14 answers

Inviting Siblings to Birthday Party

My daughter is making out her birthday party invite list. There are a few cases where there are sisters close in age and my daughter is really only friends with the one sister. In one instance the sister is her age and the other is three years younger and in the other instance the sister is two years older.

Do we need to invite the sisters? I would hate to have the sisters feel left out. The party will mostly consist of children her age so I'm worried the little sister will feel lost with the games (being only six at a nine-year old birthday party) and the older sister at age 11 might feel she's too old.

She doesn't know these kids from school, she knows them from sports and both sisters are in the sport with her. So it's not like we can say that she's only inviting classmates! But like I said, she's really only friends with the one sister.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for taking the time to answer! I was worried because in both cases she knows the sisters from team practice because they all practice together but she is only really friends with the one sister in each case.

I am going to have her send out the invite to the sister she is friends with. If the parents ask if the other one can come, we will say "yes." I'm sure there are lots of cases where only one sister gets invited since they are individuals of different ages and they have their own friends!

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My daughter is six and I often get invitations from her friends that specifically spell out "No siblings please! Space is limited!" Usually that's when it's at a gym or a specific place that costs more per person. My son is close in age and doesn't like to miss out so in certain certain circumstances if the party is at a place he likes like Chucky Cheese's, then I may ask if he can come and I offer to pay for him. But if you're having a party specifically geared towards 9 year olds, it's seems perfectly acceptable to just invite the one friend who is the same age, not the sisters, older or younger. If the parent asks you, then you can decide, but I don't think you should feel that you have to invite them or that they're expecting to go. Have fun!

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My daughter is six and I often get invitations from her friends that specifically spell out "No siblings please! Space is limited!" Usually that's when it's at a gym or a specific place that costs more per person. My son is close in age and doesn't like to miss out so in certain certain circumstances if the party is at a place he likes like Chucky Cheese's, then I may ask if he can come and I offer to pay for him. But if you're having a party specifically geared towards 9 year olds, it's seems perfectly acceptable to just invite the one friend who is the same age, not the sisters, older or younger. If the parent asks you, then you can decide, but I don't think you should feel that you have to invite them or that they're expecting to go. Have fun!

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I would not invite siblings who are not your daughter's friends, unless these are family friends. You don't need to worry about siblings feeling left out, they are not invited to most birthday parties and are likely very used to their sisters going to parties without them, and going to parties without their sisters. Kids need to learn that you don't all get to do the same things, and sometimes it's your turn to do the fun thing and sometimes it isn't. This is an important lesson about the way that life functions.

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Allow her to invite who she'd like. It would be different if they were cousins or something, or she was mad at one friend and didn't want to invite her out of spite. Know what I mean? In this case, it's just a lesson for kids that just because one gets invited doesn't mean everyone does. My triplets are learning this and they're 5.5, two boys and one girl. My daughter at the beginning of preschool got invited to a little girls birthday party and the parents were concerned that the boys would have their feelings hurt, and they were. But I told the parents that this is something they're going to have to get used to. They're three different people and are going to have different friends growing up and will be invited to different things. It's just part of life. As long as it's not mean spirited and it makes sense (inviting girls her own age) then let her invite who she wants.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

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Allow her to just invite her peers. Do not include the siblings on the invitation and this will be totally normal. If they were in school together, you would not be inviting the siblings of the peers. Do not start this habbit or you are setting up a pattern for other activity invites as well. I bet you the siblings will be fine with it. After all, it is a part of the growing process. I bet you the parents will not even give it as many thoughts about it as you have; unless you are making a big deal of it. Even throw some cute little paper in the invite saying "Shhhh you are invited to the 8/9 year old birthday club." "Come celebrate as Ashley, joins the 9 club." Then you are stressing the age factor and they will get it. To be honest with you, I bet they are not expecting for the siblings to be invited. Now if these were relatives, I could totally see the concern; but not with sports friends. So just invite the ones she is actually friends with and I bet they will not think twice of it. I bet you are stressing and they will not pay attention unless you bring it up. At the worst senerio, you will invite one and the mom calls and ask "what about Kelly?" You then say "well of course she can come, just thought she may feel a little isolated since she will be the only one there who is not in 3rd/4th grade." Parents sometimes gets things when referenced to grade than age. The truth is at this age (opposed to toddler/preschool age) they all have their own friends and I bet the siblings have been invited solo to other birthday parties just from school peers. So I bet you they will be fine and do not feel bad at all. Give your daughter a birthday ((((HUG)))) from us moms. Good luck!

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My first instinct is to tell you no, do not invite the siblings. My three daughters were never invited to the celebrations of their sisters' friends unless the family were also friends with the family and there was a relationship between the other sibling and the child the party was being held for. I never considered it odd that they were not included on the invitation and I do not recall ever having a parent ask if other siblings could attend.

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It all depends. Including siblings is nice, but not necessary. What does your daughter think? Does she want to invite them? Does she know them at all?

At my middle daughter's last birthday party, I did invite siblings. They were either neighbors or classmates of my younger daughter. Some of the siblings chose not to come, which was fine. I was in a "the more the merrier" frame of mind anyway. It was a lot of fun. Some of the younger kids were better behaved than the 9 yr olds!

Whatever you decide will be fine. Enjoy the party!

It's very kind of you to consider inviting siblings -- that's so nice!! As the Mom of two kids really close in age (just over a year apart -- so they all play with each others friends), I do not expect my son to be invited along to his sister's invitations and vice-versa. In fact, I look at birthday parties as a special occasion just for the child invited. Each of my kids will have many invitations over the years -- and this is one of those rare times that they don't have to "share" with their sibling.

Have a happy birthday party!

You're not obligated to invite the siblings. And if you look at it from the guest's perspective, they will appreciate not feeling obligated to give two gifts.

Depends on where the party is. My kids birthdays are June 13th and July 13th, so we do a party in the middle for both of them. Since there in the summer, we do a backyard party (this year I rented a dunk tank) and we invite families. Mostly our family and friends and then I'm letting them each invite a couple of friends from school - on those invites it will say so and so and family. That's how we do it because of the party situation outside and we can have lots of people. If it were at a facility, then I would probably limit to kids her age.....

I am so glad you asked this question! I agonized over this very thing as I sent out my son's birthday invitations last week. This is my "only" child after having 3 grown-n-gone. I've found many things to be very different for this generation of children. Since siblings already tag along at scout meetings, etc, I figured I should invite them (this is a skating party). I'm glad to read the answers that it is OK to not include siblings. I had raised my other children to not expect to attend their sibling's friends' parties. From the answers you've received I now know that it's OK to not invite the siblings next year (when we're planning to have a more expensive party).

i think if the kids are going to be dropped off then you only need to invite your daughters friends,

but if its a party where the parents still stay, the sisters may show up no matter what!!

My daughter does include sibs in her children's birthday parties because usually her kids know the sibs too and they play together at other times.

If the party would be appropriate for those ages and you want to invite them, that's fine. If the party is more geared to a specific age and having them would be or could be difficult then don't.

I'm not sure in your description if the sibs are all playing on the same team or at the same time so that they all know each other. If your daughter spends as much time with her friends sibs as she does with her friend then I think they might feel left out. But if your daughter and the child her age are friends and only peripherally involved with the sibs then they probably won't feel left out. Kids are aware of age differences and often don't want to be involved with younger sibs parties.

No, you do not need to invite siblings if your daughter isn't friends with them and doesn't play with them often. I was NEVER invited to birthday parties for friends of my brother or sister, nor were they invited to parties for my friends.

I just had my son's 3rd bday party a couple of weeks ago. Several of his friends have older siblings (ages 5-7) that I did not invite. None of the moms cared and no one asked if they could bring the older sibling. I did allow moms with young babies to bring the younger siblings, but that was my choice; they did not request it and actually chose not to bring them.

Don't invite them and don't feel bad.

K.
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invite only your daughter's friend. this was a question a few days ago only the kid had a twin or triplet sister. it is not your responsibility to invite kids who are not your daughters friends. I would invite the ones she plays with and be done with it.

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