Not Invited?

MY VIEWS | | February 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Recently I decided to host a Valentine’s party for my daughter’s Pre-K class. I sent an invite out (albeit a very untidy, rushed, and forgot-to-write-my-kid’s-name-on-it invitation) and thankfully the teacher called to let me know I missed out a few new students.  All along the way I received comments like “what a wonderful thing you are doing” to “you are brave” to “what a mess after” and though my home seriously needs a good cleaning (no really it does) I don’t think kids really care (and frankly neither do I).

Anyway while I was in the chiropractor office trying to fix an awful (no exaggeration here) stiff neck I overheard the chiropractor and a patient discussing how the patient deals with the school’s rule (which I love) that if you send an invite through school you need to invite the entire class. He also mentioned to get out of it he sends mailed invitations to the children’s homes.

A few years ago when I was giving out invitations to my daughter’s birthday I had given out the cards to 2 neighbors and noticed another kid with them. He lived in our neighborhood block too and though I knew him but not too well (at the time) I originally had not planned on inviting him. Since the other 2 house kids and him were great friends on a limb I invited him too. My only reason was I hated the kids discussing it and he being made to feel bad for not being invited. I am sure every single one of us recalls that party that we were not invited to. I know, I know – the cost is a big factor for most. I am not well to do – in fact far from it – but I do believe sharing never made me poorer.

22 Comments

  1. 1
    Julie says:

    While I agree that when invites are given at school, all the kids should be invited, I do not agree with many people’s opinions that all kids need to be invited to a child’s birthday party.

    Yes, money is a factor, but so is friendship and at some point children need to learn that not everyone is everyone’s best friend. For whatever the reason, there are times when choices need to be made.

    Bragging on an invitation is never acceptable. At our school, kids aren’t permitted to talk about parties–at all. Children need to learn that some things are better left unspoken.

    But rules such as “we must invite everyone” and “everyone is everyone’s friend” are making our children so thin skinned that when reality hits late in life, life is going to hurt, a lot.

    Sure, I sound like a mean girl. That’s not my purpose. There have been plenty of times when I’ve been left out, as have my kids. Those times have offered just as many lessons in life as being invited to a party.

    That said, I’d love to come to your party! And I’ll invite you to mine. :)

    • 1.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      Ah, Julie you make some excellent points. I perhaps speak more of from my PreK point of views (since I have just a toddler and PreK kid) and the fine art of what not to say is not so easy with them.

      I can see a different picture for older kids who know who they want at the parties. As a parent though if I notice only a few select kids not being invited (in case my kid was in a click) I won’t allow that though.

  2. 2

    I have two girls and a boy. My then-third grader had the most difficult time with birthdays. At our school, parents are not allowed to send invitations home in the backpacks. I always mail mine. One set of invitations got through. The mom in question invited all girls but my daughter and another girl.

    Now I have always told my girls that not everyone can be invited to our birthdays nor can she be invited to all parties. What I didn’t expect was that this girl would torment my daughter and the other girl. I called the teacher the next day. The teacher met with the girls to discuss the issue. Thankfully there were no more problems.

    Girls are tough!

    • 2.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      Awful Jill! See this is what I mean. People don’t just do it for money but for the group mentality. Hate that parents promote this behavior.

  3. 3
    karen M says:

    When the kids were younger, the school had the same policy of inviting the whole class. It worked out pretty well for us, I sure didn’t want any of the younger kids left out. As they got older we dropped the invitation off at the friends house.

    Now my grown kids are 30.31.32. and 33 this policy was in place way back when they were in grade school, and I see the same policy still in effect with the grandkids attending the grade schools.

    • 3.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      I can see kids forming their own friends and having their own parties later. I am going to try and make sure that my kids always broaden their horizon of friends at parties.

  4. 4

    My daughter recently turned 6 and we had a birthday party for her at our home. Her one request? That every single child in her class come to her party. Many of the parents could only come if they brought a sibling. SO there I was, 22 children, 18 parents and it had rained that day so we moved the party inside. It was pure chaos and the parents all laughed with me as I tried to control the uncontrollable. I kept it simple and short (an hour and a half)and inexpensive. what made it all worth it was my daughter saying it was the best day of her life.

    I think inviting the whole class can be a great way for kids to bond outside of the classroom.

    • 4.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      Agree wholeheartedly. That was my intent to get my daughter comfortable with the class outside of school. I think not only kids but moms have clicks too so I was hoping to make parents mingle too.

  5. 5

    I know that this is a very controversial topic. Before having my daughter, I was a K and 1st grade teacher. Our school had the same policy that invites passed out at school were to go to everyone in the class. I did have some parents who worked around this by “sneaking” the invites into kids backpacks during carpool, when teachers couldn’t necessarily monitor the situation. And I know of people who mailed them to avoid inviting certain kids. I have to say in my situation, this was not normally a money issue, but a so-and-so is an outcast and we don’t want him at our party. Well how do we fix this situation and help so-and-so make friends if he doesn’t have out of school exposure with the kids?
    Kids are entitled to choose their own friends, but they also have to learn to respect everyone regardless of their differences. It’s a fine line to walk…

  6. 6
    Denise B. says:

    School and home should be kept separate. In other words, school policy has no place in a person’s home. I also don’t subscribe to the “feel good” education they are pushing on everyone these days. Just as when I was a child, there will always be other children who like me, some who don’t, some who will invite me to parties, and some who won’t. Learning how to deal with these different aspects of childhood is good in becoming a well-rounded adult who can deal with different situations and different aspects of life. This “feel good” generation seems to be causing more problems than good.

    • 6.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      I think kids have a lifetime to learn lessons and we can spare them a few unnecessary lessons so early on. Sometimes the reason of why things happen in the first place changes. Sometimes the best we can do for kids to to try and see kids from a different point of view.. most times the view is colored. I agree to learning life’s lessons but I do feel they don’t need to be rushed.

  7. 7

    Our preschool has the rule: Invite whole class if invitations are coming to school, or mail invitations to home. I think it is a nice rule, as I can remember being 4 years old and not being invited to a classmate’s birthday party and crying at school. Childhood is hard enough these days, we can at least work to soften some of the blows.

    Also, let’s talk about the beauty in the comment: I do believe sharing never made me poorer.

  8. 8
    Lauralee Hensley says:

    I think the only time I was affected is when as a 6th grader I was invited to a girls birthday party at her home. There were about 30 girls there and one boy. Later in the party we learned that about 15 of the girls had been invited to stay for a sleep over too with the party and the rest of us were to go home. That made me feel really bad. I wish I hadn’t been invited at all if I wasn’t going to be one of the in crowd that got to sleep over. Those that got to sleep over too got an attitude when the birthday girl was opening her gifts from the guests. When any of the gifts were opened from those of us who weren’t invited to sleep over, the other sleep over girls would snicker and make bad comments about our gifts to the birthday girl. I think we were just invited because we were in her class at school. I would have rather not been invited to have gone through what I did at that party before I went home.
    I think invites should go through the mail with rsvp’s to exactly who you want to attend your child’s party. I think that it’s best to only invite the number you can afford too, so it doesn’t affect your budget later in the month.

    • 8.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      Lauralee that invite thing extends to everything – not just parties – that was just used as an example. See these kids that do that (and parents who allow) snickering are just wicked. In fact there was a kid who is a bit of a bully in my DD class (I know a PreK class go figure) but I invited anyway because I really wanted hopefully to get to know her better.
      Budget thingy is different in my perspecttive but then culturally I grew up different. We don’t assign a big cost per person (like in USA) and we don’t have so much fancy stuff. We keep it really cheap (and mostly home cooked) so we can invite more people. Even for our weddings, everyone and their aunts/uncles and neighbors/co-workers are all invited. Not saying better, just different

  9. 9

    I just left a long comment about teaching 1st grade but then I lost internet connection before I had a chance to save the comment. So, just know that I stopped by. :)

  10. 10

    I agree. Sharing never made me any more poor. I think all kids should be included, esp at the young age when they are learning about all levels of inclusion and diviersity. Maybe if more parents thought that way our younger generations will be all the more inclusive.

  11. 11
    Joanne, Ireland says:

    Hi,

    A girl in my DD class distributed her birthday invitations in her class this morning, with great ceremony and all the girls except DD were asked. This particular girl was invited to my daughters b’day (as were all the girls in the class and the few boys she pals with)last summer as well as all the kids on our street. (No we don’t have a big house and no we’re not rich) Am so tempted to ask the mother if something happened between them or something, but that’s probably a bad idea. My DD is usually very senitive about things like this (I think they’re sense of fairness really kicks in at 6) and I’m heart broken for her. I think it’s a mean thing to do to a child.

  12. 12
    Sad Momma says:

    I think inviting the whole class is not the best idea. Some girls tend to be very mean. My daughter is nice and loves all the girls in class except one… the mean girl. She tried to love her… it was a tough school year. I’m tired of her putting up with the B.S.! Now it’s time for her b-day and she does not want that girl to come. She is actually stressing about it that the “mean girl” will ruin the entire party. Parties are not cheap… so I say what’s the sense of spending all that time and money just to ruin your kids day. How awful would it be if we left the mean girl out? I am always doing the right thing and this time I feel like the right thing is to make my daughter happy. What do you think?

  13. 13
    Sad Momma says:

    One more thing… I think it’s completely horrible to leave someone out… don’t get me wrong. But this girl is nasty to the entire class… even the boys. She has made my daughters life H-E-C-K! Not to mention all the other kids who went home crying because of her mean, nasty actions and comments in class. I read what Joanne from Ireland said and it is mean to leave a child out, especially a nice child. But in our case this “mean girl” is definitely ahead one million to zero when it comes to being mean. So I guess it won’t hurt if we only do it once. Would it?

  14. 14
    yo mama says:

    i agree!

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