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My daughter's 2 friends stood her up for her b-day slumber party - what do I do?

Some background - my daughter , who is in 5th grade and will be 11 next week, was born with a cyst in her spinal column that caused some nerve damage, leading to bowel and bladder control issues. Through surgery in the past year, we are now able to keep the problem under control, but the journey through the years has led to low self esteem, low self confidence, few friends. In 3rd grade especially, she resisted changing her pullup and was teased for smelling bad, became very depressed, etc. I have spoken with her teachers about social skills, and they keep assuring me she gets along with others, she seems to be welcomed and liked. However, to me she seems very withdrawn, lonely, unhappy. She sees a counselor, but lately won't open up even with the counselor.

She was going to have a sleepover party for her birthday on Friday night. She intentionally only invited a few girls, and two indicated they would come. One told her directly, and the other formally RSVP'd (parent called and spoke to my ex). Anyway, come Friday, neither girl showed up. I have spoken with my daughter about it, assured her that other people's actions reflect on them and not on her, assured her she is loved, but I don't know what to do beyond that. Fortunately we had had an experience lately in which we committed to do something and at the last minute she didn't want to go - I forced her to show up, saying you don't make commitments and then not show. I was able to go back to this example and use it to explain how hurtful it would have been to the other girl if she just didn't show up.

I am frustrated with parents who don't RSVP (the one girl told my daughter she would come, but my ex was unable to confirm it with the parent despite leaving phone messages -- and I've had this experience with past parties, too, for both my son and daughter, where parents just never RSVP -- how hard is it to make a phone call??), and I'm frustrated with parents who would RSVP and then not bring the child. Perhaps there was a family emergency. Perhaps the one child didn't know her parents had other plans and the parents didn't know the child had said she would come. Perhaps the two girls are not really friends of my daughter and my daughter only thinks they are. Perhaps the parents are just irresponsible and rude. I don't want to cause trouble with these other parents, but it's difficult for me to coach my daughter without knowing what happened. If the girls don't want to be friends, I need to coach my daughter. Should I try to talk to the parents? My heart is broken for her, and I want to help her, but I'm not sure how.

Thank you for any advice you can provide,


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Asked by andy222 at 3:55 PM on Apr. 10, 2011 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 2 (5 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • I had lots of friends in school and no problems. I had a party one time and NO ON showed up! I was devastated. I had a band and really did it up right. After crying my eyes out my mom said since no one showed up then no one would know that no one showed up! She told me to go to school on Monday and tell the world (school world) that the party was a blast and quite possibly the best one anyone has ever had and I was sorry they missed it. Sometimes others let us down. We may never know the reason. My mom thinks no one showed up to mine bc we moved pretty far from the school and kids couldn't get there without their parents bringing them. No matter the reason we can't take this stuff personally. Like you said, something may have come up. A lot of people don't really like sleep overs anymore. Next time try just a simple party then send them home. That might work.

    Answer by admckenzie at 4:02 PM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • I would just call and find out if it was a family emergency or a case of kids not telling the parents and them already having plans. I know my dd brought home an invitation but did not give it to me until the day of the party so she did not go. It did not matter that she told the boy she could go. She did not tell me or ask me till the last min. I did call and explain to the parents what happened and she was one of 30 kids invited so not near as heart breaking as your child's position I know. If it was something that had a good reason maybe you could reschedule and have a surprise party for your daughter?


    Answer by Alanaplus3 at 4:03 PM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • I am so sorry. I think I would try to talk to the other parents. Keep it light and simply ask if there was a miscommunication or whatever. Being who I am I would also do something really special for her with me and my husband to try to ease the sting. But that's just me. I wish I could offer more help. hugs to you and her

    Answer by elizabr at 4:06 PM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • That really sucks that it happened like that but you can't help what people do!
    Here's what I would do...

    I would take my daughter out, no matter what, and get her nails done, a new hair cut, and a new outfit... a really, really cute one! Treat her like she's a little woman, and only concentrate on her. Buy her some new body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion. This way you show her you think she's special and you don't care what others say. Make it a mommy/daughter day! She will love the attention from you and the new look could be a confidence booster.

    Answer by JaniceMc27 at 4:13 PM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • Try talking to the girl and letting her know about your daughter's problem and maybe she will understand her better and they would be able to have a closer bond and she'll know how sensitive and how hurt she was about the situation.

    Answer by desypoo12 at 4:20 PM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • I guess I would avoid a direct confrontation with the parents. Call the one who formally RSVP'd and ask if everything is OK, that you were worried something had happened because their daughter didn't come to the party or call. As for the ones who never got back to you - forget it, you'll never hear from them.

    I am so sorry that your daughter had this bad experience, but she'll get through it. I completely understand your desire to intercede, but don't make it too big a deal. Acknowledge her feelings, because anyone would be hurt by this, but don't go overboard. (I say this being someone who would have to really hold myself back from calling both parents, going to school, etc.) She is loved, which is most important, and if she hasn't found her close friends yet, she will. Hugs to you & her!

    Answer by sweetpotato418 at 5:22 PM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • that's so hard. especially around that age. i don't think you should call the parents. is switching schools an option? where no one knows her or of her past? Kids are so rough on each other! Remind your daughter how beautiful she is and how smart she is and maybe treat her to a lavish something for her birthday.

    Answer by john2007 at 7:00 PM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • Sorry, but I would NOT say anything to the parents. I would do something special for my daughter though. You can NOT control other people and how they act, you can only control YOU. Emergencies happen, people forget, kids don't ask permission first.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 11:46 PM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • It's probably best not to make a big deal out of it... especially if it will cause more discomfort for your child. Perhaps you should asked her who she plays with at school and before planning any parties, have playdates with these girls and see how it goes. I find that smaller parties like pizza and a movie is best and then later on a sleep over. Sleep overs should be for friends that both families know and feel comfortable with. Hope this helps.

    Answer by Chiqui52 at 10:42 PM on Apr. 17, 2011

  • I'm sorry but those kids knew that her party was then and I'm sure that all the girls were talking about it for a long time even before the date. Kids are so mean these days. I told my daughters teachers about this girl that my daughter is very close to but can't stand that she pushes her around(literally). I had to cus' it is unacceptable. I seen mean kids in school. I may be thinking irrationally and I'm sorry, but I have seen it many times before.

    Answer by shannon979 at 10:28 AM on May. 5, 2011

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