New Thing in Birthday Parties

Updated on January 01, 2012
S.H. asks from Tuscaloosa, AL
29 answers

So my DD, who is 9 and in the 4th grade, has been invited to quite a few birthday parties lately. Some are very close friends and others are just merely classmates. In both cases it seems that the parents have lost all sense in ettiquite. (sp?) They invite a bunch of kids and only select a few to spend the night. I think it's incredibly rude and inconsiderate of the other kids feelings. No they don't announce who is spending the night but everybody figures it out when some kids show up with sleeping bags and others dont. My DD has been on both sides of the invite. Just earlier this week she was invited to a party of a classmate (not someone she ever talks to or plays with, but she is a nice kid). One of the other moms called me and asked if I knew that only 4 girls were asked to spend the night. I didn't know about it, but once I found out I told my daughter how rude it was and that she could make her own descision about whether she wanted to go or not (she chose not to). I just feel like this is so rude. Am I alone in feeling this way?

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answers from Dallas on

Sounds rude to me. Either have a sleepover for a few kids and don't have a big party, or have a big party with no sleepover (or have a sleepover on a different night). I haven't heard of this happening here, but I don't like the idea.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I personally wouldn't do that, but I have discovered that life is a lot easier if you are easygoing and don't sweat stuff like that. Who knows what their logic is -- maybe they have a really small house. Which is exactly what I would tell my child if they were invited to a party but not invited to spend the night.

Which is better: stay at home and have no party at all; or go to a party but not spend the night? I would think a partial party is better than none at all, and the glass half-full approach is much more pleasant than getting one's nose bent out of shape.

Just my opinion.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Oh boy!

My DD is five, so we're not there yet, but. . .

As a teacher I'm smirking, not because this is fun for the kid who gets left out. That's horrible.

It's because class sizes are going up. This is bound to happen more often. What school boards don't know about the unintended consequences they are causing!

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Seattle on

I don't think it's rude. I had parties that way and was invited to some that way. Can you imagine having 15-20 little girls in your house trying to sleep? Or having enough room for that many kids? Or enough food to feed them all dinner and breakfast? No thanks.
Your daughter got invited to a party of a classmate whom you have said is nice. Your daughter certainly could have gone to her party but then YOU started in with how rude she was and that she didn't have to go to the party. Your daughter very well might not have cared that much since she isn't very close to her.
I think you are blowing this out of proportion. Maybe get upset if everyone in the class is invited but her.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

There were a few occasions where just a couple of people were invited to also stay the night for various reasons. They came earlier and stowed their stuff or their parents brought their gear after the party. One of SD's friends was on the opposite visitation schedule so if we could get the girls together, we maximized the time.

The flip side is that some parents don't allow sleepovers for their children, so sometimes the kids that leave are the ones that weren't allowed to stay, and the compromise is that they come for a shorter time.

I think that if everyone makes a big deal, then that's the problem, not the guest list. I'm far more annoyed at the parents who get bent because we invited ONLY our child's friends and not every kid in school. I'm sorry, but your kid isn't friends with my kid or we told her she could only have 5 for a sleepover or lazer tag or whatever...or both.

I'm sorry your child feels slighted. We usually had a sleepover for all but occasionally it was just for the cousins or the best friend and the kids seemed to understand that.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

No, you aren't alone. These parents would do far better for their own children to teach them to be thoughtful and kind; this scenario is neither. Have the big birthday party OR a smaller, more intimate slumber party. I think this falls into the "do our kids need to have EVERYTHING just because they want it or because the other families are doing it?" category.

In the big picture, there are always going to be kids who aren't invited to events... why rub their noses in it by making it obvious? I understand that it's likely more convenient for the family hosting to just roll it all, into one day, but I still consider it to be poor manners.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I think it's wrong to invite kids to a party and only some to an overnight. I understand doing it - as I wouldn't want 20 kids at my house for an overnight. it's wrong to broadcast it and rude of the parents to bring in sleeping bags to the party.

The gossiping that is going on about it is just as wrong. I think you are way over thinking this and blowing it out of proportion.

Telling your daughter she was not selected to spend the night was wrong - in my opinion. She missed out on a party because of your suggestion....does it matter that she wasn't invited to the sleepover? Come on - your child will NOT be invited to every event and asked to stay over...

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I don' think it is blatantly rude, I remember kids doing that even when I was little. Students are required in a lot of schools to invite all members of a class or the children want to have a large party, but can only have a few to sleep over. If only one child was being excluded, I would think it rude, but it sounds like most of the girls are being sent home and only a small handful are able to stay. The close friends are staying whilst the classmates aren't. It seems simple enough to explain that to a child, though I could understand how feelings could be hurt. But really, they would be more hurt if they were not invited at all. This is difficult for the birthday party family too, they are wanting to include all, but only have resources to do more for a few. Try and see it from the other perspective.
I think you did more damage to your daughter and could have explained it nicely, she was likely looking forward to going and could have understood the reasoning and still had tons of fun.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I would think they should do a sleep over on a different night. It is very rude and AKWARD!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I have seen those kinds of parties since my older kids were little. Nothing new, just rude.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on


My son is going to be 9 soon, and the days of the "big" parties are over. He is planning to invite 2 or 3 guests for dinner, a movie and a sleepover....not both! Sheesh. Seems people can justify just about anything these days.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I dont think it is fair. That is why, last night, we had them all sleepover. Yes, the party is only a few.... but no one is left out.

I do think this has been happening for a while now. I think it started when my teens were little. I cant imagine doing that to a child. How could you send them home, with them knowing the rest are staying :(

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Birmingham on

I'm surprise by your answers!

I don't think it's rude. Children have acquaintances and best friends.

I would like, as a parent, to invite her best friends to stay at night and in the same time, offer to the other classmates to have a party the afternoon, so they could see each other outside of school.

Usually I'm very careful with everything for children, but here it seems normal to me that children love some classmates more than others.
They must hang out together all the time at school, so it's obvious that these 4 girls are best friends for everybody. Why it would be hurtful to know as a kid that some peoples are friends and others are not? It's just normal.

She's not her close friends, so she's invited at a party, that's nice, it's better than nothing, and it open the possibility of a future friendship.
When it's gonna be her best friends birthday, it will be her turn to stay at home.

If I had a party with co-workers, It wouldn't shock me to know that 2 or 3 close friends decide to stay the rest of the night at someone's home. I would find it rude to say "Then just make a party for yourself!"

At least you are careful for your daughter, that's nice to see. But in my opinion the parents just think it would be rude if they invite just a few of the classmates, so they make these "time-for-everybody then time-for-best-friends" parties.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I'm with Mai - I'm very surprised by most of the answers. And I don't think this is a "new thing" - I'm 43 and I had parties when I was young, and only my very best 2 or 3 friends spent the night.
As a parent, I can tell you that *I* don't want 12 or so overnighters - and what about the boys? Are you guys only allowing girls to come to the parties? My daughter's birthday parties included boys and girls - so we should've invited the boys to spend the night too? I don't think so.
No one wants their kids' feelings hurt, but seriously, they're not going to die from it. And I cannot believe you told your daughter "how rude it was". I'm sorry, but that's one of the reasons kids feel so entitled these days. :(

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

I agree with you. I personally hate slumber parties, but it is mean to have some leave and others stay.

Here they are doing no presents or bring presents for x charity. my d wants to give and get presents. it is the parents forcing it so it is not joyous giving.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

ugh that is sad! i think that if the children are staying the night then the parents should bring their things after the party. i have been invited to stay the night both before the party and after as a kid.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

you're right - it's rude. if you only want a few kids to sleep over - which i fully understand - then only have the sleepover and not the pre-sleepover party. another reason to hate sleepovers!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

As a parent, I wouldn't get upset about it. As a kid....maybe I'd feel left out? Never had that happen so I don't know. I think it's an issue of "more is more" that many people have. I wouldn't feel comfortable having a party where some children have to leave and some children get to stay.
As my kids are growing and having parties, I'll just do what makes sense to ME. If my son is invited to a sleepover but there will be a general party beforehand, then it stands to reason that I'd hang behind to help clean up a little, and when the other kids have gone I'd leave my child's overnight bag and go home (OR just come early to drop off the overnight bag and put it in the room). If I'm not close enough to the parents to do that, I'm sorry but my kid won't be sleeping over there anyway.
Throwing a party: we generally have parties at a playground or park, pumpkin patch, maybe someplace with bounce houses, laser tag, games, or a place that has it's own entertainment (next year is a pirate ship). It'd be easy to have a little party somewhere and then the few that would spend the night can come to the house when it's time to leave the party. OR have a smaller party and those children spend the night. I don't think my son needs a party with 30 children present, that's silly. He'll get less presents with less guests, but that's not what it's about so who cares? Better friends, more meaningful fun is how I'd go.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lexington on

In my opinion, that is extremely rude and inconsiderate of the kid's feelings. If you want to have a sleepover for your kids bday party, fine, but don't have a bday party AND have select children spend the night. It's not like the kids aren't going to talk about it with each other! It should be one or the other in my opinion.

Poor baby...I hope her feelings weren't hurt =o (

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Bellingham on

Oh man, what kind of hell are these parents putting themselves through!?
I can't imagine running a party and then following it with a slumber party!! Rude? Just sounds dumb (or very energetic) to me!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

If we do a sleepover, we don't invite more than are welcome to spend the night.

But there are times where that happened growing up, and I was on both sides as well. Normally the parents have enough common sense to come early with the sleepover stuff or drop it off later.

I wouldn't do it, nor do I agree with it, but I'm not sure I'd be up in arms about it (not saying you are).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Very rude! My daughter is only in the first grade so we're not yet at the age of slumber parties but I'm not looking forward to them at all! Kudos to your daughter for making the decision that she made =)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Birmingham on

Clearly you are not alone in your feelings. But I disagree with the majority here.

When I was in grade school (I'm 35 now) this was not uncommon. No one made a big deal of who was staying over and everyone had fun at the party. I was the shy girl who often didn't spend the night, but I was happy to celebrate with my friends regardless! Seems to me now looking back, that the inclusion part may have been the parents' attempt at political correctness.

Unless parents/kids make a big deal of this "unequal" treatment, it doesn't seem to me that feelings should get hurt. Why not be happy about an invitation rather than upset by something beyond your control?



answers from Chicago on

Off the charts rude. Why would anyone want to purposefully exclude other kids? If they don't have the room, then have a smaller party. Sounds like
a blatant grab for more gifts.

What message is this sending to the "B"'list? Sorry, you don't rank high enough to stay for the entire party bu we'd love to have you drop by and give a gift...then get lost. Just sounds like a recipe for a lot of hurt feelings.


answers from Dothan on

I surely DO find this new 'trend' rude & obnoxious! We have either the traditional party for a few hours @ home or @ a fun spot OR the sleepover.

I once answered a post about a child who wasn't invited to a friends party & the mom told the child's mom that she didn't have room but for so many, I consider that hurtful & rude & said so, ended up I got a post later from the mom who was sorry I was so angry cuz' she understood the other mom's point of view...soooooo...I won't elaborate on my 'angry' point of view.

I would not want my child attending such a party!



answers from Washington DC on

I agree that it's incredibly hurtful to the children who aren't invited to stay over. I think I can guess the reason behind this trend: Parents who just can't say no to their little darlings' desires to have a "regular" party AND a sleepover. I'd tell my child her party has to be one or the other -- a party, or a sleepover, not both events running one after the other. The kids whose parents allow this kind of party that sends some kids home while "the chosen" get to stay will end up with kids who are way too used to getting what they want, when they want it....



answers from Providence on

I think it's super rude. I imagine it's partly due to many classroom policies that require that if you invite one kid, you invite them all (or all the girls or boys). It's an effort to spare feelings, but when the parents turn around and treat their guests unfairly, it is obviously not working. Maybe you could talk this problem over with the teacher. S/he may agree to send out an e-mail about the classroom policy on birthday invites and address the issue of hurt feelings over the sleepover issue. I guess if nothing else it's a great time to use this rudeness as a lesson for your daughter- that we should treat others as we would like to be treated. Anyway, I COMPLETELY agree with you. SUPER RUDE!



answers from Tulsa on

I think that's rude on the party child's parents. Our rule to any birthday party we have is my daughter has to have known the children for 2 years. Therefore, we don't invite the entire class, she has lots of other friends outside school and that would be 30 plus kids, I don't want that chaos even at a party place. This year my daughter has ONLY wanted a sleepover party, so she was allowed to invite 3 friends. No pre-party prior, that will be it - total of 4 girls. We will be having a family party for her that will include my very best friends and their kids, but that's on a different weekend even. There are ways around this to make it more comfortable for all involved, but a lot of times people don't think. Sorry you're in this situation, but I think it should be up to your daughter to attend or not to attend any party. And only sleepovers if you know the parents really well. Good luck.
~ J.



answers from Honolulu on

At least is better than what I had happen growing up. VIP wristbands that you could buy to eat at an exclusive table with the birthday girl.... Yes, this happened... And of course her best friends had VIP bands and didn't have to buy them...

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