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Sunday
Oct272013

The Blood, Sweat and Tears of Birthday Party Politics

Can we cancel birthdays?

Or, if not, can we at least agree to some rules? Or maybe some guidelines?

I’m not really sure where to start, but maybe an “is this going to make a kid cry?” checkpoint might be a good place to begin.

I’ve hated birthday party politics since I was a kid. Most of my friends could invite whoever they wanted to their birthday parties and they handed out the invitations at school. In our house, the rules were a bit different. I could invite whoever I wanted to invite, but I had to invite the two other girls my age who lived in our area, whether I wanted to or not. One of them was a friend of mine, so that was fine. But the other one was a popular girl and I was…well…not. Every year, I was mortified that I had to invite her to my birthday part. Not because I wanted to be mean, but because  I was afraid that she would think that I thought we were friends. I was afraid that she would tell all her cool friends how boring and uncool my birthday party was. I was afraid that I might do something embarrassing at my birthday party that she would subsequently use to torment me at school.  The other rule was that I couldn’t hand out the birthday invitations at school because someone might be hurt that they weren’t invited. I insisted that it wouldn’t be a problem. Everyone who would want to come to my birthday party was invited and the only ones who weren’t invited were the ones who were too cool to talk to me. But my mom insisted that we spend an evening driving all over town to hand deliver birthday party invitations to the homes of each of my friends. It seemed a bit silly to me. Even if the invitations weren’t handed out at school, people obviously talked about birthday parties at school.  Although I didn't like my mom’s rules, I know why she had them. She had been left out of things as a child and didn’t want anyone else’s child to feel the same way that she did. Her rules were based on the “is this going to make a kid cry?” checkpoint.

This year for Emma’s birthday, we left things fairly wide open in terms of the number of invites. We were having the party at our house and most of the expenses were going to be the same whether there were four kids there or fifteen kids there, so we let her invite as many friends as she wanted. This seemed like the easiest way to ensure that no one was left out. Of the 10 kids or so that we invited from her school, three came to the party, one said “yes” (two days after the RSVP date) but didn’t show up (no explanation), one politely and promptly declined, and five didn’t bother to RSVP. Emma kept asking over and over again why Julia didn’t come to her party. “Maybe she was sick,” we said when she asked with her sad face, but would it have killed them to call or send an e-mail? As for the five who didn’t bother to RSVP at all, I have no words. We left a phone number and an e-mail address on the invitation. We gave people plenty of time to RSVP.  Why didn’t they bother? I don’t know. To make matters worse, when Emma went to her friend Sophie’s birthday party a couple of weeks later, all of the kids who didn’t bother to RSVP for Emma’s birthday party were there.

A few weeks ago, Karen wrote about birthday party politics too:

She found me in the schoolyard, a few days after all the invitations had been handed out.

“So,” she said, smiling, “My son has had his first taste of rejection.”

Blink. “Excuse me?”

“Well, my son said that the some kids were talking about your daughter’s birthday party, and when Paulie* asked Mischa about it, she said that his invitation was in the mail.”

I didn’t track down anyone in the school yard, but I did wipe away plenty of tears. From the first day of preschool until sometime about a month ago, Julian and Josh were best friends. They were inseparable. Recently, Josh hasn’t wanted to play with Julian as much at school. Apparently Kevin told  Josh that he shouldn’t play with Julian anymore. These things happen from time to time on the school yard and usually last a few days and then things are back to normal. But when Josh’s birthday party invitations came out, Julian was the only one who didn’t get one. Everyone else in their circle of friends was invited. Julian, the only one he had been friends with for four years, was not invited. He asked Josh why he hadn’t received an invitation. Josh said he just hadn’t gotten around to it yet. He asked Josh’s brother why he wasn’t invited and he said that Josh was still working on the invitations. So we waited. Julian wanted me to call Josh’s parents, but I didn’t want to be THAT mom, so I didn’t. The Friday before Josh’s birthday came around. As we were leaving the school yard, Brett’s dad waved at us and said “I guess we’ll see you tomorrow afternoon at Josh’s party!”. No, we wouldn’t. Instead, we would spend the weekend consoling a six year old boy who couldn’t understand why his best friend hadn’t invited him to his birthday party.

I don’t know what lesson to teach my kids. Do I teach them that some people are just jerks and that is the way life is? Do I teach them to have a stiff upper lip and take rejection in stride? Do I just let the tears pour out and be there to cuddle them and pass them a tissue? I don’t know. All the options seem to suck.

Real politics make my head hurt. Birthday party politics make my heart hurt.

* Names have been changed to protect the children whose parents didn’t apply the “is this going to make a kid cry?” guideline.

Originally posted on the Bad Moms Club in 2011. Image credit: dawnzy58 on flickr.

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Reader Comments (40)

My children aren't old enough yet for this to be an issue, but I'm really not looking forward to it. Parents, though, need to step it up and RSVP. It takes all of 30 seconds, sheesh.

October 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterOlivia

Gah this sucks..not the post of course the situation...I HATE birthday parties..yes me of all people the 'party lady' ...I hate them for all the reasons stated above...With 4 kids I have had my share of this crap...Parents seem to forget the little lessons around 'party etiquette' that become really big lessons inline later on....Like having the respect for people to let them know if you are coming or not..This is a simple way to teach your children about respect for others...Sorry for the tears..and I wish I had any kind of answer on what the lesson is here...like you said there is no good one.

October 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdee brun

my daughter's first school birthday party no one showed up - we invited every little girl in her class and not one person showed up. none.

She sat waiting in her beautiful, specially picked pink party dress - with her tea party all set up - for friends who would never show up.

It was heartbreaking.

I called two friends and they quickly brought their older daughters over as last minute substitutes so at least SOMEONE came.

Birthday parties make my stomach hurt.

October 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertarasview

I like parties but not the kind of politics that goes along with them nor the gift grubbing, nor the expectation that everyone in the child's class has to be invited…when my children were young we had a couple of parties which were okay and then I offered them a larger birthday gift if they did not have a party which was very costly. They liked the idea. We always had a cake, their favorite dinner and some family over on their actual birthday. It worked like a charm.
Now with grandchildren we actually have requested gifts for kids that are needy and the only gifts for the birthday "girl" come from grandparents and parents.
Up to this point, 5yrs old, we have only had very close family friends, adults and children for dinner or a breakfast party which is so much fun. Summer birthdays work out better when not having school friends. There is something that is workable…our no presents annoys some but we don't care. Kids have to learn that politics is everywhere and their birthdays don't have to be gift grubbing, all inclusive affairs.
Just a grandmother's thoughts.

October 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLorette Lavine

This is a really good topic. I wish I had an answer too. No matter what, it seems there might end up being a child who cries. Which sucks big time. With one child in grade 6 (heightened politics) and one child in Kinder (where parties are a big deal), I am trying to navigate this territory with the least amount of tears as possible as well -- for us and other children.

October 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCoffee with Julie

Maybe it's a good thing that Nikki's bday is December 23. For now, that will be my reason why we don't have a big party outside family.

My heart hurt reading that...

October 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChantal

I think a good lesson is to show our kids that its ok to feel sad, rejected, disappointed, etc. this is life and it's futile to think we can protect them from it. All we can do is be there with open arms when they release their tears. Our job isn't to avoid tears, it's to show them that we're not afraid of their tears and we're here to listen and comfort them.

October 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercoffee mama

Tara:

That is so heart breaking. :(

Did the people RSVP to say that they were coming and then didn't show up? Or they just didn't respond at all?

One year when we didn't have very many RSVPs, I also ended up doing the same thing as you and inviting friends to bring their kids over.

October 27, 2013 | Registered Commenterphdinparenting

I'm glad to see this post and I'm not sure there are good ways around it. Weirdly, it doesn't seem to end either! A man we've known since he was 14 recently married. We know his fiance, and almost everyone in our mutual group was invited to the wedding. We do karate together, and all the "karate kids" (kids of those of us who train) were in the wedding, excepting ours (which, as a mama of a special needs kid, you sadly get used to). I was asked to alter two flower girl dresses. We were not invited to the wedding.

We thought it was weird, but understood it could be about economics. My 7 yo was however devastated that her karate friends got to wear princess dresses to a princess party (her idea of what weddings are) and she didn't get one. Gah.

October 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKim

We can relate. Last year we invited the whole class (which was very small), plus siblings and out-of-school friends. Many of the school friends didn't RSVP, one mom said yes and didn't show up, and one family brought 3 extra kids. This year his pre-school class is 2x as big and I am very ready for your list of rules... :)

October 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commentereirn

oh what stinky behaviour of the parents, not even to RSVP! Unbelievably rude. I'm am dreading this stage of childhood as I remember very clearly what it feels like. Good luck!

October 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLou Lou

Tara - I am so sorry! Your post made me cry.

I am dreading the whole birthday party thing. Our children are too young for birthday parties and not in daycare/pre-school so this hasn't come up yet. But I was the girl that was left out, plus, after my first birthday party with my classmates when I turned 7, my mom did not have a birthday party for me again at home. We might have done one more at 8 at the roller rink, but I really don't remember.

I'm wondering about alternatives to birthday parties. Perhaps an outing that just happens to include cake? Or stick to just celebrating with family?

October 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKerrie G.

My daughters are only 18 months apart in age, so most of our tears come from the "why is she invited and I'm not," place, which also sucks.

When they're about 8, you can talk them into doing something really special (read: expensive) with one or two closest friends (the kind you KNOW will show up) instead of having a party and inviting the whole damn class - at that point dinner and a movie at the theater, or a sleepover, or a trip to Dave & Busters is much more appealing than a big chaotic party. Thank God.

Until then, you teach them that not everyone gets invited to everything, you teach them that there are different "tiers" of friends - you have people who you're just friends with at school (use examples from your own work environment), and people you're friends with outside of school, and people who are your BEST friends, and because those friends are special each person only gets one or two...

Sadly, it's all preparation for real life. And it still hurts as an adult, but at least it's not devastating, because we learned to deal with it as kids.

October 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

My son had his first real birthday party last year. I limited the number of invites, having no idea that so many would decline or not show up! For whatever reason, I never had this issue with my daughter (much older) but maybe because I knew all of those parents better? Anyway, I ended up calling each invitee when I didn't hear back--with the aim of getting 5 guests to make it 6 kids (with a friend kind enough to have a backup boy in case). With so little RSVPs, I also warned him that other people might be busier than us and something could come up at the last minute and that it was not the kid's fault, so don't be mad.

October 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarilyn

This made me cry too. That's simply terrible and unthoughtful. After family couldn't be bothered to show up to my son's first birthday party, I decided from then on out, we will take him and a friend or two to a special event. He might be hurt from not being invited at school, but I'll spare him the feeling of being stood up for a few years. Where is the common courtesy?

October 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLC

This kind of thing terrifies me when my kids are older. Our plan right now is to only attend birthday parties of very close friends, and we don't have parties at all for our kids. We have a special family day, to celebrate the birthday as a family. As they get older we'll let them include one friend (maybe two, depends) and choose a special outing.

October 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie

This totally broke my heart. I just don't understand how people can be so rude and pass along that behavior to their children.

My son was born in the same year as five of my close friends, and we all had boys. They are turning one now and we have parties every month to attend from now until April! My husband and I decided that until our baby is in school and makes friends of his own, we'll invite ALL of our friends' kids over (plus family) to do something low-key.

After that, we plan to stick to the rule my parents had for me: You get to invite whoever you choose, but the number of guests has to be equal to or lesser than your age. So when our son is in kindergarten and turns six, he will get six invites to hand out (discreetly or by mail). Of course right now I hope he chooses my friends' kids, but I think we all understand that as they grow up and go to different schools and participate in different activities, they might not be best friends, and that's okay.

The gifts are my biggest issue at this age. We don't watch TV, therefore our son has no clue about any popular characters. We don't give him toys with batteries, and to be quite honest, he has everything he needs already. Of course, we could donate the gifts or ask for none at all, but as our little guy gets older, he'll probably enjoy getting gifts from his friends and I don't want to deny him that OR be "that mom" who says that he only wants books, clothes, or wooden toys! This party stuff sure is tactical...

October 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura H.

This is heartbreaking. Although I cringe a bit at the technology, using evite can be helpful - the program sends guests reminders, with their current response to the event, and you can actually see who has read the in invite or not; sometimes you do get the email wrong. There are some people in my family that are chronically bad at rsvping, and I know this going in - it is my choice to include them, and I know that I will likely have to call, and I never tell my son that they are coming. In fact, although he is only just three, we don't talk about the guests a ton, as let's face it, things happen, and I don't want to set my son up for sadness. We certainly talk about some of the dependable people, but that's it. We also try to give him a wonderful experience on his birthday with just the three of us, and this is what really counts. Certainly he has already learnt about disappointment (cancelled play dates, etc), but as an adult, I know expectation can cause a great deal of pain. When our son is sad about someone's behaviour, we acknowledge that sadness, and do our best to support him. In the end, I really felt your sentiment "I have no words," for the people that didn't bother to respond at all; there really is no excuse...and these are probably the same parents that publicly insist their child say "sorry" on a regular basis, despite feeling otherwise. We also write thank you cards together, which our little guy already understands is what you do when you receive a gift (we request no gifts, but family is ok). Anyway, at 41 it often seems that in the end, there are really only a handful of people one can truly depend on; it's a bit sad, but a reminder to cherish the good ones!

October 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLKG

I had anxiety that my son's "friend" and her parents were not going to show up to his FIRST birthday party this past weekend. I know a family who has this rule: every other year, only family is invited to a small party at home.

Can I just make that a rule for every birthday party, starting next October for the 2nd? He has three cousins close in age and sort of near us. That's enough kids, right? UGH.

October 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnne-Marie

When I was young, I just distributed sweets at school. For the birthday party at home, we only called family friends and cousins, who of course, we could always count on to show up. I think I will continue with this tradition for my kid. It's very sad that little kids have to go through this kind of rejection in the name of birthday parties.

October 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTarana

Ahhhhhh I am right there with you on this! Geeeez parents how hard is a text, call or email!? LOL! Little lessons to be learned from situations like this for kids and well for mom too. So hard to see our kids sad so here we are making up "stories" to protect them, and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

October 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Oh my.

Interestingly, my 8yo was happy to not have a friends' party last year because he had a hockey game that night and his hockey buddies and Ben shared a cupcake in the dressing room after. He had scored a goal too so that was his best party ever. Not sure if we can ever replicate THAT feeling...and the now 6yo with the social life of a holy roman emperor's wife (sheesh) wanted a party but in all the hoopla of Thanksgiving and my birthday and other celebrations, it got 'forgotten' and I certainly never mention it...but yeah. The politics, the etiquette, the manners, or lack of, the having to choose. And the expense, and over-the-top decorations and cake, not the mention the many many presents....

I'd be happy to forgo it all. Since when did kids' parties become such 'events'?

:)

October 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJavamom

In our social circle evite or email invitations are pretty much the norm. We are homeschoolers so do not necessarily see everyone we want to invite on a weekly enough basis to pass out invitation and many folks try to avoid the "paper waste" of anything printed - whether hand delivered or mailed. As far as I know there is not a major issue with people not RSVPing/ not showing -- though it does happen from time to time -- more the standard life catches you by surprise thing.

The biggest issue we've had with no-shows is when kids are with non-custodial parents during the party time... don't know how much this might be an issue elsewhere.

As for the left out/hurt feelings. I think it is okay, if not essential, for kids (and adults!) to learn how to handle the disappointment. How many times are they going to see a group of their friends having gotten together on Facebook and they weren't invited? We can't all go to everything all the time and the truth is that there are personalities/politics/practicalities involved in how such things evolve. I support my kids when they aren't invited and if they seem really shocked/hurt by being further outside the circle than they thought we discuss ways to build relationships over the next year -- almost always resulting in an invite a year later if it was important to my child. I also try to help my kids be sensitive about talking about parties around children aren't invited. Of course you don't lie about anything, but you don't yell "see tomorrow at Sam's!" unless you are certain that that person will be there -- a little like not asking a woman when she's due unless you see a baby crowning ;-).

October 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjessica

For my sons, the only birthday party guest will always be close friends' kids and relatives, whose parents I'm friends with. I'm NOT letting my children be disappointed by some "cool children" at school. They can party elsewhere for all I care.

November 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVeronica

We recently had a 'big' birthday party for my now four year old. I don't expect to do another big party for many years, but fortunately this one was successful. We had about 30% of the invitees not respond at all, but I've learned that in general no response means they're not coming and I don't have the patience to chase them down and confirm they're not coming.

I'm very torn about letting my daughter attend other kids parties. On one hand, I feel like if other families want to have the big celebration, who are we to decline, but on the other hand I feel guilty about accepting invitations that I have no intention of reciprocating (see above--no plans for big parties for years). That thought of the disappointed birthday child who doesn't understand why friends aren't coming to her party is what pushes me to accept when it fits in our schedule. I try to take the opportunity to talk with my kid about social etiquette, get to know the other families who attend, and generally make the best of the situation.

The presents are a whole separate issue. I can't quite break the social convention of birthday presents (and we've not been to parties where gifts were specifically not requested). I've heard from others of parties where the invitations specified no gifts and then everyone brought something anyway... at least in that case, the parents might be able to donate them without the kid being upset about it. We didn't specify no gifts and I really wish we had!!

Like most other posters, though, both sides of the situation end up making me uncomfortable.

November 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

I am so torn on birthday parties. Well, not torn on hating them. I really do. And with four kids, I don't want to spend every weekend dividing and conquering as we get kids to parties. I also don't think kids need huge parties. This year we finally started doing very small ones. I let my first grader invite four friends for a sleepUNDER on a Saturday night. I forbid her to discuss it at school and hope her friends also did not. However, it is always possible that word will get out. The only way to avoid those hurt feelings is to go back to the parties with 20 kids.

November 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNina Badzin

I am not a fan of birthday parties. The exclusivity that begins so early amongst children makes my stomach turn. Thankfully my girls (twins) have summer birthdays - kids are difficult to track down in the summer. From birthday number one we have always had a neighborhood party - adults & kids. I go all out! Piñata, games, food, cake, prizes etc. My rule is no gifts from guests, everyone brings a donation of school supplies for the local school system. I have yet to attend a chillds party where the child actually needs anything. I have shown up to parties with children telling my girls to "give me my gift!" before we have even walked into the house. Whatever it is that stops me from leaving I am not sure - probably the same reaction that stops me from pitching the gift across the street and saying "there it is, go get it". I'd prefer to just make a donation to a local charity in the childs name, but that would probably result in playground drama.

November 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterstephanie

So glad I found this article and the adjoining responses!
I loathe the entire kids birthday circus. When my oldest was 4, we had a birthday party to attend at least twice a month. It got old real fast. Every child in his preschool class, it seemed, had a huge bday bash. Crazy . We only had one "big" party for him when he turned 5, but it was only 10 kids, 5 sets of siblings, actually, and I was friends or acquaintances of the 5 mothers, either through his preschool or from being next door neighbors. Anyway, my gripe is with Family who can't be bothered to attend my daughters 5 the bday this month :( my mil didn't even call her or send her a gift, she texted me to tell my daughter happy birthday! How awful is that??

January 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

Like a couple of your commenters, we don't have parties outside the family for any of our four children aged up to 9 so far. Too much effort and they feel a bit pretentious (why should we expect tons of people to pause their own lives and come celebrate some predictable milestone in OUR lives?). We, the parents, also dislike going to other people's birthday parties because now it means reminding our child to select some really meaningful-as-possible junk to give to a kid who will get a bunch of other junk on the same day and probably won't even remember who gave what anyway. We usually have a little cake and present or two at home, invite the cousins maybe if it isn't inconvenient, and that's about it. No stress, no presents expected, just cake and a little get together. I think it's better that way, and more realistic. After all, how many parents have huge events for their birthdays?

Good topic!

January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlex | Perfecting Dad

We don't do birthday parties, we'll go out for brunch or dinner as a family but that's it. I would rather let the monkey take a friend or two out for a movie or to an amusement park throughout the year than have to deal with birthday party drama. While each outing is more expensive than they would be with just one child, I still think we save by not having a birthday party. No RSVPs, no loot bags, no hurt feelings. Plus if our monkey or the invitee is not up to it that day then we reschedule. I always remember getting really upset at my own birthday parties because it was just too stressful. Plus what if the kid is sick or out of sorts that day?

January 25, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterrachel

I am going thru this now. My son is turning 5. I rented a community center (non refundable) and hired an entertainer to do his party. I invited his whole class, 22 kids over 2 weeks before the party which is this coming Saturday. To date One cousin and one classmate have said they are coming. I don't want him to cry if his friends don't show up. My plan is to let him enjoy what we gave set up for him regardless. Nobody is going to ruin my son's party. I just know I will not be showing up to any more birthday parties.

May 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterZanya

My daughter, a competitive swimmer for 10 years, recently celebrated her 16th birthday. Instead of having a big party, we decided going out to breakfast after practise would be nice as June is such a busy month with school, etc!
Only 3 girls replied, two who couldn't make it although she could tell that actually the entire team had "read" the message but did not even bother responding!!
Eventually 3 girls joined her for breakfast, none of whom showed up with even a card!!
She isn't as rattled as I am.... she says she has learned to never expect anything from her FAKE friends, I am sickened as we have know several of them for many years!! The world is full of self absorbed teens who would rather spend their time on the phone socializing rather than actually make the effort of going out. I have watched it evolved and feel sorry for the world they are creating for themselves!!!

June 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

I don't think there's anything wrong with being "THAT" mom who calls up Josh's parents to find out why her son wasn't invited. I just found out my son wasn't invited to three different things hosted by this one mom in class. I've had three different people ask me why my son wasn't invited to any of these events. My son, Nick and this other boy, Kris are friends at school and they eat lunch together. Other parents were picking up on the vibe that this other Mom was sending out. I finally talked to the mom and she awkwardly told me that some other mom told her that I was a horrible person. Basically, she didn't like me even though she never got to know me. At least I found out that my son being excluded from get-togethers wasn't because she didn't like my son. And now if my son gets excluded again, I can just explain to him that it's because the other boy's mom doesn't like me. I just can't decide whether I want to be a bigger person and invite her son to future events that I am planning.

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

I've never had a problem in the past with people coming to my sons party because we've had them at play centres, where more or less the whole class is invited. For my daughters 5th birthday I have a small budget so decided to have a little tea party, we invited around 8 girls. So far 1 has confirmed she is coming, 3 has sent regrets and we've not heard from the rest. I feel awful for my little girl:(

December 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

I know how you feel. Organizing a kid's birthday party is really frustrating We had one for our daughter 6th y.o last year and similar things happen. Only 2 out of 15 parents who were invited bother to RSVP (one or two days before the event), 3 couldn't come, and the rest... No Idea! I cried a week before the party because of this and still have trauma to invite friends from school.

January 20, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRegina

I booked a party last year, sent out save the date notes in February, and sent out invitations before spring break. After spring break (six days before the party) another student sent out invitations for the same day. Since that party is at a more fun place, most of the kids are going to that party even though we invited people first. My son doesn't care. He is only 6. But it is making me sick. He is only in kindergarten and I am already feeling like I never want to have a party again. I feel the rejection and I hope it doesn't get worse over the years.

April 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJen

I'm glad to know I'm not alone. And all I can say is "Thank God for cousins!" You can always count on them to come to your kids birthday party. We had a huge day planned for my daughter's 5th birthday and invited her whole class. She was so excited! Only 2 kids from her class came and one left early. 3 people said they were coming and didn't show. I didn't hear from anyone else. She asked me why no one knew how to get there and now says she only wants parties with mom, dad & brother. I am hurt so deeply because of this for her - it makes me cry and it breaks my heart because her heart was broken. Should I post something on facebook about it? I feel like doing that to let people know what an impact it had on her. Or is that being too dramatic?

May 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Amy, I'm sorry that this happened to your daughter.

I don't know the right answer. Part of me says to post something about how fun the party was and how you wish more people could have been there. But then I think that it is probably a bit too passive-aggressive.

It all makes me really happy that my little girl hasn't had to deal with any of this yet. I guess it is one of the positive side affects of not sending her to pre-school.

May 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKerrie

My situation is horrible because, my kids only have one cousin. We also don't have close friends, just acquaintances. My daughter is turning 7 and wants a birthday party. I am terrified, no one will show up except her little cousin. I also don't feel like I'm a great hostess, I myself never had a birthday party. My plan is to have a jumpy house, a few games, pizza and cake. I will keep my fingers crossed.

December 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

I hate birthdays. I just wanted to do something special for my kids, but we've found that we can't even count on family when it comes to our kids' birthday parties. My baby is turning 1 and none of her aunts, uncles or cousins will be there - same thing happened when my oldest turned 2. From now on, we're keeping it to just parents and grandparents. When they're older, we'll see about doing something small with their closest friends, or maybe doing a weekend getaway of their choosing instead of spending money on a party that only causes disappointment.

April 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

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