Do you invite the whole class to birthday parties?

I am in the middle of working on both my older children’s birthday parties. Their parties will hit only two weeks apart. My current dilemma is whether to invite Walsh’s whole kindergarten class to his party. (There are 18 kids in all.)

During preschool I always invited the whole class, and other mothers told me when your kids hit grade school nobody invites the whole class anymore.

In first grade, Rose wanted just girls to go roller skating. So we invited just the girls from the class – an easy, non-offensive way to decrease the number.

However, this year Rose asked for a handful of specific friends from her class — boys and girls — to come to her party.  Originally, I felt fine about not inviting her whole class because Rose has only been invited to a few birthday parties this whole year so I figured everyone else was doing that too.

I sent the invitations out during Spring Break to the kids’ homes to further ensure that it was OK that we didn’t invite the whole class. However, when they got back to school Rose had one little girl that we didn’t invite ask if she was going to be invited. The teacher interrupted before Rose could answer and said we don’t talk about parties at school. I felt terrible about this little girl so I quickly made up an invitation and Rose discreetly gave it to her at school saying my mom didn’t have your address. (She had to deliver one other invitation to school that we didn’t have an address on so it didn’t look that late.)

About a week later, a little boy in her class said that she was rude for not including his best friend from the class on the invite list. She talks about the first little boy all the time. I’ve never heard her even mention the other little boy. Should I feel bad about not including him?

I work in Walsh’s kindergarten class and know all the kids and have met many of their parents so I feel more inclined to invite everyone. Plus, it seems like all the kids are inviting everyone so it seems only right to reciprocate.

What do you think: Should I have included all 19 kids for Rose’s party? (It’s a science party and we’re going to be doing experiments.) Should I include all of Walsh’s class? (He is having a Lego building party so it is easier to accommodate a crowd.) When do you stop inviting everyone and cherry pick just their favorite friends?

98 comments Add your comment

motherjanegoose

April 21st, 2009
8:23 am

IMHO IF you pass the invitations out at school, you MUST invite the entire class. BUT IF you do this you will need more than VALIUM to make it through the event….LOL.

I had a mother tell me that she would pay me $600 to do her preschooler’s birthday party…NADA!
I can barely make it through my own kid’s party as I cannot stand chaos! This is why I only have 2 kids….and not 8….lol!

Now is a good time to chat with your kids about CLOSE friends and casual friends….this lesson may be tricky but one that needs to be learned early in order to avoid hurt feelings. PLUS did we not just talk about cutting back on expenses with children? Adding a few more the your guest list will be additional $$$. Good luck Theresa!

JJ

April 22nd, 2009
7:33 am

When my daughter was in elementary school, I would talk to the teacher and let her know I was bringing in cupcakes, etc for the entire class. Then we would invite a select few, via telephone, to attend a “party” at Chuck E. Cheese, or other place like that.

Once she hit Middle school, we would invite kids to our house. I much prefer that. I can control the crowd and I love a house full of kids.

Now that she is in high school, and turned 18, she goes off with her friends. Those days are now over for me. No more kiddy parties at my house. :(

JATL

April 22nd, 2009
7:45 am

I second JJ’s approach. Right now we’re only dealing with preschool and the class is small, so we invite everyone. When we hit elementary I plan to take cupcakes to his class, but invite only his good friends for a party.

JJ

April 22nd, 2009
8:12 am

Now that I look back on it all, I guess I spoiled my daughter on her birthday. Sometimes we would have 3 or 4 parties/celebrations. One at school, one at home with her friends and mine (excuse to have my friends over), one with the family. As she got older, I would take her and one friend on a weekend trip. Memories…….

ECM

April 22nd, 2009
8:46 am

I was set last year when my oldest was in kindergarten to have her choose the children she wanted to invite, but then my mother made me feel guilty after telling me how she never forgot not being invited to a party in the first grade. So, I invited the whole class, but we only had a few actually come. It seems this year in 1st grade, kids are choosier, and we haven’t seen nearly as much invites. We invited everyone though again, and we saw a big crowd, but my hubby and I loved it.

There’s no easy way around it, but I think like anything, just make a choice and stick to it. My pet peeve this year has been a birthday party on a Tuesday afternoon during testing week. My daughter was crushed when I had to tell her we couldn’t go.

Becky

April 22nd, 2009
9:00 am

My two have birthdays the end of June, so inviting the whole class is not a big deal..They are also enough kids in our family that they never feel that they miss anything by not having kids from school..

My biggest problem is that they both want different themes for their parties..One girl, one boy…This year they want a big party because last year I took them to DC for their birthday & we only had a small party for them & they both say that they want a bigger party with all of our family there..Scary thought if you have ever met some of my family..LOL

DB

April 22nd, 2009
9:01 am

Theresa, why do you insist on letting kids with bad manners make you feel guilty?! The girl was out of line to ask if she was going to be invited to a party, and the boy was WAAY out of line to cop an attitude because his best friend wasn’t invited!! Rose should have been coached to say, “I’m sorry, I would have liked to invite everyone,but it’s just a small party, my mom would only let me invite a few people.” It’s a valuable social skill, learning how to keep people from guilting you into doing something you don’t want to do! Here we are, preaching about resisting peer pressure, etc., and the least bit of guilty/pressure from one of their peers over a birthday party, and not only do they cave but you cave, too! Tsk, tsk! :-D

We always took in cupcakes or a cookie cake for the class on their birthday. I can’t remember EVER inviting the entire class to a party.

Our (private) school doesn’t allow birthday party invitations to be distributed at school AT ALL, even if it is for the entire class. We get a school directory at the beginning of the year that has everyone’s address and telephone number, so if we want to send out invitations, we have the addresses.

Jesse's Girl

April 22nd, 2009
9:17 am

I try to avoid at all costs..inviting the whole class. I always end up wanting beat the tar out of a few of the parents who just drop their kid off without ever getting out of the car and coming to meet the adults they are trusting their children with for 3 hours….unbelievable! So we invite a select few..the ones we know fairly well.

I have also learned to avoid the huge family get togethers as well….we did an enormous multiple b-day bash a couple years back. My grandmother made the trip from Alabama. A little background on her…she thinks we live in downtown ATL. We live on the Cobb/Paulding line. She is very country-blue-blood and thinks Jesus was a white man that spoke spoke perfect English:) So, we are sitting around the table getting ready to eat…all 14 of the kids are running around and all 40 or so adults are piling their plates with artery clogging food. My grandmother hears an ambulance siren off in the distance and exclaims…” Darlin, you really need to move. I keep hearing si-reens and I just know they are headed to one of those gang-bangings! Atlanta is no place for ladies of our calibre”. Not 30 seconds later…one of the younger boys broke out his pellet gun and fired off a shot that ricocheted off of something and hit my chandelier….busting one of the bulbs out. My grandmother DOVE under the table….she was 74…and screamed something like “The gang-bangers are here!”

So no….other people’s children(in large numbers) and generations of family are only allowed when we are truly jonesin’ for some drama….and with 3 kids of our own, thats not very often:)

LM

April 22nd, 2009
9:24 am

OMG Jessie’s Girl, that was just too funny.

LM

April 22nd, 2009
9:28 am

For my daughter I used to do hugh B’day parties, then a few years we went to PCB for her birthday. She complained about the trips and not having a “party”. Then a few years ago, I think it was her 13th or 14th b’day, she had been acting rude and disrespectfull the weeks leading up to her b’day, I got so fed up I cancelled her b’day. She got nada, zilch. I wanted to have a big party for her 16th, but really is not a social person and never came up with a idea or friends she wanted to invite.

JJ

April 22nd, 2009
9:33 am

I used to get mad at parents who would bring the “invitees” siblings, and expect them to be fed. Especially at places like Chuck E. Cheese. I would plan on feeding 10 kids, and their siblings would show up. I would have to buy more food. That always made me MAD (and I NEVER get mad)…..people just expect you to feed their entire family.

HB

April 22nd, 2009
9:38 am

I don’t think you have to invite the whole class, but I do think it’s important not to leave out only a select few. Inviting 8 kids out of 19 — fine. Inviting 15, leaving only 4 to wonder why everyone was invited except them, will be hurtful and I would want to go ahead and have everyone at that point.

new mom

April 22nd, 2009
9:49 am

I remember several occasions when I was little, finding out about a party I had not been invited to. My parents made it very clear to me that it was rude to say anything about it, because I had to be picky about who I invited to my parties and could NOT invite the entire class. So my parents would just remind me that it was probably hard for that girl to be choosy too. And when it was time for my party, I would also be reminded to keep it quiet, because someone might get their feelings hurt. But I wasn’t scarred for life, in fact it was a good lesson that you can’t make everyone happy in life and sometimes you have to learn some tact in handling touchy situations. (btw, I totally agree w/ DB’s suggestion to coach your child in how to respond to rudeness by other kids)

We obviously aren’t to this stage yet, but I remember reading a suggestion that your child can invite the number of friends equal to their age. Has anyone else followed that rule of thumb?

I’d like to ask a question that’s not related at all: is it really true that a doctor can’t do anything about a broken toe, or is that just what guys say to keep from going to the doctor? I slammed my pinkie toe in a door last night–don’t know if it’s broken, but my hubby says there’s nothing they could do anyway. But what if there had been some medical advances since he was in high school (20 yrs) and there is some treatment! Also, is there anything that helps other than ice? We are going to disney in two weeks, and I really don’t want to be hobbling the entire time.

JJ

April 22nd, 2009
9:55 am

New Mom – he’s right, there is nothing they can do. They will bandage it to you other toes, but broken toes pretty much heal themselves. I slammed mine into the sofa leg, and my baby toe stuck out like a thumb..I quickly grabbed it and pushed it back with the other toes. It hurt like mad and I had a lovely purple toe for a few days……couldn’t wear shoes…..luckily it was summer (that’s why I was barefoot)…..

DB

April 22nd, 2009
9:59 am

New Mom – I always followed the “age plus one” rule, up until about age 10 or 12. At that point, they got pickier about who they wanted at their parties. The funniest party we had was my daughter’s 15th birthday — she had a “Disney Princess” party (HER idea, ok?!), and it was such a hoot seeing all these oh-so-cool-and-haughty teenagers scream with laughter as they arrived dressed up as their favorite Disney princess. Then everyone dumped their costumes and they had a spa night.

And yes, unfortunately, it’s true that there’s not much that can be done for a broken toe, especially a pinkie toe. About the best they can do is tape the toe to the adjoining toe, to minimize the movement. But honey, Disney in a wheelchair is *the* way to go! Front of line every time — it’s fabulous!

b

April 22nd, 2009
9:59 am

I sent in a cookie cake through elementary–that’s for the whole class. I had actual parties in grades 4 and 5 with only 4 kids invited and it was at our home. For the girls I did a arts & crafts and cooking party as well as a “formal dinner” and for the boys we did a couple of video game competitions. By middle school it was over. We celebrate birthdays within the family—dinner out at a place of their choice with only 1 or 2 presents. The dinners have gotten more expensive as they got older and their tastes changed, but we all look forward to those “family” celebrations. Even our college student tries to come home for the sibling birthdays.

new mom

April 22nd, 2009
10:01 am

Thanks JJ, it’s not like I really wanted to go to the doctor for it, but I do wish there was something I could do about it. The hardest thing today is keeping our 19 mth old from running into it/stepping on it, etc. She also loves to try to put shoes on me, whether they are her shoes or mine. Shoes would help protect it from her, but not help the toe. Oh well! :)

JJ

April 22nd, 2009
10:18 am

Here’s an idea for a girls party…..buy a plain tee shirt for the birthday girl, and get fabric pens, and have each guest write or draw something on the tee shirt…….I did this with my step daughter for her 10th birthday. She is now 26 and still has the tee shirt….

Stacey

April 22nd, 2009
10:20 am

I agree with DB that this would have been a good time/way for Rose to learn that it’s okay to say no. You have to draw the line somewhere. Would you feel compelled to invite the little boy’s best friend if he were in another class? Do you feel you have to invite siblings of classmates?

Daycare thru kindergarten I took cupcakes and goody bags for the class and we just did a family party. When my son was in pre-k the teacher asked that parents come 30 minutes before class ended to conduct the party. Another parent came in (to pick up her child) as I was handing out goody bags and told me that she needed 3 extra bags because she had other kids and it wasn’t fair for just one of her kids to have a goody bag. I just smiled and told her I only had bags for the kids in the class, not siblings but that I would gladly keep her child’s bag so as not to hurt her other kids’ feelings. She declined my generous offer and left with one goody bag.

Last year (1st grade) I took cupcakes (no goody bags) for the class and my son invited only the boys to his “real” party. We could only invite 12 kids and he wanted to invite friends from outside of school so that only left room from the boys. He asked to invite one girl from his class and I told him that he had reached his limit and would have to take someone else off of the list. He made the decision to stick with just the boys.

HB

April 22nd, 2009
10:25 am

Actually, I’ve been told that it is best to see a doctor if you think you’ve broken a toe. While often the best they can do is tape it to the one next to it, there’s a possibility it could need resetting or a special shoe/boot thing to help it heal — depends on how badly it’s broken. At the very least, call your doctor. The doctor or a nurse can probably ask you a few questions to help determine if you should come in or if it’s ok to just tape it up. Hope it heals soon!

Becky

April 22nd, 2009
10:42 am

JJ, since you mentioned Chucky’s, I have a question to throw out..My nephew (thru marriage) had his sons party at Chucky Cheese a couple of years ago & when we showed up, they handed us a coupon for us to order our own pizza..I always thought that when you were having the party, you furnished the food at places like this..Am I confused or just so old that things have really changed for partys??

RJ

April 22nd, 2009
10:50 am

I have always felt that if you send invitations to school, you should invite everyone. All girl or all boy parties are fine, but don’t pick and choose. Kids are very sensitive on the elementary level and their feelings get really hurt. Yesterday we talked about being bullied. Imagine if you’re not the kid that’s liked and don’t get invited to any parties. I’ve seen that happen and it broke my heart.

BTW – Thanks Theresa for the pizza idea! We made pizza last Friday and had a great time! My teenage daughter wants to do it every week now.

DB – you gotta see it for yourself to understand why Theresa’s response was appropriate at such a young age.

I have had parents bring siblings to parties and I could really care less. When I planned parties for my kids at Chuck E Cheese, Dixieland, etc, I always bought extra pizza, wings, fries and drinks for parents and siblings. I would also do a few extra tokens. They weren’t a part of my party package, I just paid the extra money. I appreciate parents bringing their child, buying a gift and sharing in my child’s special day. Guess I’m just a little more laid back about those things.

I learned when my daughter was six that little girls can wreak havoc on your home, so I stopped doing parties at home. We did a sleep over in a local hotel and that was a huge hit. I bought arts and crafts kits, they went swimming, watched movies, popped popcorn, ate pizza and had a free continental breakfast! Loved it!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

April 22nd, 2009
11:15 am

Hey Guys — I did feel bad for the little girl — She’s a sweet girl and I’m not sure why Rose left her off the original list. If she’s had a birthday we weren’t invited and not that it should be all about reciprocation but that does help you not feel as badly about not inviting them all. I did take donuts to the class on Monday (they like donuts instead of cupcakes, which is actually pretty easy to do.) See if this changes your thoughts on any of it — I am chaperoning an overnight field trip next week for Rose’s class. Half of the parents that will be there — their kids were invited. The other half were not. Awkward!! I guess I don’t ever want people to have hurt feelings. The little girl has yet to RSVP so I’m not sure if her mom never saw the invite out of the backpack or got the feeling it was an after invite — not sure what to do there.

ECM

April 22nd, 2009
11:41 am

One thing I did this year for my 7 year old at school was instead of cupcakes or cookies at school, I checked with the teacher first :), but I met them for lunch and paid for everyone to have ice cream after lunch. (they have an ice cream cart in the cafeteria). They loved it and it was quick and painless.

catlady

April 22nd, 2009
11:58 am

Dear Gawd! Some of you are raising Bride-Zillas in the making! Keep it up, and don’t complain when it happens!

Separate your child’s public life from private life. Have a private party with a few of their friends, and if the school allows, bring cupcakes to the class. Be modest, and teach your kids not to be so greedy. Birthdays do not require hundreds of dollars. The age plus rule is good when they are less than 10. After that,you’d want to cut back! Can you imagine 15 14 yr old girls! Never hand out invitations at school–most schools don’t allow it anyway. Be classy–would you hand out invitations to your wedding like that? Invitations need to be to children whose parents you know (so you can feel free to say “You need to be there” or “No siblings” or whatever).

Re: broken toe. See the dr. You may need to be taped or fitted with a special protective shoe. I have broken a number of toes (8?) over the years (I am a lot like Jessie’s Girl’s relative) and I really regret now not having some of them examined and properly cared for. You will walk on that foot for the rest of your ambulatory life!

Nadia

April 22nd, 2009
11:59 am

New Mom, you have a good point.

I have invited the entire class for my children’s parties, except for one year, my daughter only invited the girls. It has always turned out fine because only a few actually attend the party. I really want to avoid hurt feelings. My children are still young, though (kindergarten and 1st grade). I am sure that as they get older, they will only invite close friends.

My older daughter was invited to a sleepover party, and only a couple of other girls were invited. I made sure to talk to her about not discussing the party in school to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings.

We did a swimming party, which only cost me $2 per kid, so I did not care if the entire class showed up (plus siblings). The cost of the party definitely determines whether or not we can invite the entire class.

Nadia

April 22nd, 2009
12:04 pm

Catlady—-I agree about the not raising greedy kids. However, young children get excited about things such as birthday parties, and they slip up and talk about the parties at school. I would rather avoid that.

It is not a wedding. It is a child’s birthday party. I do not see anything wrong with handing out birthday invitations instead of mailing them.

Jesse's Girl

April 22nd, 2009
12:16 pm

I must be missing something Catlady…how are you like my relatives?

MA

April 22nd, 2009
12:30 pm

My son’s birthday is in July (right before school starts) and my daughter’s birthday is in January (usually during Winter Break). They are now 20 and 17 and we do the dinner out(their choice) and a couple of gifts. When they were younger we would have parties but usually only invited a few close friends(phone numbers because of the time of year). During their preteen and early teen years we would let them take one or two friends to a movie and dinner. My son will be 21 in July. He does not plan to drink alcohol and when my husband told him we would treat him to a Vegas trip he turned us down. He has opted for a Tom Jones concert!!! What a kid!

catlady

April 22nd, 2009
1:25 pm

Jessie’s Girl: I grew up in Alabama, and anything south of Canton is Atlanta. Sorry I was so obscure. I think I’d be comfortable around your grandma.

new mom

April 22nd, 2009
1:47 pm

Hey guys, thanks for you toe opinions. I called my doctor, the nurse is going to ask him if he’d want to see me or not. I figure I’ll let the doctor decide if I should come in. Thanks a lot everyone!

I’m glad someone made the connection between yesterday’s bullying topic and today’s, because I think that teaching your kids that they don’t ‘have’ to be invited to everything all the time is a way to help them build their own identity and confidence. If they are OK with who they are, and don’t feel they have to be included on every single thing, etc., then they become less of a target for bullies. But (as a former teacher, I saw this first-hand) when kids are always invited to everything and feel like the MUST be or else their feelings will be hurt, they are vulnerable to whatever other say or do, because they can’t handle other kids not being friends with them. Please don’t read this as ‘they just need to toughen up’ stuff, or that you should intentionally hurt anyone, but I just think they need to learn that the world will not always cater to their whims and desires. It’s part of our job as parents to teach them to deal with it when things don’t work out the way they want, not to guilt others into making special accomodations so their feelings won’t be hurt.
OK, that was my two cents.

new mom

April 22nd, 2009
1:56 pm

Also, Theresa brought up something else that is my ULTIMATE pet peeve. People do not RSVP! Or (apparently) teach their kids to rsvp either. Why is that? It doesn’t take that long, and it is such bad manners to not respond when asked. A few weeks ago I was invited to a home party thing, and the invite was done via e-vites. Out of curiousity, I would just look to see how many ‘haven’t heard from yet’s there were. Get this–on the morning of the party, 24 ladies had NOT replied!! If anyone has ever hosted a party, they should realize that it’s just common courtesy to reply, even if you can’t go. Especially when they might be planning food, etc.

My husband’s family takes it one step further. Whenever I get nuts and have his entire family over, they NEVER reply to me. They all instead call his mother to decide who’s going, who’s bringing what, etc. Then she’ll call me just a few days before to say ‘oh, this aunt is coming, this cousin isn’t.’ I will ask ‘why didn’t anyone just reply to me?’ She will say ‘well they called me!’ as if she’s putting on the event and in charge. grrrr.
OK, I got that off my chest. This blog is good therapy ;)

nurse&mother

April 22nd, 2009
2:10 pm

It is a tricky situation. On the one hand you don’t want to invite the whole world. On the other hand, you don’t want a child to feel like they have done something wrong to not be invited.

Let’s face it, ALL children talk about an upcoming party. ESPECIALLY if it is a popular child. Your own birthday boy/girl may not talk about it, but other invited children will. Period.

With my daughter, (12yo) I try to invite her select few. (usually the ones who have come year after year). I have told her to be discreet and encourage her friends to be discreet. I hope that no one has gotten any hurt feelings.

JJ

April 22nd, 2009
2:51 pm

New Mom, I got tired of the non-replies too. Therefore, the last invitations I ever sent out said “If you do not RSVP, I will assume you will not be joining us”……

I hate that you send out 10 invites, and prepare to have 10 people show up, and only 3 do. GRRRR!!!!! OR the ones that say they will be there, and don’t show……especially if you are paying at an establishment such as Chuck E. Cheese.

Side note, the kids always got excited whenever my friend and I planned to take them to Chuck E. Cheese, so we started calling it Charles AuGratin in front of them…..they never caught on, until my friend’s kid turned 16……then he spilled the beans…..

new mom

April 22nd, 2009
3:01 pm

JJ, that’s too funny! Charles AuGratin! I will definitely have to remember that one.
We are already having to spell certain words around our daughter. If she hears one of us say ‘outside’, she will go find her shoes, try to put them on, and bang on the front door. Gee, if we only knew what she’s thinking… ;)

JATL

April 22nd, 2009
3:20 pm

New mom -I am with you on the RSVPs!!!!! It is SO rude not to RSVP. People should understand that it screams, “I have no proper raising and was never taught manners or common courtesy!” Unfortunately so many people who don’t RSVP are the same ones who are too lazy to ever throw a party or event themselves, so they don’t know what a pain (and expense) it is to plan for 20 and have 8 or 12. I felt horribly rude doing this initially, but I’ve started sending out a group email to people who don’t RSVP that barely sugar coats the bluntness and saying, “Hey, I have to go to the grocery store (let the bakery, caterer, whatever know) and I really need to know if you intend to come to this party.” I hope I’ve embarrassed at least a few people.

Cammi317

April 22nd, 2009
3:24 pm

Never have, never will. I see no reason to invite children to my daughter’s party that she doesn’t want to socialize with in school let alone outside of school. I generally contact the parents of the invited children and give them a heads up. She passes out her invitations after school, on the last day before winter break, as people are leaving when I come to pick her up. Her birthday is the day after Christmas, so her party is during the winter break.

motherjanegoose

April 22nd, 2009
3:25 pm

Great posts today. I loved the Alabama Grandma story ( Jesse’s Girl).

My sister used to call Chuckie Cheese “Charles FROMAGE”( French for cheese) and it worked!

Stacey, the mother who asked for extra goodie bags takes the cake….has NO clue.
YES, I do mind when siblings show up who are not invited…this takes gall and shows that these parents have NO manners. How is this different from bringing your whole family to a wedding reception when you ( as a couple) were invited. Or taking your family out to a dinner invite when they only invited the parents?

PLEASE REMIND THE BIRTHDAY CHILDREN TO WRITE THANK YOUS.
I am getting ready for the onslaught of graduation announcements to show up. Last year, my neighbor wrote her daughter’s invitations out ( high school) and sent them. We attended the party, brought a gift, helped them after the party and NO thank you. My nephew ( husband’s side) graduated from COLLEGE and mama sent the announcement. I sent a gift and NO thank you. Get real folks….if you are old enough to graduate you are old enough to write a thank you! This starts when you are little and is a sign of good manners…ooops….that’s right….manners are passe’….we are rearing ungrateful slugs who expect everything and will give nothing in return.

AlwaysBeNice

April 22nd, 2009
3:41 pm

I understand how hard it is to include everyone for a party. I’m planning a wedding and the invite list has been a horrible experience! But, I digress…when you plan a party for your child remember to think about that child that never gets invited to anything…I just spoke to my students (middle school) about bullying and not leaving kids out (because of the recent rise in elementary-aged suicides due to bullying) and I suggested not leaving out someone that is always left out…I do not expect kids to be friends with everyone…but, it hurts more than you would think when you are left out of a party that other kids are talking about in front of you…even adults get upset about it…think about how you would feel if it were your daughter or son being left out…

DB

April 22nd, 2009
3:41 pm

On the RSVP’s (a BIG grrr on my part, too): I was in a dinner group that had one member who was notorious about not deciding until about an hour before the dinner whether or not he felt like going. So, after no response to the invitation and TWO phone calls, I counted him out (figured he was out of the country or something.) Sure enough, the guy shows up the evening of the dinner. The table was set beautifully for the guests I had accounted for — but no room for extras. When I answered the door and he stood there, I looked at him rather blankly and said, “Oh! I wasn’t expecting you!” He just smiled as though he had presented me with the biggest treat imaginable and declared, “Well, I decided at the last minute that it might not be such a bad evening, after all . . ” WHAAAAATT?!?!?!?!? I just stared at him and said, “Well, frankly, we didn’t plan on you, so if you were really dreading it this much, perhaps it would be better if you didn’t stay.” He was a little speechless, but declared that “oh, it’s ok, I don’t have anything else to do”. I pulled out a TV tray, set it up in the dining room, and put him there and didn’t worry about him for the rest of the evening. As he was leaving, he asked if he could have a doggy bag! I refused, saying that my kids had helped me prepare the dinner and had been looking forward to the leftovers. Honestly!! Yes, my Southern born-and-bred ancestors were probably spinning in their graves at my lack of Southern hospitality, but hopefully HIS ancestors had already died of shame at HIS lack of manners. I am a firm believer that no one can take advantage of you without your permission.

I know I sound like a cast-iron beatch, and I, too, hate to see a child’s feelings hurt. I’m not saying to deliberately hurt a child’s feelings — but at the same time, you have to draw the line somewhere, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. The thing with the field trip and the parents, Theresa — honestly, I wouldn’t give that a second thought. It’s only awkward for you if you insist on feeling guilty about it. I’m here to say that you shouldn’t – most of the parents, if they even think twice about it, are probably relieved that they didn’t have to go out and buy a birthday present for someone who isn’t a close friend! (But you probably will, anyway! ;-) ) Kids learn the social graces at an early age — might as well start now learning how to handle situations like this tactfully.

Becky — I think inviting someone to a party and then expecting them to pay their way is tacky, tacky, tacky. You got invited by a cheapskate. It’s one thing to send out an invitation that says, “pizza available for purchase” — then people can decide whether or not to come. It’s another thing to spring it on your guests as an unwelcome surprise. The mom probably felt like it was the only way she could invite as many kids as her child wanted — another teaching moment missed, IMO.

MD N8tv in GA

April 22nd, 2009
4:01 pm

If you want to include the whole class bring cupcakes and drinks to school and celebrate there. It is ridiculous to invite the entire class to a party. Nothing irritates me more than inviting someone to party and then having to field the question – Who else is coming? – no, either you want to attend or you don’t…your decision should not be based on who else is attended.

Use this as a teaching opportunity….the little boy who rudely asked why his friend wasn’t invited should have been told (by an adult – not the little girl) that when he has a party he can invite whomever he’d like to, but since this isn’t his party it’s not his decision.

If I was the mother I’d simply alleviate this problem by capping the number of friends that can be invited. If she can’t narrow it down without stressing herself and you out then maybe this year you just do a family party and not sweat it!

Becky

April 22nd, 2009
4:04 pm

DB, thanks for the input..That’s what I thought also..Not cheapskates though, just inconsiderate people..The Dad only stays for about 15-20 minutes of any birthday party that they have for the son or daughter..They are the type of people that think the more money you spend on a child, the better..I on the other hand, don’t feel that way..I think quality time is much more important than money being spent on kids..

I would also like to say to everyone on here that is (or isn’t) a Adminstrative Professional, hope that today is a great day for you..

New Mom, good luck with your toe.

MJG, I am big about sending out thank you cards..My nieces that lived with me for a while would get so mad at me when I made them do thank you notes..As for rsvp’ing, I always let the sender know, if I’m coming, how many people & so forth..It all depends on what they want RSVP’ed..

Mom to 4

April 22nd, 2009
4:14 pm

I think if you send invitations by mail you can invite anyone you want. However, if the invitations are given at school (even after school), you should invite the entire class. Most schools have this rule for a reason.

I can top the mother who asked for extra goodie bags. My neighbor called me one Saturday morning to ask if she could borrow some plastic cutlery and wanted me to bring it to another neighbor’s house. I told her I could run it to her as my daughter and I were running errands. When I pulled into the neighbor’s drive there were “Happy Birthday” signs everywhere and little girls running around in party clothes. I was actually asked to provide the plastic cutlery for a party that my daughter was not invited to.

Nicole

April 22nd, 2009
4:22 pm

Invite them all…… More than likely not everyone will attend, And plus no one will feel left out. They are just kids and you wouldnt want too be the one explaining too you child why you didnt at least get invited!!

new mom

April 22nd, 2009
4:43 pm

Wow, so…I have to go in tomorrow morning for my stupid toe. They only had one appointment available, and said if I didn’t see them, I needed to go to a podiatrist or ER by the weekend to have it looked at! Now if they tell me ‘well there’s nothing we can do for a broken toe’….after I postponed my hair appointment for this, I won’t be amused.

Asking for extra goodie bags?? Asking for last minute supplies for a party your child isn’t invited to? Seriously, what is wrong with people??

Becky

April 22nd, 2009
5:13 pm

It’s the crowd of only thinking about me…

Donna P.

April 22nd, 2009
5:22 pm

I invite every child to the party. Not all show up and that way, there are no hard feelings. In middle school, kids become more selective about their friends.

ktmac

April 22nd, 2009
5:22 pm

Never have, never will. It’s ridiculous that children (or more like their parents) expect all to be invited. Children need to understand early in life, that sometimes your invited, sometimes your not. Get use to it- life is not always fair. The sooner we help our children understand this, the better the next generation of society will come to understand that they do not “deserve” or get everything they want.

Gramma

April 22nd, 2009
5:24 pm

When my kids were younger, they had a few “special” friends (some that were not in his/her class at school) that they invited to their parties. They NEVER invited the entire class. I never sent the invitations to school (for the reasons mentioned above, i.e. some feeling left out, etc.), but mailed them, and the parents I knew personally and were closer friends, I called and asked if they could attend. It was difficult enough with 6-8 kids at a party, much less 20-25. It looks like gift-phishing! I didn’t want my child to invite “non-friends” and have it look like he/she was being greedy. Keep it small. (P.S. The reason your child only gets a few invites every year from school is that many children have summer birthdays, and school is out.)

TJ

April 22nd, 2009
5:27 pm

I’m a mom of many years. My daughter is 10 yrs old and we have been having parties every year. When they are in K-3 I felt like it was a good thing to invite the whole class. But when she got in 4th grade It all stopped. I asked her who she wanted to invite and left it at that. I also gave her a limit of people. Really you can leave it up to the child, and it depends on how what kind of party you are having. I did D & B. Hotel sleepover and it can get expensive. I say choose your parties wisely.