December 14, 2009,
K.D. asks from Auburndale, MA on December 07, 2009
Daughter Only Girl in Class Not Invited to a Party
My 4th grader was not included in party invitations that went around her classroom today. She is one of 8 girls in her class and the other 6 were invited. This is a girl that she has never been friends with and she would never be on her list to invite to a birthday party, but how does she handle it when all the girls are whispering and talking about the party and then telling her they aren't talking about anything? She knows about the party because her best friend is invited and her mother told me about it (we are having a party the same night for my other daughter and we always include a few of my older daughter's friends). What does she say when she knows they are talking about the party and then pretending not to? I'm not worried about her not being included. She has plenty of very close friends. And this girl isn't exactly a good role model or friend choice, but the fact that she was the only one not included makes me wonder why. Any advice?
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thanks for all the great advice. I armed my daughter with tons of responses today and told her to tell the girls if they were whispering that it was ok, she knew about the party already. But she found out today that there is one other girl who isn't invited and that girl is supposedly the party giver's best friend. (The girl having the party has decided her best friend is mean and doesn't want her coming to the party). So this has become a bigger scandal and my daughter's feelings have been forgotten. All the girls were talking openly in front of my daughter today about it, calling the party a "playdate" in front of the other (best) friend and then laughing when that girl would walk away saying she "fell for it." My daughter came home saying she is soooo glad she's not part of that crowd because they are all mean to each other and treat each other badly. The girls she is close to are drama free and treat each other with respect. I think she is just has a gossipy, mean group of girls in her class. She does have 2 close friends in that class, but they tend to follow those other girls and my daughter plays with girls from other classes on the playground. She is totally fine with not being invited, especially now that she knows the "leader" of that group hasn't been included either.
M.D. answers from Boston on December 08, 2009
I would tell her to ignore the girls who are talking about the party in class because if they are mean, why would she want to go to their party, or be their friends, anyway?
I was always kind of odd and unique when I was young, so there were times when I was excluded in a similar way. It was painful when I was very young, but as I got older I realized that in many ways, I was much better than the mean girls so I was happy to be excluded from their activities.
J.M. answers from Boston on December 07, 2009
If she's comfortable, I would just have her say to the whispering girls "it's okay, you can talk about the party. I don't feel bad that I'm not invited because so-and-so and I aren't really friends. But I hope you guys have fun!" If you can help her understand that it's okay to not be friends with everyone, and sometimes that means being a little left out, I think that's possibly the best lesson you can teach her. After all, if she hadn't invited this other girl, wouldn't you want her mother to remind her that they weren't friends in the first place? My guess is that the other girls in the class are a little bit being gossipy and a little bit trying to protect your daughters feelings that she wasn't invited. If your daughter can be the one to bring it out into the open, then she's not left out of the conversations, even if they are about a party she's not going to. Good luck!
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K.G. answers from Burlington on December 08, 2009
Sounds like she already has plans so coach her with some responses in that line. Girls are very much like this, and I remember very distinctly at that age being bored with the whole thing. I played more with the boys...more real, more fun. had fiends and siblings outside of school, so didn't much care. We had to pay part of birthday gift expenses too, so we were a little more selective in whose parties we went to. (We also didn;t have birthday parties every year, but had to invite anyone whose party we had to attend (which counted towards our friend totals) Good time to value quality friends over quantity. Hard lesson, but she should feel that this is no big loss to her. Good luck.
J.K. answers from Mansfield on December 07, 2009
K.- I'm sorry this happened to your daughter. My daughter is having a party on saturday and as we went through her class list there were 2 girls she initally didn't invite. I told her that wasn't nice and she explained that she is not really friends with them but likes them enough to not want to hurt their fellings. So she did invite all the girls in her class and 2 from another class. I don't like the policy that you have to invite everyone (my son has had parties that he only wanted to invite 6 friends...there are 26 kids in his class) however the teacher should not allow talking about the party inclass, even if they all were invited.
At our school the invitations are discreetly put into the students mailbox with all the other take home papers. Basically the kids do not know they are there until after they are home and give the stuff to mom or dad. That is the way I think it should be handled.
I don't know all these kids addresses to send out invitations that way so they have to be invited at school.
But as for your daughter, she knows she is not friends with this girl so before the invites went out she wasn't really expecting one I am sure. But it is hard being excluded no matter what. Make sure her self esteem is in tack and move on. Don't let her dwell on it. She couldn't have gone anyway because it was the same night as her sisters party!
My daughter (who is very outspoken anyway) would just tell the other girls that she knows about the party, knows that they are talking about it and its ok but she doesn't appreciate being lied to.
Not sure why your child would be excluded or way a parent would let all but one in the class be invited...guess you will never know unless you ask them ofcourse.
Cheer up! Hope this helps:)
E.Z. answers from Boston on December 08, 2009
I'm with Jane M. If she's comfortable, your daughter can just say, "It's okay; I know about the party; it's cool." I too think the girls are being gossipy in the interests of maybe not hurting her feelings. As my mom used to tell me back when I was a fat kid, "If YOU are comfortable with something, everyone else will be comfortable with it." She was right. So if your daughter is just, "Oh have a good time!" those girls will likely not feel the need to whisper about it.
It does hurt to wonder why you were excluded, but at the same time, if the inviter most likely wouldn't have been invited to your daughter's party, I'd focus on that, ie, not everyone is friends with everyone, and that's okay.
J.A. answers from Boston on December 08, 2009
Obviously, this was a rude, thoughtless, disrespectful thing to do. I agree with another poster that the birthday girl's mother really should be held responsible.
I agree with the teacher who said not to sugarcoat this with your daughter. Even if this not a child your daughter would invite to her party, even if they are not particularly close, it hurts to be the only child excluded.
Coaching your daughter on appropriate responses aside, this hurts. Validate your daughter's feelings and bring this to the attention of the teacher. While the teacher cannot police every behavior in her class, she would probably like to be aware of this circumstance and she certainly can reinforce expectated behavior and remind students of the importance of being respectful to others.
I also disagree with alot of the moms here who think it is ok to use the teacher to distribute party invitations. Unless it is a school sponsored event then invitations should be mailed or personal phone calls should be made. If you don't know the invitees to your child's birthday party well enough to find a way to contact them outside of school, maybe they don't belong at your child's birthday party.
N.E. answers from Boston on December 08, 2009
As a teacher I just wanted to address some people's comments about the school saying you have to invite everyone in the class. At my school that is the policy if you want the invitations to go out via the school. I think this is a fair policy. If you are asking the teacher to hand out invitations and be the face of who gets an invitation and who doesn't, then it's fair to make that kind of policy. I understand it's a lot to have all the kids or all the girls, but imagine having kids come up to you and ask why they weren't invited and it's not even your party. I know not everyone can get invited to every party, but that shouldn't fall on the teacher. Besides, do you really think teachers have time to hand out invitations along with everything else they have to do? Most schools have directories with addresses and phone numbers...use that.
In regard to this particular situation, I think it's ridiculous to invite every girl except 1. That's mean and I think your daughter is old enough to have a discussion about it. I think sometimes we try to sugarcoat things for kids when it's ok to say, "You know, you're right, this isn't really fair." You can't stop kids from talking about it and maybe it's a good thing for this other child to see the consequences of her actions.
M.L. answers from Hartford on December 08, 2009
Sorry to here that she is upset. As bad as it sounds maybe she could talk about the party she is going to. Her sisters and how much fun it is going to be!
The mom of the other girls should not have excluded one child. She seems to be the one with the problem. how could she do that knowing that it would hurt your daughters feelings. She should of invited her and then left it up to your daughter to come or not. If they do not get along then your daughter would probably not go but to exclude only her is horrible!
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E.G. answers from Los Angeles on December 07, 2009
hmmm... tough one but like you stated this other girl is not a first-choice friend to your daughter or good role model so I would leave it at that after all a bad influence is a bad influence. It's the birthday girl's choice of who the guestlist consists of to some extent. You could opt to build-up your daughter's confidence and not get too involved or make negative comments about this "other girl" in front of her otherwise you are fueling the fire and feelings that already exist. As a mother, its better to remain neutral and give your daughter support if she wants to talk about it. Remind of how special she is to her family, and other friends. Give her other events and things to look forward too and this "party" will eventually happen and pass and the hype about it in her class will pass too. On the day of the party, opt to have a mother/daughter day with her just the two of you and really give her the opportunity to speak her heart and mind to you without being judgemental. Sometimes a young girl just needs to vent and needs someone to hear her out without criticism. Be that person for her. But by no means plant seeds of dislike for this other girl in your daughter, she will realize things for what they are in good time without your biased input I'm sure she is very bright. I know it's hard for us mom's to watch our children hurt or experience let-down's in any way but they are part of life and as someone wise told us in our day, "No one said life was going to be fair all the time" and that old saying holds true event to this day. Hope that helped and I am a mother to a third grade girl so we are not far behind!
E. G. Fontana, Ca.