possible as I think it saves a lot of stress in the long run. If you haven't been fastidious about inviting every child whose party your child has been to and every child you feel they ought to be friends with, then you won't get so bothered about it when your child doesn't get expected invites, as will inevitably happen.

DD usually writes a ridiculous list of 20+ children. I then look at this and suggest children I think she might have accidentally left off, but if she doesn't want to add them I don't make her. She's then told to get her list down to 12, which usually gets the list down to about 15. I don't interfere with this AT ALL even if some of the crossings off are slightly mortifying eg next door neighbours' child. If I end up in an awkward conversation about missing invites I just say I was surprised DD didn't invite X but I always let her choose her own list.

I think the non-recipricators for parties and playdates tend to be the most popular children. DD definitely invited popular children who weren't really particularly her friends throughout KS1. I suspect she will wise up a little in KS2 and I'm hoping we will be onto small parties for closest friends now anyway!

BackforGood Sun 09-Aug-15 18:33:39

How do you know the other parents aren't judging you?

Because I'm still am friends with them now, long after our dds have drifted apart and there'd be no reason for them to keep contact if they didn't want to (dds went to different secondaries, stopped being at the same hobby together). I guess that wouldn't happen if they were/had.

But it's ok for you to judge me as horrid

Just to be clear - I don't know you at all, it's the attitude I said is awful. Yes, I'm comfortable judging the attitude.

Binit Sun 09-Aug-15 18:41:31

Reciprocating play dates isn't compulsory. I hate doing them and often don't reciprocate. Inconvenient and disturbs my otherwise perfectly fine household.

You should probably let your dd invite those she considers to be her friends.

Millymollymama Sun 09-Aug-15 22:50:37

I do think not inviting a child back is a bit mean. The other child might actually be looking forward to it. It sounds like it is all about your needs and perfect life, Binit, not the friendships of your child. My recollection is that parents who write the invitation lists are the ones who are social climbing! Their needs are more important than their children's friends too.

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