Birthday Etiquette Inviting Classmates

Updated on March 07, 2011
K.H. asks from Merrimack, NH
23 answers

Hi Moms,

My daughter is in kindergarten and will be celebrating her 6th birthday soon. She would like to have a party with friends at our house, and does not want a huge party. There are 10 girls in her class. She would like to invite 4 of them. Is it okay to invite half the class? I obviously wouldn't pass out invitations at school, but I'm still concerned about the other girls finding out and having their feelings hurt. In addition, one of the girls my daughter does not plan to invite is someone she does have playdates with. I feel we should invite this girl, which would mean inviting 5 out of 9 girls. What do you moms think?


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answers from Dallas on

Now that I'm a mommy I look at things differently. The question I would ask myself is how would it make my DD feel to be one of the girls not invited? I would probably invite all the girls. Chances are they can't all come anyway.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Invite her friends, this is part of life, you're not always going to be included in mom you should invite that 5th playdate friend and explain that to daughter is she plays with her and enjoys her company doesnt that constitute friendship? Perhaps she feels forced on the playdates?

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answers from Chicago on

This one seems so simple to me. If you're concerned about little girls' feelings, then the only right thing to do is to invite all the girls. Can you imagine how many hurt feelings you could cause when the girls are all talking about the party the following week? How would your daughter feel if she was the one left out?

And I'm glad you're not passing out invites at school. I can't believe people still do this, especially if not everyone is invited.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

I always invited everyone-I think it is best-it speaks volumes and sends a clear message to everyone. You may be surprised who responds and who doesn't and who attends.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I understand not inviting everyone in the class, but why would your daughter not want to invite a girl that she has play dates with? Does she not consider her a friend? I mean, if it's someone she regularly plays with....
I know some people want to let their kids make the decisions on who to invite, but inviting 4 out of 5 friends? What's one more girl?
Sometimes as parents, we have to talk to our kids about other people's feelings, etc.
My supervisor at work invited everyone in our department for a lunch. I felt really bad that she didn't invite a girl who is only there one day a week. She commutes a long way to fill in for another woman on Fridays. She's not there every day, but she's important to the department and I felt really bad about the lunch being discussed in front of her, everyone being reminded the time and place, and the girl was definitely never included. If you're going to buy lunch for 6 people, what's buying lunch for 7?
I just thought it was kind of crappy to at least not have said, "You're welcome to come too if you'd like.."
Your daughter is 5.
If you think inviting the girl is the right thing to do, then do it and explain to your daughter why you think it's the right thing to do. Is she going to throw a fit about it? I would hope not.

My daughter was good friends with our neighbor's grand kid. Grandma was going to have her and her little sister the weekend of my daughter's birthday party because mom was having surgery. We invited the little sister too.
The girls had a blast and it kept their mind off of mom being in the hospital. Grandma got a break for a while.
I just invited the little girl. I didn't discuss it with my daughter first or ask her permission. I was the one paying for everything and I said there was room for one more. Simple as that.

Best wishes.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

It's just fine not to invite all the girls if your daughter wants a smaller party. My youngest daughter has never been interested in having a really large party. She's been to some of those and just finds them overwhelming. Just use evite or mail the invitiations, do not bring them to school. And remind your daughter not to discuss her party at school so as not to hurt the feelings of kids who are not invited. Still, kids get excited, and will often forget not to talk in mixed company. You should discuss the possibility with your daughter of her being put on the spot if someone else brings the up the party, so she is prepared to respond kindly, "I'm sorry, I could not invite the whole class, I had to pick just a few friends."

About the girl she has playdates with and she is not inviting, that doesn't seem right. Did she just forget to mention her name when you asked her who she wanted to invite? Or is she intentionally "not invited" I guess I don't understand why you would invite her to playdates but not to a birthday party. If your daughter is accepting playdates at the friend's house, she really should include her. If she doesn't like this little girl, then gently stop accepting and inviting her for playdates after the party.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I would probably invite all 9 to be considerate. Since it is at your house, the expense would probably be much less than if you had it at some kid of birthday party place. If some of the girls really don't want to come, then they will tell their parents and not come.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Cloud on

If there are only 9 girls, I think you should invite them all! Most likely some will not make it anyway. Because they WILL hear the others talking about the party either before or after and they feel hurt/sad at being left out........ It's KINDERGARTEN~! Just invite them.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I would invite all the girls unless I can't afford it or one of the girls is a bully to my kid. In my own opinion part of going to school is to learn to interact with other kids and socialize, and I think the other kids will now, most kids this age are not good at keeping secrets.
I keep seeing post about kids not having friends, including my own and I thing is because socializing is something there are not classes about. As they get older more and more small groups party are understandable and accepted but at this young age I think feelings can get hurt easy and even if they are not her friends they are classmate and maybe future friends.
Again, this is my opinion, not saying is bad if you go the other way around is just what I would do and why I think so.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

As long as the invites are mailed out, do not feel obligated to invite everyone. I know it's much nicer to invite everyone, but if your daughter doesn't want to do it, then don't. Just have her talk (or you could talk with them at the party) about not discussing the party at school since the others could get their feelings hurt.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

You can absolutely have the party exactly as you (and of course your daughter) want it. I really see little *obvious* sense in inviting girls your daughter doesn't play with and therefore doesn't know really well. Except:

1.) The party might be an opportunity for her to get to know the others.
2.) Your daughter might (and probably will) be the "uninvited one" someday. Just food for thought.

We've all been there mama and we do the best we can. We have had to limit invite lists for financial reasons and we feel bad about this.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

I would invite all the girls. Our rule is you are fair and invite the whole class. Only half usually show up anyway. Sometimes our son will say, "but I don't want to invite so and so". I tell him how it is only fair and ask how he would feel if he weren't invited. Then I remind him more kids means more presents! ;) That persuades him.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Let her invite who she wants. This won't the first or last birthday party all the girls in her current class and future classes have not been or will not be invited too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I have three kids and never invite the whole class. It is just too much. I would use "evite" that way not everyone in the class needs to know about it. I would invite the girl you have playdates with I think that would be rude.


answers from Dover on

Guessing her class has more than just girls so look at it as 5 out of 20+- kids. Don't hand them out and school and invite the kids she wants (it's her party). I would probably convince her to invite the one she does have playdates with.



answers from Dallas on

They have a rule at my sons school, that if you hand out invites in the class, they all have to have one - unless you mail them directly to their home. but there is only 10 kids in his class, so I did invite everyone, half don't come anyway



answers from Baton Rouge on

I allowed my daughter to invite the kids SHE wanted to invite to her parties. I did not invite kids that she didn't want to invite.



answers from Portland on

Well, if your daughter wants a small party, inviting 9 girls, wouldn't really be considering her. I did this a couple years ago too, and none of the other girls found out. Maybe just e-mail parents and don't tell the girls for awhile so they don't tell anyone. Parents can be trusted!


answers from Washington DC on

Invite the 5. Don't leave the one person out with whom she has playdates. That's crazy! Don't worry about inviting the others, although, we used to try to invite all the girls in the class because they do talk and chat and get excited. It's far more fun for all of them if they are all invited.



answers from Las Vegas on

My daughter was in kindergarten last year and we didn't invite all of the girls in her class for her last birthday party. We did pass out invitations as her friends were arriving to school so that we could do it without a big audience around. I also told her ahead of time what we were doing and that it was impolite to talk about her party at school because some of her friends were going to be able to attend and their feeling would be hurt if they knew they hadn't been invited. I also talked to the other moms about it too, so that they could tell their daughter's the same thing and also so that they could keep it on the OT themselves.

As for the daughter that you do have playdates with, you should invite her. Since your daughter has a relationship going on with her, it would feel like exclusion to her and her mother if they were to find out that she hadn't been invited.


answers from Boston on

I think it's awesome that she doesn't want one of those huge parties! They aren't fun for the birthday kid, for the parent, or for the kids who are in a big crowd. They aren't fun for the guests' parents who have to buy unique birthday gifts every other weekend! I also think it's very nice and appropriate to have a simpler party at your home. That's what we always did until our son was much older, and then we just took about 3 kids to the movies or bowling.

If your daughter were inviting all but one classmate, that would be a no-no. If she only wants 4, great. I don't know why you feel she should invite the other girl if she doesn't want to. I would explore that with her. Hopefully, parents will tell their invited kids not to broadcast it all over school, but if it happens, it's not your fault. Sometimes parents don't have very good manners, and sometimes kids don't listen. It happens. Instruct your daughter that, if asked, she should said something gracious like, "I am having a very small party." Kids have to learn to deal with disappointment.

That said, I would not accept every single invitation your child receives over the next year - she cannot go to every party herself. She should only go to those given by her favorites friends, and not say "yes" just because somebody spent a lot of money to take a party to a fancy venue. Those can be interesting lessons to impart through the years but it does help kids learn to select good friends and not worry so much about being part of a particularly big crowd and being loved by everyone.



answers from Boston on

We have never invited the whole class. This is not a grievous injury - not everyone gets invited to everything. If she wanted to invite 8 out of 9, it would be hurtful, but no one is being "singled out."

I would be inclined to invite the one who she is friends with, but did you ask your daughter why she doesn't want to invite that girl? Maybe she doesn't get along with the other 4 girls who are invited. Kids can be perceptive in that way. If there's no real reason, I would invite that extra girl. But I wouldn't invite everyone.

Good luck.



answers from Houston on

I have mixed feelings on this. My kids are 6 and 10 and we have never invited the whole class--even when they were in preschool. We normally have our parties at home. They have been invited to "whole class invite" parties and have in the last couple of years started turning down the ones that my kids are just not friends with. It is an opportunity for us to talk about friendships and while we can be friendly and polite, not everyone is going to be our good friends. On the other hand, in kindergarten, new friendships are being established so inviting all the girls might be ok if you are ok with having that many girls to the party. As far as the one that your daughter has playdates with--if they are friendly enough to have playdates with, why would you not invite her?

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