6Th Grader, Birthday Dilemma, Not Inviting a Friend

Updated on November 25, 2018
S.J. asks from Des Moines, IA
16 answers

My younger dd had a slumber party for her birthday a few months back. She did not invite one of her good friend who goes to a different school now (and because of that they don't see each other as much anymore). The main reason she did not invite her is because she gets extremely loud and aggressive in a group, but they have loads of fun one on one. This girl has ruined a few birthday parties through elementary school and I finally said...that's it...you can hang out one on one, but not in a group with her. We did invite her for a one on one "party" at a jump place and went out for ice cream, but unfortunately, through social media, she found out about the bigger party. Now, her parents won't talk to me and this girl is shunning my dd. I understand why she is upset, but I hate to see the friendship totally disolve - and we did invite her to a one on one party. I stand by my decision, because this last party went so much better than previous ones where this girl just took over and upset some of the other kids and my dd. Now what?

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So What Happened?

Yes, the parents hover quite a bit - and they are probably a big reason why the friendship is ending. I know they are offended - maybe more than their dd is since she isn't usually real sensitive. But I can't really tell them the real reason we didn't invite her - it would just inflame the situation and insult their dd. My dd is really sad to let the friendship go, but this girl won't return her calls - but interestingly, she talks with this girl's sister on social media and she's very friendly...go figure! I guess there's nothing left to do unless I contact the parents, but I feel like so much water is under the bridge that it wouldn't do any good.

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S.H.

answers from Santa Barbara on

If a woman (or girl) wrote that her boyfriend only takes her out to places they will never run into anyone he knows and never takes her to meet his family/friends; many responders would say 'he must be ashamed of you.'

Could you understand from their perspective it seems like you are embarrassed of this girl? Well, from you post, you say it.

You asked 'now what?' Apologize. You wrote to use how you feel, but you need to realize how brutal this is to the other girl.

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E.J.

answers from Chicago on

Let it go. Be cordial when you see them in public, otherwise let it go.
You did nothing wrong.
This is a negative social consequence: when you don’t behave at a party, people stop inviting you. Pure and simple.
Social consequences happen a lot at this age. It is not the parent’s job to shelter the child from the experience but to support them as they figure it out and help guide to make better choices.

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T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Sadly it's pretty common for friendships to fall apart in middle school, even with kids who have been good friends for years.
Since the girl goes to another school how exactly is she shunning your daughter, is she just not returning calls/messages?
As far as the parents go that is just really immature on their part. I know they are probably hurt for their daughter but honestly they need to grow up. Just distance yourself for a while and if the girls want to get back together let THEM take the lead. Stay out of the drama as much as possible.

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W.W.

answers from Washington DC on

TS3 - let it go. Obviously they aren't "True" friends.

They don't see each other. You don't engage with the parents on a daily basis - let it go.

Break off all contact. Stop trying. Tell your daughter she has found out this family's true colors and instead of stooping to their level? Just move on. This is life. Stuff happens. Not everyone is invited.

Social media? Can't really do anything about that. Their choice to be upset. Their choice to carry on. Are you going to be like them or are you going to be the mature one and walk away?

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D.B.

answers from Boston on

I think you've got your answer in the fact that the parents are the ones not talking to you! They're teaching their daughter how to bring drama into a situation.

So, there's no real opportunity to discuss it with them. But by 6th grade, parents should be backing out of managing their kids' social arrangements anyway. So, since they aren't in the same school and they don't see each other much anyway, and you're therefore unlikely to run across the parents at events or in the grocery store, let it go. If your daughter wants to see the other girl, she can call directly and make arrangements. If the parents get on the phone, I think you can say simply that you've observed it's better for the girls to see each other for one-on-one time (presumably the other girl doesn't know all your daughter's school friends anyway). You can certainly say that you've observed that they do better together than in a large group anyway. If they don't get the hint, I wouldn't go into details - the fact that numerous parties have been ruined and you never informed them is not going to improve things.

Otherwise, I would particularly work with your daughter on how to manage inappropriate or offensive behavior among her peers. This is a teaching moment, a chance to talk about how friendships sometimes run their course, how people sometimes don't behave in a positive way or exhibit the same values as your family. Life (especially in the teen years) is about making tough choices and walking away from negative situations.

Social media has its positives and negatives. But by 6th grade, kids should be used to not inviting everyone and also not being invited by everyone. Putting something on social media to hurt someone is bad, but sharing a photo of a party or a Thanksgiving dinner shouldn't be seen as a slap in the faces of all who were not invited. People who spend their lives being hurt are usually miserable. Talk to your daughter about the fact that she will not be invited to every party, dance or prom throughout middle and high school, and she needs to prepare herself with high self-esteem. If someone doesn't like you, does it mean you are not worthy? Or does it just mean that you aren't great friends with this person or that group?

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Usually by 6th grade kids know that not everyone is invited to every party.
That her feelings are this bruised is a shame but there's not much you can do about it unless you apologize and invite her for every situation regardless of whether she gets out of control in social situations.
I would not let her hold you/your daughter hostage to that sort of situation.
Middle school is a time when friendships majorly change around.
Looks like this friendship is over.
Let it go.

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C.C.

answers from New York on

I agree with all thoughts below except to add one thing:

**If** (and only if) you are truly friendly with the parents (regular tennis games with the mom, stuff like that), I think you are certainly free to "grab the bull by the horns" and have a conversation like this: "Claire, blame me, not my DD - the truth is that I *told* DD she could not invite Petunia to the sleepover, because of what I observed from Petunia on X and Y and Z previous occasions....."

Some "adult to adult honesty" might be warranted here. But only if you are "close like that". It could be a bit of "taking a village to raise a child" type stuff.

(Especially because that could *help* your daughter's reputation - why potentially force your daughter to be labeled a Mean Girl when you as parent are the one calling the invitation shots.)

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D..

answers from Miami on

I think that you need to let it go. Since they won't return your calls, it's not on you to go any farther with this.

Honestly, I wouldn't apologize. You don't have to invite her to parties. You don't have to explain why. It's not her parents' place to be offended.

4 moms found this helpful
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L.H.

answers from Abilene on

I’m sorry her parents won’t speak to you. I’m sure they feel justified in their feelings of their daughter not being invited as strongly as you feel justified in not inviting her. Based on what you wrote, I think it was a great idea on your part.

You can’t control how people react to decisions you make. Your daughter’s party was successful and without the elements you were trying to avoid.

I know you didn’t ask this, but maybe work with your daughter on being more assertive if someone she’s invited over is making her uncomfortable (or upsetting others). My daughter is 4.5 years older than my son and she had a friend who would sometimes be awful to him for no apparent reason (I witnessed personally).

I very calmly explained to her friend we don’t behave that way towards each other in our home. You can stop or I can take you home. Let me know what you decide.

I am VERY adamant that nobody makes my family uncomfortable (or mistreats) in their own home. So maybe role play with her on how to take a stand (respectfully).

I think it’s imperative we equip our kids - especially daughters- to speak up. I wish I had spent more time with my daughter in that regard.

Blessings!

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S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

now you let it play out.

good for you. you did the right thing, and sometimes the right thing has difficult repercussions. but you and your daughter both know your reasons.

it would be great if you got the opportunity to discuss it privately with the other mom, and if it comes along, take it. but their hurt is also understandable, so don't force it.

maybe reach out and do another one-on-one invitation and see how it's received. in a perfect world the mother would seek a discussion with you and you could be kind and honest, letting her know that there are behavior standards you find unacceptable in a group but are fine with the one-on-one friendship continuing. it's on her to work with her own daughter on coping with it.

but it's also unlikely.

how is your daughter handling it?
khairete
S.

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M.G.

answers from Portland on

ETA:
Read your SWH.
We've had parties where kids have been out of control, some had undiagnosed ADHD, some squabbled, etc. We handled it at the time, and mentioned it to the parents when they picked them up. Think of sleepovers, or laser tag parties, etc.
Certainly if this child had 'ruined' your child's parties in the past, and is a good friend she plays with regularly, I would have felt comfortable mentioning that to the parents at the time.
Just something to consider going forward. Then it wouldn't have come as such a shock now.

My son did not invite a boy from his school group (not good friend) to a party once, as he did not get along with the rest of the group all the time. He told him beforehand that there was a limit to how many he could invite. It just prevented him from hearing about it at school. The boy was ok with it (don't think he fully expected to go) and it prevented school yard upset. That's how the grade 6 kids handled it. Mind you - not a 'good' friend - this was a school pal. I think kids should handle it themselves wherever possible.
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I put myself in the other person's shoes, and then think like a child.

If this girl is a 'good' friend who has loads of fun with your daughter, and normally goes to parties, (if this was you, and you're a tween), how would YOU feel if you heard about it, as does everyone else, on the internet? You'd be hurt. I'd be hurt as an adult. I wouldn't shun my friend, but I'd probably want to take a break.

I think that's what they are doing. You may have a bunch of legit reasons. They don't know them.

I would give them space, and just leave it for now.

2 moms found this helpful

L.U.

answers from Seattle on

All decisions that we make and actions that we take have consequences. Good and bad.
So now you are just going to deal with the consequences of not inviting this young lady to your house for a party.
Good = you had a great party and everyone had fun.
Bad = the parents are mad at you and the girl feels hurt.

Was it worth it?

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M.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Oh the joys of social media.
2 thoughts.
1 - just let this go. This was probably not going to be a long term friendship anyway, since the girl moved schools. If you see them in public, be polite. Encourage your daughter to be polite, and if the girl wants to resume the friendship, your daughter can decide what she wants to do at that time.
2 - this is a teaching moment for your daughter with respect to social media. I don't know if your daughter posted about it or one of the other friends. But this is a moment to think about how actions can have unintended effects and those can be multiplied on social media. This time, she was the inviter that decided on a small group and left someone out. Some other time, she might be the one that is left out. Use this to teach her that it's ok to not be invited to everything so that she can handle it graciously when it happens to her.

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V.S.

answers from Reading on

You told your daughter who she can and can’t invite, but you blame the other girl’s parents’ hovering for the dissolution of the relationship? You see no culpability on yourself? Really? I’m sorry, but you didn’t teach your child maturity by micromanaging her friendships and keeping the party a secret. The right thing to do would have been to have an honest discussion with the parents beforehand. Even better, you should have realized that if you inject yourself into your child’s friendships, she’s going to get shunned - and honestly, why are you so upset or surprised you’ve been shunned? You shunned first.

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A.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

Nothing to do about it now. The girl isn't returning your daughter's calls. That is sending a message, and I would perhaps encourage your daughter to wait awhile before trying to contact her again. It's time for the parents to step back and let the girls either work it out, or fade out the friendship on their own. The fact that they don't go to school together anymore will help each of them process what happened in their own space, that's a good thing. Don't try to fix things. There are lessons all around here. It was about at this age that my younger daughter stopped having birthday parties because the drama fallout of who was/was not invited wasn't worth it. She just knew that some of her good friends were absolutely not friends with each other, so she saw them separately. If and when the girls do talk again, I would encourage your daughter to be honest, but tactful to her about why she did not include her in the sleepover IF her friend asks. Maybe this friend just needs some time for her social skills to mature, and she'll come back around as a friend to your daughter in a year or a few. Or maybe she will want to be done and move on. Either way, it will be OK.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.S.

answers from Terre Haute on

It is a sticky situation. I see it as an opening to a knew beginning. Do you really want them in your life ask them to get together and talk. If they are not interested then they are the ones missing out. Yet, if you’d rather them not be around one another maybe this is a blessing. You don’t want your child having to keep her friends out of fun things All of the time because that’s not right either. We shouldn’t teach kids how to push people away because one time it may be us. From experience

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