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Do you think you should be forced to invite the whole class to your kids' birthday parties? Why or why not?

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Posted by on Feb. 6, 2013 at 3:24 PM
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My Son Isn't Inviting His Whole Class to His Birthday Party & I Don't Care Whose Feelings Get Hurt

Posted by Mary Fischer on February 4, 2013 

birthday cakeIn a little less than a month, my son will be turning 7 years old, and I gotta admit, I'm pretty stressed out about it. And no, I'm not all bent out of shape because he's growing up or because he's not a little kid anymore. Nope -- the source of my anxiety all stems from his upcoming birthday party.

For the first time, we're not inviting all of the kids in his class, and I'm fully anticipating taking some heat for it. But if we invite everyone and they all RSVP yes, we'll have a party so big, it will be tough to handle. Also, while he has a lot of friends, he's not buddy-buddy with all the kids in the class, so having them at his birthday party really doesn't make any sense.

He deserves a fun party, with his good friends, and even though I realize there may be a few hurt feelings among the kids who aren't invited if they hear him talking about the party, it's a risk I'm willing to take.

After all, isn't it a good thing for kids to experience a little bit of disappointment now and then?

I know I want my son to realize he's not always going to win, or get his way, and even though it's not the best feeling in the world -- he's not going to get invited to every single party every single year. I'd rather him get used to being excluded once in a while in elementary school than grow up to be an adult and wonder why in the hell things don't always work out the way he wants them to. (That's what all good parents want, right?)

The kids aren't in preschool anymore, and it's only natural for them to branch off and have separate groups of friends than some of their other classmates. Why should they be expected to invite kids they rarely socialize with outside of school? If we invite them all this year, then we'll be expected to invite them all next year, and so on and so forth.

Personally, I really think it's best to go ahead and break the cycle now, and let my son have a party with the friends he truly wants there instead of inviting kids for the sake of inviting kids. And if a few feelings wind up getting hurt, so be it. If we base every single parenting decision on hurt feelings, we're going to wind up with a society of really bratty, entitled children. (And nobody wants that.)

Do you invite the whole class to your kids' birthday parties? Why or why not?

by on Feb. 6, 2013 at 3:24 PM
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by Ruby Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 3:27 PM
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No. She only invited her favorite friends. :-) when Dad found out that she was only inviting certain people, he thought it was rude to not invite everyone else. He felt that feelings would be hurt. Really who cares? That's life. And I'm not forcing my daughter to invite children she doesn't like.
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by Emerald Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 3:36 PM
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No, but I gave the invitations to the teacher to put in the kid's take home folder.  The rule of thumb was she could invite the same number of kids as her age (ie 7ys, 7 kids).

by on Feb. 6, 2013 at 3:36 PM
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We don't invite everyone.  We mail the invitations to the friends our kids want to invite.

It has never really been an issue.  I do remind the kids not to talk about their party in front of everyone because it is rude, but that is because I'm just trying to teach them to be concious of their actions.

by on Feb. 6, 2013 at 3:38 PM

I don't think it's fair to force them to have anyone there the child doesn't want.

by Silver Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 3:39 PM

My dd's school tried to enforce that. I asked the teacher what should I do about the one girl who has been stealing other kids stuff since kindergarden. The girl who has been spoken to a million times that still does it. And her mother even admitted that her daughter is always bringing home stuff that she knows does not belong to her. Yet the mother never brings it back to school. Her teacher did not know how to answer that so know it is a non issue.

by Ruby Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 3:40 PM

 no i wont force my daughter to invite everyone. she can invite her friends. the school even says though that we have to mail them we can't hand them out in class. i'm sure that is to spare the feelings of those that would get upset if they weren't invited. my dd is in prek so not a worry for me yet.

by Anonymous 1 on Feb. 6, 2013 at 3:41 PM

 No way! I'm a twin and we always told the parents that they didnt have to invite the other twin, so why the whole class?

by on Feb. 6, 2013 at 3:42 PM
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Nope. I will not make my child spend her birthday with anyone she doesn't want to spend it with.

by on Feb. 6, 2013 at 3:42 PM

I never invited a whole class - just their close friends.  Why would they want people that they don't even like to attend?  No one gave a party for everyone in the class when my children were growing up. 

by Emerald Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 3:43 PM
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In my son's school, if it's a party they wil go to from school, and/or the invitations are handed at school, then it's obligatory to invite the whole class. I think it's ok, but they also go to a very small school.
I'm all for letting children experience disappointment, but there's a difference between disappointment and the pain of being the only one or one of the few not invited to a party. I can understand in big schools that if only a few are invited or even just half that it's not a biggie, but in the case of my sons' school, where they have like 8 or 10 classmates, how that pain can be avoided by inviting everyone.
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