Daughter Only Girl in Class Not Invited to a Party

Updated on December 14, 2009
K.D. asks from Auburndale, MA
14 answers

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?

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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.

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answers from Boston on

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.

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answers from Boston on

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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answers from Burlington on

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.



answers from Boston on

K.- I feel for your daughter, I was often the one not included as a child. If she knows about the and is OK with not goig, since she isn't really friends with the other girl, perhaps she can take the high road and tell her friends, when they are whispering, that she knows about the party and they don't have to pretend around her. A hard line for a child, but definitely the better response. On the other hand, last year my daughter had a party with a limit of people, there was one girl in her class who was a bit of a bully and she was the only one who was not invited- I'm not saying your daughter is a bully, but perhaps there is a good reason for it! It's a hard life lesson that we all have to learn at some point. I think the hardest lesson at that age is that her best friend can be friends with both girls with out it be a matter of choosing side. I have a 4th grader and I know how difficult a year it can be. Perhaps if she remembers it is her sisters birthday as well, it will make it easier to not be going!



answers from Boston on


First of all it hurts no matter what not to be included. Second why is it allowed to give out invites in class. Our school does not let students give out invites unless everyone is included. Just do not let it effect her self esteem. Its hard but tell her to just ignore them. She has friends and seems like such a nice girl. I would also call the teacher to make it stop. Good luck!!




answers from Boston on

Oh K., I dread this day, I have a 6 year old who is in kindergarden, and playdates are hard. As much as all of us moms tell the girls do not talk about it in school, they do, and other kids feelings are hurt. As far as parties, well I blame the girls mother for that. She is obviousely not teaching her child to be nice, and have respect. I do not think it should be allowed to give out invitations in school unless every student is invited. That is the rule at my daughters school. Good for you and your daughter for being the bigger person. Your daughter is right in not wanting to be a part of that. This girl sounds mean and cruel, and she is obviousely lacking something at home. I teach my daughter to include everyone, and to never ever hurt anyone's feelings, because she does not like it when her feelings are hurt. Girls are so full of drama, and I am dreading the full blow that I am in for. I know its impossible to avoid, and I just pray that I am providing my child as you are with the right values and selfesteem to get thru it!! Good for you, I think you handeled this right on, and your daughter sounds like a great kid!!!



answers from Los Angeles on

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.



answers from Boston on

If your daughter isn't really good friends with her and she has better closer friends remind her of that especailly since the girl isn't a good role model or friend choice just keep reminding her that she always has so and so that will be there for her and is a great friend and that her sister's party is that day anways.

Our school also has the policy that you cannot give invites at school unless you invite the entire class which I think is terrible. You shouldn't be told who you have to have at your house plus I don't want 24 kids over my house and I don't want kids that my son doesn't get along with invited over either. Plus it teaches kids how to deal with disappointment. Its not like when they apply for college they all get into their first choice, or get the job they interview for.

edited: Its a violation of privacy at our school to give out student/parent info in a directory like the teacher on here mentioned and I'd be really upset with the school if they gave out any of my personal info. My son was sent to school w/ 10 invites and I told him to hand them out at recess not during class time. He has friends that aren't in his class. I see nothing wrong with handing out invites during recess it doesn't disrupt classroom activities and I can't believe any parent would expect the teacher to hand out invites.



answers from Boston on

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.



answers from Boston on

Hi K.,

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.

J. L.



answers from Boston on

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.



answers from Mansfield on

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:)


answers from Hartford on

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!


SAHM and WAHM and loving it!



answers from Boston on

Been there: I'm surprised the mother of the birthday girl would allow her to leave only 1 or 2 girls out of the whole classroom. The teacher should be told about the situation and discourage birthday party invitations in the classroom for this reason. School is not the place for this nonscense.
In addition. Make a habit of spending some alone time with her every night at her bedtime. Sit with her and ask her how her day was. Talk to her about it and how you don't think that it is fair either. She will feel better about it. She may learn something by it. Keep the communication open with her. Girls have a lot to say and also have a lot of ups and downs at this age and beyond.
Don't miss out on it. It's the best thing you can do for her. Try to let her do most of the talking. Make suggestions, and try to teach her to be a good person despite others.
Good Luck, S.

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