19 answers

Child Being Excluded

I just recently found out that someone I thought I was good friends with for a few years, recently gave her child a birthday party and for the first time in many years, excluded my child. They go to the same school, are in class together and I cannot figure out a reason for this! I am baffled and hurt. Apparently other people in our circle were included who aren't even in their class and have never been included before. My question is what do I do? Do I ask why this happened or just walk away from this? I am so confused as to what is the right next step.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks mamas for all the help! I have a lot to think about, but I so appreciate your support!

Featured Answers

Hi M.. The same thing happened to me. People asked me if I was invited to a party and I said no, but I was a little puzzled, considering we have known this family for a long time. I actually convinced myself that my son must have lost the invitation when they were passed out at school.

I decided to ask the mom about it and she told me that it was nothing personal.... they are on a budget and she told her son that since he is 5 years old, he can pick 5 people from the class to invite. She ended up apologizing and said we can come to the party too... I felt so dumb. I wish I would of never said anything and not thought twice about it.

1 mom found this helpful

Could the child who had the birthday party be a pre-teen who is doing a little social climbing with the "popular kids"?

More Answers

Seriously, this has nothing to do with you. If your child is upset, explain that the lack of invitation doesn't mean he's not friends with the other child. Teach graciousness.

Friendships have peaks and valleys over the years. Don't sweat it. My daughter's best friend in 1st grade became a "mean girl" by 3rd grade. Now in 5th grade they are friends again. Just go with it. So not a big deal.

There are so many more important things in this world than being invited to a party. Besides, it's one less gift to buy. (If you still feel the children are very close and you want to give a gift, invite the kid over and give it in private.)

3 moms found this helpful

This year due to financial reasons I told my daughter she can only invite 4 kids to her party. She's turning 7 in Dec. Last year she invited 12. It's a huge difference and of course we're going to end up leaving people out that had parties she went to or that she's really good friends with. There is really nothing else we can do at this point. We have a small house no room for a party here. 2 weeks before christmas is not the time for a party outside in Chicago...well not for me anyhow. We have to choose- small birthday or no Christmas. Its the way it has to be. Here's my apology to everyone in advance! Not to say that I don't completely know where you're coming from, everyone wants their kids to be included, etc. Can you imagine getting invited to EVERY party though. I just think about how much I'd be spending on presents- there are 20 kids in her class, plus other friends...anyhow don't beat yourself up over this, it's probably not a big deal. K

2 moms found this helpful

I am sure you are hurt, but there are many good reasons. The right one you wont know just yet and should not ask yet either. Dont ask when you are upset. But here's a few reasons to ponder while waiting. I am thinking. The partents may have wanted certain gifts that they didnt think you could afford. The two kids that you think are friends at school may not really be friends at all. The party may only be able to hold 8 kids and your kid would have been number 9 and way too much for the party giver to handle. Perhaps you gave a party for your kid and didnt invite them. Perhaps they came to your party and were offened. Perhaps they came to your party and didnt want to offend you or you child by the super extravagant party they were throwing for thier kid. Or visa versa, perhaps you had a super extravagant party, and they were embarrissed to be throwing such a modest tiny party for their kid. Please dont let the kids know that you are upset. Kids have no concept of these things and can go to school the next day and still get along and play like nothing happened. If you tell your child how upset you are... your kid will share that at school and ruin a good friendship. The kid whose birthday it was is not to blame, as the kid didnt get to choose every guest... or the number of guests mom could afford to entertain. Dont take it personally, but a month or two later, you can ask about it in passing " Hey didnt your kid have a birthday a while ago? Didnt you throw a party? So How did it go? was everything OK, cause I never heard a thing? Too Bad you didnt remind me I would have sent a nice gift!

2 moms found this helpful

Hi M.,
You've gotten a lot of good advice. I would say that if you and the mom really are "good friends" and you think this will be awkward for you, you should go ahead and bring it up in a very non-confrontational way. In part, friendship is "two people telling each other the truth." About their day, their outlook on life, their feelings. I would just say something like, "I feel awkward even bringing this up and you are absolutely entitled to invite whomever you choose to Billy's birthday party, but since we've always included each other's kids in the past, I just want to be sure things are ok between us. I felt a little funny hearing about the party from Betty instead of you and wanted to check in." Or something along those lines. If your feelings are hurt, you can express that if you feel the need, but with the admission that you know none of this is really about you and that invitation lists change all the time for all kinds of reasons. If you really aren't such good friends - more like very friendly acquaintances who see each other at pick up and drop off everyday, then I really think I'd just leave it alone for all the reasons mentioned in other posts.

1 mom found this helpful

If this is really bothering you, I would ask her. It can be as simple as, "I heard that ______name_______had a birthday party, can i ask why ____name_____ was not invited?"
The mom may just say we had to cut down on the number of children invited.
Depending on the age of the child, the child may have chose who she or he wanted to come.
I personally would just let it go. I look at it as just because you are in the same class and the some circle of friends does not mean that the parent needs to invite your child. It is really their prerogative to who they would like to invite. I personally say it was one less gift you had to buy.
But as I said earlier, If it is really bothering you as her, before your anxiety leads you to talk to other moms about it, turning the situation into gossiping.
I hope it all works out.
God bless,
S.

1 mom found this helpful

Walk away from it. Not worth your energy. Also, who cares if you weren't invited to one party there are many coming up in the future. Plus, I think you can invite whoever you like to your own party. If your child was being excluded from important things at school with other kids I would then worry but this is so small. Maybe the kids are not as close as you perceived it because you get on well with the mother. Let the kids figure out the friends' things. I agree with the other posters. Good Luck with however you decide to deal with it. -V

1 mom found this helpful

take your childs' lead - if they are not aware and upset - you should not be either. things become a lot more difficult for kids socially when the parents get involved. parents tend to hold grudges a lot longer than children, too.

good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.. The same thing happened to me. People asked me if I was invited to a party and I said no, but I was a little puzzled, considering we have known this family for a long time. I actually convinced myself that my son must have lost the invitation when they were passed out at school.

I decided to ask the mom about it and she told me that it was nothing personal.... they are on a budget and she told her son that since he is 5 years old, he can pick 5 people from the class to invite. She ended up apologizing and said we can come to the party too... I felt so dumb. I wish I would of never said anything and not thought twice about it.

1 mom found this helpful

Get used to it, it happens. It hurts I have tried talking to the parents, my children...their children.

1 mom found this helpful

Question: Is your child upset about being excluded or just you?
If your child is hurt or upset I would ask why. If not let it go.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M. I would ask her about it then to let this bother you. You didn't say if she's still talking to you like nothing has happen. Maybe she thought she invited your daughter. Like I said the best way to find out is to ask her.

I totally agree with Tricia A. and in fact, I remember being in the 4th grade and my parents let me have a birthday party...but I was only allowed to invite 4 friends. Yikes! It was tough for me because I had to exclude some of my friends and I didn't want to. It had nothing to do with not liking the other kids or trying to be mean; it had everything to do with my parents telling me I could only invite a certain number of guests.

Maybe the other people in the circle who were never included before are finally getting their turn and your kid is taking his turn at sitting it out - and, in my opinion, that seems fair.

I have had that happen to me. Even when I thought I was going to be invited to weddings. I actually wasnt invited to my childhood best friends wedding and we are close as ever many years later. (So then I didnt invite her to mine). We were out of touch a bit at both times. Anyway,I used to do things about it. Like ask why, etc. Sometimes the invite got lost in the mail, (well not to me ever, but others) and sometimes you find out later the girls husband said you were cute, she got jealous and didn't invite your child. Or we think we are better friends and they just think we aren't. Whatever happened, after years of stomach aches, tears and frustrations I found out I never really got a complete resolution to this. So I am suggesting you just walk away from that. Sometimes people are jealous of you. Sometimes they let their child pick and the child forgets who is important in life. The point is it can be devastating to us when our children are hurt. But it is up to us to love them and make them realize that this is only of lifes incidentals and that they our children are so valuable and loved no matter what. Invitations or not. There will be other invites that will come to our children and maybe not to someone elses. I say go hug the little ones and throw yourselves a tea party.

I Googled and came upon this website. I know it bothers you, you feel hurt and feel this is directed against you and your child. This has recently happened to me too. I did not ask why my daughter was not invited because most times people will not be truthful with you anyway (which may further annoy you). Yet I am writing the following to all of the Moms that exclude children from b'day parties. Reality is.... there are just people out there that don't get it. With all the bullying, segregation, and "cherry picking" among the adults, break the chain and don't teach children to do that. I understand separating boys from girl parties ( different interests, e.g., super heros vs. princesses), but I do not agree with "cherry picking" within the same gender. I really don' think it breaks the bank to include one more child to a party. Frankly, the children don't eat all of the pizza, chicken fingers, etc. As adults we need to teach our child to be inclusive not exclusive. I respect all of the other responses but I do not agree with it. If we are going to help change things let's start with something as little as a b'day party. Please don't exclude....include !

It is very possible that this child and your child are no longer friends. If this is the case, then you need to just let it go and walk away. Children change their social groups many times during school years.

Let it go. Over the years these things will happen. Some years your kid will be invited, others not. The mom is wise - I wish we had stopped automatically inviting our friends' kids years ago, because at this point our "must invite" (because of our social obligations to friends and neighbors) list is so long it's ridiculous and my 6yo can't invite any of the friends HE wants to have. (this is stressing me out because his birthday is next week and I just don't have enough room to include all these people!)

Hi M.,
Keep going, because you can't control anybody, but you. I believe that good things happen in unexpected ways. You may not have been invited to that particular event, but many more opportunities will come. Don't try to figure it out, because there is always something better in store.

All the Best!

I totally agree with Jessica. If you're the one that has hurt feelings, I would just let it go. Kids friends will come and go when they're young but it's nothing to take personal unless you feel your son is being affected by it. If he hasn't seemed to care, I wouldn't bring it up because it could open a can of worms. But if he is affected by it and misses his friend, you can get involved but *depending on his age* I would recommend letting your son figure it out for himself. This a good life lesson. Maybe he can approach his friend and ask himself why he wasn't invited. Maybe him and his friend just aren't close anymore. It's really common for kids to have several different close friends. As they grow and change, so will their friends.

Could the child who had the birthday party be a pre-teen who is doing a little social climbing with the "popular kids"?

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