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Would you force your child to attend a party?

What if you knew they would enjoy themselves once they were there?
My 8yo dd's friends are having a birthday party today at the YMCA (a pool party). My daughter is their best friend (they're twins) and she begged and begged to go but I had no way to get her there. So I contacted their mom and she said she would be happy to drive her so I set it all up.
Now my dd says she doesn't want to go and is making herself sick worrying about. She says she doesn't feel like swimming today but she LOVES to swim. She lives in our pool in the summer. They will be here in about 5 minutes to pick her up and I'm making her go. I know she will have so much fun if she just goes. She does stuff like this all the time. She's very timid and shy and afraid to try new things so we have to force girl scouts.


Asked by justanotherjen at 11:56 AM on Feb. 28, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 26 (28,174 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • Don't force her to go if she changes her mind, but do let her know that she should have thought about it more before making pick up arrangements. Have her write a card for her friends b-day and include an apology for any inconvenience that may have happened.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:46 PM on Feb. 28, 2009

  • I wouldn't force her to go.. If she regrets it later. That is a lesion she will learn.


    Answer by louise2 at 12:05 PM on Feb. 28, 2009

  • I feel for your DD.. As an adult I am shy & I litterally get sick when thinking about going to do social activities, when i got my first job at 18, i started getting serious stomach problems to the point i knew if i didnt quit working i would have a break down.. As soon as we can afford it, i want to go to a therapist. I think I could have an issue with Anxiety. have you ever ask your dd exactly why she doesnt want to things. what is she afraid of?
    Personally if i was here i would be freakin' that if i wanted to leave i would be stuck there (since you cant take her im guessing you couldnt pick her up if she needed to come home from a belly ache?)

    Answer by MommaTasha1003 at 12:29 PM on Feb. 28, 2009

  • It's a moot point. She REFUSED to go even after her 2 friends came in and BEGGED her to come. Then her mom came in and tried to convince her to go. They even waited for almost a half hour and they had to be there early to set up. The girls really, really wanted her to be there and she refused. They were devastated and near tears because my daughter didn't want to go to their party.
    Now she's crying because I told her to go to her room. She really thinks it's not a big deal to disappoint her friends. The girls were actually really nice about it and said they would bring her treat bag to school on Monday but I could see the utter disappointment in their faces. She doesn't deserve a treat bag after what she pulled.
    I had friends like my dd in school and it always hurt when they would rather do other things then spend my birthday with me. (They usually weren't my friends for very long.)

    Answer by justanotherjen at 12:31 PM on Feb. 28, 2009

  • MommaTasha--actually I'm the same the way. I have MAJOR anxiety when it comes to strange places and people and I usually have to be forced to do things. So I do know how it feels and I do feel for her being so anxious but if she succumbs to it she will be like me and never ever do anything (I just sit at home).
    And their mom actually said that if she really hated it there and wanted to come home she would drive her. They were so understanding and nice. That just made it worse for me. I feel so bad for the girls.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 12:39 PM on Feb. 28, 2009

  • making her feel worse about the fact that she didn't feel comfortable going is not a good thing! She probably realizes she will miss out on some fun. I don't understand why you find it necessary to punish her because she didn't want to go. Who cares who she disappoints? Your focus should be on your daughter and what she wants - not what her friends want. What happens when she comes home drunk and says "but mom my friends wanted me to! you taught me not to disappoint them"

    Answer by ZaTa at 1:07 PM on Feb. 28, 2009

  • There must be a reason she is not wanting to go...I think I would focus more on that. Let her stay home and use that time as an opportunity to talk to her about why she didnt want to go. Maybe someone will be there who has been mean to her or she doesnt get along with, or feeling uncomfortable in a swimming suit.  Stuff that seems silly to adults, but REALLY IMPORANT to her.  Let her know she can communicate these things to you.  There are some great American Girl books for her age....on dealing with friends, sticky situations, giving confidence about herself etc.  If there is some substance behind her thinking....maybe these books or you can help her solve to deal with in the future. 


    Answer by momjs at 3:19 PM on Feb. 28, 2009

  • I have to agree that you should not punish her or make her feel worse for not going to the party. She is only 8 years old, and is still learning lessons about relationships and how to handle stress. Something may have changed since she said she wanted to go such as someone hurt her feelings or someone upset her. It is important to get to the reason why she doesn't want to go and talk about it. She should feel comfortable talking to you about it and sharing her feelings. She needs to see "how" to share her feelings and discuss them first. Initiate the conversation by telling her how you feel. Use words like, "I feel" and respect what she says. It doesn't hurt to have your child talk to the school counselor if there is one at her school, just to check in. It is free at school and a great way for the child to talk to someone unbiased.
    It would be a nice gesture for her to write a note apologizing for missing the party with gift

    Answer by insaneeuphoria at 7:42 PM on Feb. 28, 2009

  • Has she started her period and not told you? ...That would explain why she doesn't want to go swimming when she normally loves it...

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:20 AM on Mar. 1, 2009

  • I used to be your daughter. My mom always forced me into things and punished me for changing my mind.

    She never once asked me why I didn't want to do something. I was constantly miserable.

    I grew to hate her.

    I'm not saying your daughter will hate you, but I hope you'll think about forcing her into things.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:04 AM on Mar. 1, 2009

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