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Children's Birthday Parties 2009-07-29 06:00:55

Mommy Dearest: Don't Want to Invite Troublemaker to Party

Mommy Dearest,

There is a child in my daughter's pre-K class who is a bit of a troublemaker. When the session started, her mother and I arranged a few playdates for the kids, but I quickly discovered that we had different views on the type of behavior that was appropriate. Her daughter spent most of the get togethers hitting and scratching mine. I put an end to the playdates and tried to avoid engaging in conversation with the mom during drop-off and pick-up at school. My daughter's birthday party is coming up and I want to invite her entire class except the girl who will upset the other children. What would you do?

– Birthday Bash Mommy

To see the response from Mommy Dearest,


Birthday Bash Mommy,

While it was one thing to end the playdates due to behavioral issues and differences in parenting, it's another to single out a young child. It seems mean spirited to invite everyone in the class except this one little girl. It teaches your daughter that hurting someone's feelings is all right. I would extend the offer to the child and hope she takes a cue from the way the other kids are acting at the birthday party. Or, speak to her mother ahead of time and let her know what type of behavior is expected in your home.

—Mommy Dearest

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Sarana Sarana 8 years
I think you can not invite if there are also other children from the class you don't invite. But just not inviting her and inviting all other children seems too hurtful to me.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 8 years
Inviting EVERYONE except one child from the class is just plain cruel. You managed to survive "a few" play dates with this girl, so I think you can manage to get through the birthday party.
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
this sounds like a mom out for revenge against a little child. you aren't dealing with a terrorist, it's a 4 year old (or 3 or 5). if you invite everyone in the class but one child you will not look like the hero, saving the other children from the meanie. you will look like a supreme bitch. but then maybe that's appropriate.
MissSushi MissSushi 8 years
I think most of you are forgetting that she was hitting and scratching - these things shouldnt be okay by ANYONE'S standards, so the whole you are your own person argument really doesnt work there. Shes being physically bullied, and I agree that she shouldn't have to put up with it on her own time. School and other activities are unavoidable, but if she's hurting her, why should she be included? There's a good possibility of even rowdier behavior on her part with the atmosphere of the party and all of the sugary snacks. Both the mother and daughter need to understand that physically hurting another person isn't acceptable in anyone regardless of age. This is more then just being slightly rude or tactless. I agree that it sucks, and its really sad, but its something that shes going to come into contact with more and more in the future unless they work on her behavior. In my opinion, if she was just a bit on the rude side, i would include her, but considering she's physically bullying and that her mother doesn't seem to find issue with it, I wouldn't include her. This is the childs birthday party, its supposed to be fun. I think the rude coworker situation is a good example. You work with them, you're civil even if they aren't, but you're never forced to bring them on your fun out nights or planned occasions.
MuppetsForDinner MuppetsForDinner 8 years
No. It's not OK. Just because this child is not measuring up to your expectations of "what is appropriate" does NOT mean you should leave her out of the party. When I was little, a few of my friends' parents decided I wasn't the "right type" for their children to hang around with. Looking back, I suspect this was at least partly due to the fact that I was the only child of a single mom (pretty unheard of when I was growing up). I remember being extremely hurt because I didn't understand why I couldn't be included. I used to cry and ask my mom why, and really it often came down to some unnamed issue the parent had with me. It certainly wasn't the children. I'm telling this with the hopes that you will understand what it's like for the little girl. The issue you have is with the parents or it's your issue. It's just simply not right to punish the child.
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
Also, why not let the kid decide? You can't keep them from liking or disliking people. Even if it is just one person, it is understandable. You can choose to grin and bear it, but most people would rather not put themselves in an uncomfortable position to begin with. Everything needs to be done tactfully. Invitations in school is a no-no, and so is bragging about your party. It's damaging for kids to always have a bully around. You'd be surprised at how kids don't deal with it. They have to live with it, but they are unhappy when the trouble-maker is around. I see nothing wrong with a kid liking his or her whole class except one. In a preschool I taught at when I was in college, there was one little girl who was absolutely horrid. Children played with her because they had to -- but inviting her over for a play date? No way! To a party? No way! She simply didn't behave the correct way to be put into that situation. If my kid goes to school with a bully, that sucks, but nothing can be done about it. I would never have him or her put up with their crap on their own time. The kid who has a bad attitude needs to be taught that being mean is not becoming, and if you treat people bad, they will not want to spend time with you. Harsh lesson, maybe. Definitely fair.
sham28 sham28 8 years
I think Chrstne is right on point.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
hard question....obviously you can't leave the one kid out, but also, it would be an awkward situation to talk to the mother to tell her what is "appropriate" because obviously if she doesn't already know her kid is evil, she will take it badly
cheersdarlin916 cheersdarlin916 8 years
When my son was in his early years of school the rule was either all or none of the class was invited. It was kinda sucky but that meant no one had to be left out. That is why I chose to have my son's party at a party planning location and the staff ran the whole party and I just sat back and enjoyed it and took pictures and then if there was trouble the staff delt with it and not me.
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
The mean one's are very hard to deal with, and a lot of the times, the parents that I have seen with mean/spoiled/bratty kids turn a blind eye. Sure it's a crappy thing to do when it comes to singling someone out -- but in reality, her parents need to figure out a way to help her adjust her behavior. If they take their kid to the party, there is a huge chance that if their kid treats others badly, they will behave the way they always do about it. You could invite her and just say "I'm sorry, but these kids really don't need to be treated badly, so if 'Maggie' cannot behave herself, then it might be best that she be taken away so she can cool down" or something along those lines. I don't see anything wrong with doing damage control.
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