Child Being Left Out - Victoria,MN

Updated on June 28, 2010
A.B. asks from Eden Prairie, MN
25 answers

Yesterday our neighbor had a birthday party for her daughter and invited all of the neighbor kids around us except our daughter. All of the kids range in age from 5-8 and my daughter fits in the range. One of the other neighbor kids earlier in the week had mentioned the present they had bought for the party, so I knew it was happening and made plans to be away from the neighborhood, so my daughter wouldn't see all the kids going to the party, but when we got back everyone was outside playing and she ran over to join in, as they all do when they return from somewhere. She saw that everyone had facepainting and got it from he party. The Birthday girl was not there to see it, but my daughter ran home crying and upset, not understanding why she was left out. She has cried a couple of times since asking why she isn't liked and she thought they were friends. She was invited to the party last year, and I do not recall anything happening then. I understand it is her party and she can invite whoever she wants, but I don't get why they would leave her out either and would like to turn this into a learning experience for my daughter (and me), without coming off as negative about the girl, or the girl's mother who had the party. We see them on an almost daily basis because all of the kids play outside and are with each other at some point during the day. I have never had any negative conversations with the mom or with her children, so I always thought we had a cordial relationship. I know the invite wan't lost, because the mom had mentioned she needed to have nice weather on Saturday and caught herself before finishing why it was she needed the nice weather since I was a part of the conversation. I wish a lost invite was the reason. In hindsight, I should have just said I had heard about the party and asked for the time, so I could take my daughter elsewhere. I thought about it while I was standing there, but there were a few moms (all thier kids were going to the party, so they knew what she was talking about) standing around and I didn't want to cause an uncomfortable situation. I would just like to know why she wasn't invited, so I can work on any social skills, if needed, before she starts kindergarten next year. Is it ok to ask her mom why they chose not to invite my daughter, or what would be my best course of action? Should I just forget about it? I just don't get why you would leave one child out like that. Thanks for any advice.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Sounds odd, ESP if you have always been friendly. I would definitely ask her about it and give her a chance to explain. There could be a misunderstanding there and if you don't ask, it will always bother you. Good luck!

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answers from Casper on

I would focus on your daughter here. It's fine to talk about it and say "it hurts to not be invited, doesn't it?" Allow her to express what she would have done different, and ask her what she thinks may have happened. Say "perhaps do you think they forgot? or did the invitation get lost in the mail?" Personally I think the confrontation between adults could get awkward, but as you ask your daughter what she wants to do about it, she may decide that she wants to ask her friend what happened. Help her practice what she will say, and how she will handle rejection should it occur. I think this is a great albeit painful opportunity to learn some valuable rejection-handling skills, or (I hope) to learn that sometimes people mean well and things aren't as they seem sometimes.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

that exact same thing happened to us last year. we had moved to the neighborhood about six months before. i am very social and met all the moms right away. including my kids there are 6 kids total in our neighborhood, exact same age, just weeks or months apart. we were standing in a neghor's yard when one of the moms ran to her house and came out with invitations. she handed them to all parents except me and even said outloud: ...'s birthday is in two weeks we are doing it at this place. wow. i was shocked. the other moms and dads were shocked too. now, frankly, i do not like this mom or her child. come to find out nobody likes her. ok i said nothing. next weekend same thing she showed up and asked all of them, except me, if they were bringing their children to the party. well, turns out, nobody was going. funny huh but no one admitted to it. when she left i said man that is awkward, she's really weird or inconsiderate for doing this in front me. i was assured she was not inconsiderate just weird. ok, nobody from neighborhood went to her party. months passed and it was my girls' birthday and i wasn't going to invite that little girl. my husband pointed out that i was lowering myself to their level if i did that. so i invited her, and they came, all of them (we were newcomers to this neighborhood and everyone showed up, INCLUDING the mom and the girl). this year, we were given invitations for her birthday.
i never asked her if she lost her mind, or did she understand how rude that was. my kids did't get hurt because the day the party took place all neighborhood kids were outside, not at the party. but if my kids had been aware of what was going on, of other kids had gone, and my kids had ended up in tears i would have sought the mom to tell her that you do not do that to a young child. that kind of thing hurts them, makes them question why, how bad they were compared to others and what not. no mom, no child, should be allowed to do that and not be told how wrong it is. at least not in my book.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

you have alot of good advice...but if it was me in a situation like that i would just let it go and keep my daughter happy no matter what happens...just try to advise her that not everyone is the same and that there will be other birthdays that she will be invited too...she will understand even though she is just 5 yrs happened to my daughter and she is the same that she is in school she has a blast with all her new friends and forgot about what she enjoys going to birthday partys with all her new friends and she enjoys every moment that she is with them and she loves going to school now...i hope this was helpful...keep in touch with me and let me know how your daughter is doing

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I would call the mom. If she invited all the kids in the neighborhood and regularly plays with your daughter, I can't imagine her mother would let her not invite your daughter. Like PP said, I think it's likely that her invitation got lost (either pre or post delivery). The little girl and her family may be wondering why you ignored their invitation. Personally, i would have called the mom when I heard other kids talking BEFORE the party and said "I over-heard some of the kids talking about _______'s party. I don't want DD's feelings to be hurt because she was not invited, so I'm planning to take her out for the day. Can you let me know what time the party starts and ends to that we can be gone for that time?"

Anyway, now that it's over, I would just call the mom and say "DD's feelings were hurt that she wasn't invited to _________'s party. I'd just like to know why she wasn't invited so I can work on any social skills, if needed, before she starts kindergarten in the fall."

Hope this helps.


3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I would probably talk to the mom. Make sure the invitation didn't get lost. If that wasn't the reason, then calmly ask the mom why.
I you said....if there is a difficulty between your daughter and the other need to know so it can be fixed.
Approach it from that angle "helping your daughter with socials skills" not "being left out" when you have that discussion.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

My first thought throughout reading your post was that she WAS invited and somehow the invitation got lost. I would ask the mom. Just say what you told us-- that you'd heard about the party but since your daughter wasn't invited, you planned to be away for the day, but when you returned she saw all of the kids with their faces painted form the party. If she WAS invited, the mom will cut you off mid-sentence and say that she was invited and she wondered why you had never RSVPd. If not, then at the end of the explanation, just say your daughter was really upset and you're just wondering if there is a social skill you'd like to work on with her before she hits kindergarten, just like you said here

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answers from Boston on

I know you posted this question a couple of months ago, but I feel your pain. I agree with a combination of all of the above. I live in a great, very close neighborhood, with a bunch of kids. Unfortunately sometimes close is too close. I am VERY careful when I plan a birthday party for my kids where it will be visible or talked about that I include everyone, even if they are not my child's closest friends. My son did have a very small sleep over party (3 kids) and only invited 1 from the neighborhood, but we kept it VERY quiet and I reminded him several times to be careful of the other kid's feelings. I'm wondering if you did ask the mom or not. I probably would have, but I am fairly close with my neighbors and would have been surprised that they would have excluded my kids from such a visible party. My daughter has recently had some problems with being left out in our neighborhood of girls and it is soooooooo painful I can't stand it. I keep having to remind myself that these life lessons will suite her well someday, but they stink right now....



answers from Omaha on

Personally, I wouldn't ask the mom why your daughter wasn't invited. Watch your daughter interact with the other children and see if you can spot any issues that need to be worked on. Unfortunately, even at this age children will learn, usually the hard way, that life isn't fair and that as a parent it is hard to explain why they aren't invited sometimes. Is the group of children she is playing with really playing with her or she an outsider looking into the group playing. It could be that your neighbors child really doesn't get a long with your daughter and threw a fit at the idea that your daughter was going to be there. If that was the case, it would've been a great opportunity to show compassion and invite your daughter and that it wouldn't be nice not to invite her. Observation can be your best tool right now. It is too bad your neighbor wasn't the bigger person and explain herself and her action.



answers from Madison on

As hard as it is to have your child be the "only one" who wasn't included, the fact of life is, friendships among children are continually changing, sometimes day to day and even hour to hour. If might be something as simple as, at this point in time, the neighbor child just doesn't like your daughter. Two, three months from now, they might be "best pals" again, joined at the hip. Or they might never be pals again. Asking the mom or the child why she doesn't "like" your daughter might really not give you a very clear idea; the girl herself may not know.

I go through this all the time with my daughter. So and so doesn't like me. So and so hates me. So and so won't talk to me. So and so won't play with me. Why? I don't know. Does it pay to ask the child? No, because then that gives the child an edge or an upper hand, knowing that her not liking my daughter "upsets" her. Some girls will use that knowledge to be mean and nasty; others won't. But my daughter doesn't need to give them the ammo and then get blasted if it's the former.

I always reiterate to my daughter to be nice to everyone, even when someone's not being nice and/or playing with her right now. You always want to be friends (or at least aquaintances), not enemies, is my motto. She has had "friends" who suddenly stopped being friends, for no reason, then weeks, months, years later, they're friends again with her. Then there are other girls who my daughter no longer is friends with (but she's still nice to them) because they are not nice, mean, bossy, you name it.

It hurts to see them lose a friend or not be invited to something, but that sort of thing is going to happen to her all the way through life. The best thing is to explain to her the changing of friendships/expectations and help her deal with it now.

That is what I do with my daughter, and she is so much stronger for it. I am amazed at how well my daughter is able to navigate the "friendship" circle/cycle, and feel that will help her enormously as she gets to middle school (she is in 5th grade next year) and high school, when girls get real catty and mean and backstabbing.

I'm not saying it doesn't hurt, being the only one excluded, but it's a good way to start talking about friends, acquaintances, how friendships change, how to be nice to people, even when they aren't to you, etc. Personal relations is a minefield for any of us to navigate; you've been given an opportunity to teach and show your daughter how to do so. Teach her well.



answers from Rochester on

Is the other girl in school already? Or does she go to a certain church with the other kids? When I was in school everyone would get invited to everyone’s birthday party or sleep over or whatever and I never got invited. Finally I asked my mom why I never got invited to anything (we had a very small class of only 50 kids so everyone new everyone) Turns out they all went to the same church in town. We were not catholic and did not go to the same church so I never got invited. Also keep in mind that even starting at 5 the kids get really fussy. Is your daughter not wearing fashionable cloths (yes they start that already) My 4 year old son got teased in daycare because he told everyone his mom got him used cloths. So I had to start buying new cloths for him and then things got better. Hope this helps. Good luck!



answers from Oklahoma City on

I wouldn't question her about it! Just because you are neighbors and the kids have played together doesn't mean she is obligated to invite your daughter anywhere. Although you probably don't want to hear this, this probably won't be the last time your daughter is excluded from something once she starts school. I would just forget about it and move on !!



answers from Anchorage on

I think it is awful that this happened to your little girl. Is it possible the invite got lost? Or was there a fight with the other child? I would ask the mom, but be sure it is in a non-confrontational way. I would word it just like you did in your question here, that you are trying to see if there are some social skills your girl needs to work on, although I would suspect this was a careless over site by the other mom and not meant to be cruel in its intent.



answers from Detroit on

There comes a time when the parents have to tell their kids you can only invite 5 people, then you child may not be invited. The other little girl may have had limits you don't know.and wanted to invite your daughter but had to stick to a number per her parents. And there will come a day that your child will have to do the same thing. You can ask about the behavior issue if you
think you can handle it. they may say something you don't like. Just be prepared and remember its their opinion, not necessarily the truth. Good Luck



answers from Minneapolis on

if you are going to ask the other mom about it, be careful not to turn it into a guilt-dumping, e.g., don't tell her your daughter cried over it. and don't accuse her of "leaving you out" because she may feel threatened and would then not respond honestly.

if you're looking for constructive help to either help your daughter (or you) be better socializers, focus on that, not on the hurt feelings, or on their actions. like: "i was wondering if there was anything that my daughter or i did to cause us to not be invited to your daughter's party. i'd really like to help my daughter work on her social skills."

but like another poster cautioned, you may hear something you don't want to hear. or there may be a reason that totally unrelated to you and your daughter's behavior, so you may never get a true answer.

a friend of mine's child was suddenly cut out from a neighbor kid's life, totally unexplained, and months and months later, she finally found out why. turns out my friend looked just like the neighbor kid's delinquent drugged out mom and the caretakers of the kid got too freaked out by the resemblance.

so just be careful: you may end up getting hurt, or it may hurt that other mom more than you can realize to try to confront it.


answers from Detroit on

to be honest with you some ppl are just snooty booties. and they just might be those ppl.



answers from Sioux City on

I would ask the mom when it's just the two. Of you. And be sure to let her know how badly your daughter's feelings were hurt by the snub.



answers from Minneapolis on

I am sorry this happened to your daughter. I think this is quite hurtful and cant really find a good excuse for them to do such a thing. I would outright ask the mother, when your daughter is not around, the reason for not inviting her? Then just let her respond. You will need to be open to what you hear but I would definately put them on the spot and ask politely.



answers from Minneapolis on

As someone who recently threw a party, I would recommend NOT confronting the neighbor about why your daughter wasn't invited. Disappointment is, unfortunately, a part of life. My son carefully made a list of 7 friends he was allowed to invite. He is a sensitive person and very careful about NOT spilling the beans to those he was unable to invite. However, every year at least a couple kids find out they weren't invited and ask to be invited or why they weren't invited (they are 10 now). This puts him in an awkward position. To make matters worse, this year a new neighbor boy showed up at the door in the middle of the party. We had our son answer the door and reply that he was not available to play. The boy went home and returned with a gift. This was really very awkward, as we had only enough prizes, etc. for the invited guests. I was torn between inviting the kid in (even though kids my son knows better would have loved to come) or not. Decided not to reward a socially inappropriate behavior (party crashing) as the kid has been rather pesky so far and I've not ever met his parents. I can see now why my mother never wanted to throw 'friend' parties for us-- she was afraid of hurting kids' feelings. On the flip side, the kids who do attend have a great time... it's a tough one, but the guest list changes every single year, so there's always next year... As a consolation, young children have shorter memories and are less likely to hold a grudge than adults. I'd vote for acknowledging your daughter's feelings at the time (not dwelling on it) and leaving the neighbor out of it.



answers from Milwaukee on

Poor little thing. Brace yourself and buy the book, "Odd Girl Out" by Rachel Simmons. This is only the beginning....



answers from Minneapolis on

My oldest daughter turned 7 a few weeks ago and we had a hard time making the guest list. It's so hard to know where to draw the line. This year we had to leave some neighbor kids off the list because my daughter has made so many new friends in her class that we just had to make some cuts so our list wasn't massive. Unfortunately, kids are going to feel left out no matter what you do. My daughter is in first grade and situations like this are becoming more regular. I admit when I hear of playdates or parties that we are not included in I do feel a little left out and upset, human nature I guess.
So sorry you and your daughter had to go through this.:(



answers from Wausau on

I can certianly relate. My neighborhood was very close-knit and 3 or 4 families hung out together all of the time. My husband and I tried to become friends with them, our kids played together, and one of the neighbors even babysat my son for 3 years while I worked full time. They would plan camping weekends and parties. My son would play with them whenever they were outside. He, of couse, was very attached to all of the kids and the neighbor that watched him so long.
One of the little girls had a huge birthday party and he kept asking why he couldn't go (we didn't know about it, so we didn't leave our house). I just said that I don't know. The little girl even came over and asked my son why he didn't come after the party was over, so it was the parent's desicion not to invite my child.
We have since moved away and my son (who is now 4) still asks about when he can go and visit those families.
I was confused for many years on why our family was not included in anything the rest of the neighbors did together, but I decided it's not worth my time to try get to be someone's friend that doesn't want to be mine.
I guess I would just try to brush it off and let your daughter know that she is a good friend, smart, funny, etc, (especially if you aren't seeing any behavioral issues) and just tell her the truth----you don't know why she wasn't invited. I wouldn't say anything just to keep things cordial in the neighborhood. Good luck to you!



answers from Appleton on

I think you need to ask the other mom. You could simply say "Since my daughter wasn't invited to your child's party, I took her out of the house during that time. When we arrived home she saw the other kids...went to play...and came home crying. She keeps asking me why everyone else was invited and she was not. I do not know how to answer her but her feelings are hurt and the issue needs to be addressed. Is there a reason my daughter was not invited?". That way the mom will have to answer you honestly. I think you need to know as well, so that if it was a social issues it can be addressed and you can prepare her in the future if you think there is a chance this may happen again. Let us know what happens! I think this is such a strange thing for a mom to do! How would she like it if it were her daughter?


answers from Killeen on

Maybe your daughter should just ask her friend why she wasn't invited. You should be there for the moral support, but she could just ask the girl. Little ones have a much less awkward way of asking and answering uncomfortable questions.



answers from Bismarck on

Are you close friends with one of the other mothers? Maybe you could mention to her that you are wondering why your daughter wasn't invited to the party and how hurt she was because of it. She might be able to give you an answer or she may ask the birthday girl's mother for you "just out of curiousity" if you are close enought friends to ask her to do it for you! Or...if you are brave enough to do it yourself, go for it. I guess I'd find someway to get the answer to satisfy myself and my daughter's peace of mind.

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