OMG! I Could Cry :( --- Actually, I Did!

Updated on February 14, 2012
J.M. asks from Chicago, IL
29 answers

My daughter was invited to the next door neighbor’s Valentine Party for 5-yr olds. I decided not to go, because I’ve noticed kids have a tendency to act up when their mom's are there... and, that includes my own child (lol) However, I was a nervous wreck the whole time, because this was the first time she had really been anywhere without me.

4 hours later my daughter came home and told me some stories that just broke my heart. She said the lil. girl who had the party (Mia) didn't want anything to do w/her. She kept saying my daughter (Madi) couldn't play dress up, or go in the room w/her and the rest of her friends.

And then to top things off, my daughter said Mia’s mom (Sheri) was upset with her, because she pulled out toys that she didn’t know she wasn’t supposed to. My daughter says she only did that, because no one would play with her! So, here I send my kid over there to have a good time and they leave her out of things and then get mad at her when she pulls out toys (she didn’t realize she shouldn’t have) to play by herself.

Then, my daughter said Mia told her that they were all going to beat her up b-cuz she wouldn’t leave from downstairs. She started clawing at Madi, but when Madi kicked out and showed them her karate moves (lol – This is what she tells me in the middle of the story.. crazy kid :)) Mia told Madi she was gonna tell her mommy that Madi kicked her. I asked Madi why SHE didn’t go get Mia’s mommy, but she said, "No, I just kept telling Mia, “I'm sorry!" I was like, "Why would u be sorry Madi, u were just defending yourself? Mia was clawing at u (left a big red, puffy mark on your cheek) and she was gonna get the rest of the girls in on it... why did you feel you needed to apologize!?" She just shrugged. (Please know, I wasn’t trying to teach my daughter that she shouldn’t be remorseful and apologetic when she did something wrong or hurtful; however, to be made to feel like she did something wrong and had to apologize in this instance, was just unacceptable to me!)

Madi then said they all started throwing balls at her and didn't stop until she started to cry and they said, “Oh look, we’ve made her cry!” She went upstairs to tell Sheri, who came down and said, "Play nice.” Mia said, "I don't care, I'm not sorry and she's not playing w/us..." (smh) I just don’t understand why they bothered inviting Madi if Mia didn’t want to play with her, or if Mia has such an issue w/her!?!?

I am soooo heartbroken by what happened. Madi just sat there and took it all... she thought this little girl was her friend!?!? Not to mention, I feel like such a fool, because I sent Madi over w/all kinds of goodies and crafts for the party. (No other parent did... just dummy me!) I sent little Valentine suckers and fruit snacks for everyone and an individual gift bag for the party girl herself. (Uggghhhhhh!!!)

I know kids can be very cruel! NO kid (and I don't care who u are) NO kid is an Angel. They can all be mean and bratty at times (& that includes Madi), but I'll tell u what... I would NEVER have a party at my house where the adults were upstairs or in another room separate from 12 to 13 little kids. Because, we all know they are bound to get into some squabbles and petty fighting. But, to allow a group of kids to beat up or throw balls at one child by not being vigilant and/or in the same room!?!? I would NEVER allow Madi or anyone for that matter to treat a guest in my home like that - EVER!!!! Maybe that’s why Sheri NEVER lets Mia come over, because she’s afraid I’m going to allow Madi to treat “HER” daughter like she has treated mine!?!?

My mom tells me that Madi will learn from this, but to be truthful, I don’t see that happening... it’s like she doesn't have any self-preservation; being an only child, she’s so desperate for friendship and someone else to play with, that she just keeps going back for more. No matter what kids do to her! This isn't the 1st time she and this little girl have gotten into it and believe me when I say, I KNOW Madi is not innocent! She can be bratty herself, but I would NEVER let Madi get away w/treating people the way that little girl Mia does. My gut was telling me from the get-go that it was a bad idea to let Madi go, but I thought in a stupid way, that Sheri would protect her, that she wouldn’t let anything happen to Madi... Now images just keep replaying in my head; killing me(({tear...tear...}))

I want to handle this in a positive and less hostile/emotional way, but I’m not sure I can. I don’t want to wind up looking like the bad guy or the petty parent. Any advice moms?

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answers from Houston on

I have 2 girls and have not encountered such cruelty or brattiness from my kids or their friends. They all sound like peices of work. I would avoid all of them like the plague.

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answers from Seattle on

Wow, I am so sorry! I also have an only child who is just a tad younger than yours and I definitely get what you are saying about being desperate for friendship, my DD is the same.

There are just so many things that went wrong, it's hard to know where to start... I have to agree that a dozen kindergartners need adult supervision! None of this would have happened if an adult had been present to supervise and address inappropriate behavior.

Next, if I had a child over for a party or playmate and the kids just don't click that day I would call the mom. We have had situations that didn't work out and the best thing you can do is leave early and try again another time... Of course if no one is there to supervise, they wouldn't know something is amiss... So back to #1.

Last but not least, what happened happened and can't be undone, so make it a lesson for yourself and DD. Teach your daughter that she can request an adult to call you whenever she is uncomfortable at a friends house! Let her know that picking her up early is not a bad thing, there is no need to "stick out" a bad situation and you are not inconvenienced by this. Learning this now will be paramount when you are trying to keep her safe through the teen years.

Your lesson should be to be better informed next time to send your child to someone elses house, know where the kids are playing, who will be there, who will supervise, etc, etc.
Personally I would not seek a confrontation with this girl's mom but simply decline further invitations... obviously you have different opinions on supervision and they don't mesh well. No reason for drama, just say no thanks.
Also explain to your child that sometimes people we consider friends, arent really friend, even if we want them to be. It is a heartbreaking but important lesson to learn, that you are better off avoiding people that don't treat you with respect.
Good luck

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

My advice would be two fold. First, Mia is not Madi's friend. Time to stop pretending. Don't let them associate any more, since you say Mia isn't allowed at your house, no longer let Madi over to Mia's. If Sheri asks why, you can tell her that Madi felt bullied (use that word) at the Valentine's Day party, and ask why Sheri didn't step in. If she defends herself, say you do not feel she was properly supervised. The end. If you can't be that confrontational (I talk a lot bigger than I act ^_~) then just tell her you don't think their personalities compliment each other, or that Madi is busy with other friends.

Talk to Madi about Mia. Explain that people who act like that are not her friends. She needs to learn this lesson - she can be a nice girl without being a doormat.

Secondly, if she isn't already, get Madi into some activities to build her confidence and teach her to stand up for herself, as well as making friends outside of the neighborhood. How about Karate, since she's already got the killer moves? Where does Madi excel? Sports? Art? Something that will make her feel really proud of herself. I recommend staying away from girl-group activities like Girl Scouts at this age, though, because it can just be more mean-girl nastiness for a girl who doesn't quite know who she is with other children.

My heart would be breaking, too. Good luck.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

This is why, at this age, unless you know the mother fairly well, one does need to stay with their child at a party or for a playdate. If Madi and you had had playdates with Mia you would've known what her personality is like and how her mother would've handled the kids. Sounds like the mother left the girls to play on their own. Not good for a party.

Yes, it would break my heart too. However, I suggest it's important for you to let it drop and consider this a lesson learned. The more you dwell on it the more your daughter will feel overwhelmed and sad. Both of you feel the sad and move on.

You cannot change what happened. And you cannot change Sheri or Madi. Trying to talk with Sheri will most likely not help and add to your sorrow/anger.

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answers from Chicago on

If I was you I'd just not let my daughter associate with this kid or the others. I'd be clear about why, about what true friends are, and then I'd just let it go. I might even have a conversation with my daughter about how sometimes people need to be mean to others to feel better about themselves, and how sad that is. (I'm big on teaching my daughter that it is the responsibility of the stronger to take care of the weaker).

You can't change what happened, but you can model a good ability to bounce back quickly. I wouldn't say anything to the mom, I'd just decline further invites.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

What I'd do here.. Take a break from Mia and Sherri. Arrange other play dates and/or sign Madi up for some extracurricular activities. Just generally be unavailable for awhile and give it a chance to blow over. When you do get together again accompany Madi. It sounds like the childrens' age coupled a lack of supervision is responsible for this situation. Remember that you are neighbors and the girls might get along better with time and maturity. You don't want to start a long term fight.

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answers from Dallas on

I'd have Madi invite lots of individual playdates (Not Mia) over...that you supervise and orchestrate. The ultimate goal is for Madi to have positive social experiences, to learn from and to enjoy. I think little ones do better in structured environments. And then you can intervene when necessary and coach and comment and direct and instruct. And with the supervision you can witness which playdotes go better, and invite those girls back for repeat playdates. This also teaches Madi to choose relationships that are positive.

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answers from Albany on

Ah, and so the Girl Drama begins! Don't worry, you've only got another 13 years of it!


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answers from Houston on

Sorry your daughter was treated that way. My first is like that, no matter how bad they treat him, he will go back for more bc he is super social and just really loves people. He is the kid that always plays with the handicapped child or the child no on else plays with, it's just who he is and I love that about him. I don't worry too much when other kids are mean, simply bc part of life is learning and growing in your peer group. I even see it sometimes when I am with him and I try to bite my tongue and let him sort it out. But I do think it was good that she came and talked to you and that you can reinforce what a special girl she is and just explain that sometimes people don't play nice and don't do the right things and we can forgive them and move on. I would definitely not let her go over there again. But I do think you are taking it a little too hard. Life has it's bumps but if you show her how to get back up and get moving in life I think it will be better. If you seem really upset and distraught she may take it harder than is needed. My oldest is 4.5 and I don't plan on letting him go to a party alone for a while yet, so maybe just take it as a learning thing to go with her next time. Console her and validate her that those kids were being mean but help her to realize that it doesn't have to mark her life. I personally would not have my child play with that girl anymore either and I might give the mom a call and ask about it. Wish you the best, sorry your daughter went through that.

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answers from Wausau on

The thing is the mother should have been more watchful! I have a daughter that acts this way also and she just turned six...she won't throw things or anything like that but she does say "I'm not playing with you" So I tell her if you want friends to come over you play with them...that's why they are here! If you want to act this way your friends won't be coming over anymore" I can understand this breaks your broke mine when I read it! I try to protect the other girls feelings instead of my own daughters when she gets that way cuz I feel so bad for them! If her mom knows that her daughter is this way it won't be any suprise to her if you come out and say that she didn't want to play with your daughter and she was being picked on and she got the other girls to want to be mean to her to. But if she's one of those mom's who is in denial about the fact their kid can be so mean then the advice I can give you stops here....except that she shouldn't go to her house you can protect your little sweetheart. For one I have been told by mom's that my daughter was refusing to play with her friend and being mean about the way she was saying it....I KNOW my daughter is this way, and I don't tolerate it or take it personally...she gets asked why she does that then get punished and writes an apology letter. I'm so sorry about your little girl!!! Give her a big hug and tell her she is the sweetest girl you know...cuz she deserves that after that....poor thing!

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answers from Macon on

OMG....tear. I agree with some advice from the other parents....except when many of them are saying that she may have been lying. If u know for a fact that the mother was not there supervising then who's to say you will ever get to the "real truth". I too have a five year old and when she has stories like this as her mother u sometimes ( and i mean sometimes) can tell if she's telling the truth...and she described everything in such detail ( down to the karate moves *HILARIOUS*) then maybe she was being honest and u are sooo right kids are soo willing to have friends that they will put up with anything but as far as this little mia girl. NO WAY JOSE. i would keep my daughter as far away from her as possible. no need to be rude about it but this little girl can and will get worse and your daughter does not deserve that kinda of bully n her life.....if mia cant play at your house..dont show your daughter that u want her to have any kind of friends by sending her to their house. And the moral is of the story is: just let it go...keep your cant protect her from everything I know...but its easier when u know about it :) it'll be okay!! seems like ur doing a great job thus wishes...

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Yeah i would never of let my 5 year old go to a party on her own. I did this once for an hour when she was 8 and the kids started pickingon her but by then i had taught her to go to the mom and say I want to call my mom to pick me up. turned out the pta kids were being the means girls. I do not think a 5 year old would have the ability to make a call. And after that party I never left her alone at another party again unti she was 10 and was better able to defend herself.

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answers from St. Louis on

At this point you don't even know how much of what your daughter said was true. The first thing you need to do is tell the mom your daughter seemed upset when she got home did anything happen. Hopefully you will get the other side of the story before you start accusing people of things.

Then after hearing the other side look at what your daughter said and fit the pieces together and discuss it with the other mom.

There is just no way things played out as your daughter said, it just isn't possible. Clearly something upset her. It could be as simple as she was the only one there who's mom didn't stay and she wants to scare you into being there next time, ya know?

Find out what really happened and go from there.

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answers from Houston on

That's too bad... but 4 hours for a party? That is bound to happen with a party that long, with that age group and not much supervision and without her mom there. Go next time, it's common for parents to still attend parties at that age... especially for that long with that many kids. She was next door, she could have come home, and you should have at least gone and checked on her.

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answers from Tampa on

I hope you went over there without your daughter to talk to that Mom. If she allowed the kids to be dropped off without a parent staying it was HER responsibility to watch ALL the children. Your daughter was harmed physically, isolated then attacked verbally and emotionally from the rest of the party - all under that Mom's nose.

After talking with the Mom, I hope you do not ever let your child go someone where alone again until she's able to stand up for herself assertively, and NEVER let her play with that child again.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

You have learned a valuable lesson.

Never let your child go anywhere without you. You don't know how that parent was going to handle this party. You don't know for sure what actually happened due to their being 2 sides to the story, although I tend to believe your little one could not make something this sad up. The parents may have been setting up the cake or gifts, no telling what they were doing while this was happening.

You also learned to not let your child be friends with this child. When your girl has a party make sure to point out specifically why this girl is not invited.

"Sorry, this party is only for girls who are nice". Or "Sorry, you were not nice to Madi when she came to your house for your party." Or "Sorry, you don't like Madi so we are not inviting you".

This mom needs to know why too. She needs to know her child is a bully and if she already does then why in the world would you expect her child to be anything but one too. Stay away from this family.

Find a different group of kids to be friendly with. Don't you have church friends? Neighbors that are nice? Play groups through some organization like MOPS or some other kind?

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answers from San Francisco on


There is alot going on in your post. Bottom line, 5 is way to young to be left alone at a house where you don't know and trust the other parent, child, family etc. They still need mommy/daddy to help them defend themselves if they need to. Your poor daughter was trapped in a situation for 4 hours without an adult to protect her. Next time, please check on your daughter and see how she is doing--- 30 mins or 45 min into it to see whats going on. I think you learned a big lesson from this-- don't beat yourself up about it. But learn from it. I would go over and talk to Mia's mom and tell her you are not happy with what occured and ask her what she is going to do about it. GL

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answers from Kansas City on

these kids are FIVE!? why wasn't the mother supervising?? do you trust this person? did you know they would be allowed to play downstairs with no adults watching?

i wouldn't have let her go by herself in the first place, unless it was family. honestly i find it hard to believe that there weren't red flags before this. but now you know - and i would not involve yourself with this mom and daughter any more than you have to from now on. IF all this is true (and take it with a grain of salt - she IS five) these are not very nice people and no one i'd want to have anything to do with.

having said that, my 5 year old comes home from school saying 'no one likes me' and come to find out, his two best friends wanted to play batman and he wanted to play transformers. it's not a huge deal. i just tell him that sometimes friends don't want to play the same things and that's okay. they don't have to play what he wants, and he doesn't have to play what they want. just take what she says with a grain of salt, don't overreact or go nuts because it may not have been exactly as she says it was.

but i sure wouldn't let her go to anymore birthday parties alone. she's only 5.

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answers from Dover on

Allow yourself to calm down a bit (I would be in furious Mama Bear mode!). Then call your neighbor and tell her that Mia was very upset when she came home and you would like to find out from her what took place. Although I am sure your daughter is not lying, she is definately telling you what happened from HER perspective. Madi would tell it different. The truth would be in the middle.

It is reasonable to all the kids to play a bit without the constant hovering of parents but they should have at least been listening in and/or checking in so nothing got out of hand. YOUR lesson learned is to not assume they will supervise the way you would. Next time, at least stay for a bit before you leave to be sure they are properly supervised. A 4hr party is also a bit long for a party for kids of this age especially without parents there.

Mia's lessons here include how NOT to treat a friend, how she needs to ask to call her mom if she's needs to come home (this is true ANYTIME she is not comfortable in a party situation), she should always seek out the supervising adult immediately in a bully type situation, AND ask permission for getting out items that aren't already out as part of the party.

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answers from Houston on

Talk to Sheri and get to the bottom of this. First ask what happened and get her side, before you tell her what your daughter said. Tell her you felt comfortable enough to send your daughter alone, thinking Sheri was going to watch over all the kids. In addition, tell her you obviously wouldn't have sent your daughter over if you knew she was going to be bullied by the birthday girl. What mother would? Ask Sheri if her daughter came home from a bday party with the same stories as your daughters, how would she (Sheri) feel?

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answers from Kansas City on

I'm sorry to read that your baby had such a terrible time. If you decide to speak with Sheri, I really hope she is nice and understanding and that you two can come to terms so that the girls can make up... However, in my experience, mom's with kids like Mia usually get quite defensive. Even if Sheri is not rude she will probably make excuses for her daughter's behavior or even say it didn't happen the way Madi said, which will be even more upsetting. I know how much it hurts when our children are hurting. I hope you and Madi are able to put this behind you and feel better soon. Please update us. Big hugs and best wishes.

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answers from Chicago on

dont send a 5 year old to a party without going yourself, some of this behavior can be considered age appropriate, albeit not nice, for 5 year olds!

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answers from Detroit on

Keep her away from that kid!! Mean!
I would call her mom, just so shes aware of why you will be avoiding her in the future.

Sorry Madi!!

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answers from San Francisco on

Deep breath.
Get the whole story before reacting in any way. Your daughter's version of what happened may be very different from what ACTUALLY happened.
Talk to the girl's mother, let her know your daughter came home upset and felt the other girls were being mean to her and left her out. See what she has to say.
As far as some people saying these kids should have been more closely supervised? They were downstairs not down the street! I think we all grew up playing in each others' basements, rec rooms and back yards. And I clearly remember being both the taunter and the taunted in different situations.
Instead of crying for your daughter, empower her. Talk about what she could have done differently. Like, if it was so awful, why didn't she just call you to come pick her up? She's learning social skills, she needs your strength and guidance, not your anger and tears. This is only the beginning, the girl drama can get very, very nasty.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Perhaps you should go talk to Sheri.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Tell your daughter that this little girl is NO friend. Don't go to any of her parties any more. Find better friends and it's not so bad if your daughter plays with boys.



answers from Chicago on

Sorry this happened to you. You've got all the responses you need - but I just want to say 4 hours is WAAAY too long to leave a kid at a party. My kids are usually done after a 2 hour playdate - 4 hours and a party at that sounds like trouble - which it was. Just keep that little girl away from your daughter - she does not need her in her life. And now is a good time to tell her not to have any exclusive groups and no one should be turned away to play if they want to be part of something.

Good luck! Hang in there!



answers from San Diego on

Ahhh that's sad! Kids can be so mean! My two are little so I don't have any experience with playdates like that!! Good luck to you with figuring it out!


answers from Phoenix on

Yikes, and these are FIVE year olds? Can't wait to see how these girls start to act in Jr. High! Sounds like my sons first sleep over when he was 8, same kind of things happened but he had to suffer ALL night! It was horrible, I told him no more sleep overs until he was much older and he actually AGREED!!! Poor baby, I felt horrible. And I talked to the mom in detail before saying he could go to make sure we were on the same page and I felt like he would be safe. Well, the biggest problem I didn't think to ask was if the boy had siblings at home...uh yeah, he did...FOUR older brothers who all picked on my son the entire time he was there!!! So lesson learned the hard way and thank God he wasn't physically hurt. So I guess you learned a lesson too and will wait several years until she's older. Good luck!!!

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