i'm curious - chime in. :)

We're approaching our first birthday with a child in elementary school.  It changes things a bit in that Moses has this huge pool of people that could potentially be included in his birthday celebration, but Doug and I have concluded that we aren't that family. 

I find huge kid parties overwhelming and Moses is naturally introverted so that made our decision of who to include easy: we let Moses pick who he wants to come.  As it turns out, he chose four boys from his class whose names I hear often.  He's happy, we're happy. 

We will be sending invitations in the mail or via email and we've talked to Moses about being sensitive to others in regards to his party.  We will also be sending treats to share with the whole class on his birthday so everyone is included on some level.    

I asked the question on my Facebook page: What side are you on: everyone should be invited to the party or let your child choose?  And the answers were both interesting and varied. 

While I don't feel the need to invite every child in the class, I would also never allow Moses to exclude one or two people purposely.  I would never hand out invites in front of other children or allow Moses to make others feel bad about not coming. 

My kids have been excluded from things in the past and I am sure it will happen again in the future.  That's part of life right as I see it and a chance to teach them valuable lessons.  I don't think less of the parents or the kids who have excluded my kids but maybe that's not normal of me.  Of course, I also don't believe in participation trophies either...so there is that.

So I'm curious...what's your stance?  Does everyone get an invite or do you let your child choose?
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Cristi Baxter Clothier said...

I would let the child choose who they want to invite. That's what I do for my boys.

In this day and time of limited funds it's more cost-effective that way.

I do love that you thought to make treats for the entire class on his birthday!

Tiff said...

I have seven children and it sounds like my view is very similar to yours. I would handle it exactly like you are... if you were inviting the whole class, no one gets excluded and an invitation goes to everyone. If the child just wants a few special friends, then the invitations do Not go to school(they are mailed, phoned, or emailed).
We usually only have "friend" parties every so many years(with 7 it would get overwhelming and expensive to do it every year) and just keep it to small family parties most of the time. Though I do always send a special treat to school for the whole class every year for the birthday child no matter what kind of party we are having.
So there is my take... I think you are handling things perfectly. And it's great that you are teaching your child to respect other children's feelings, so many parents lack doing that now a days.


Dee Bushrod said...

Our kiddies are now 6 and 8 and they have the choice over who they want to be at their parties. I think its only fair to them and they are at the age where they understand if they don't invite everybody - they need to be sensitive about discussing it at school.

Stel said...

Nope, we keep it small. I let them choose, might make a suggestion or two, and keep the numbers equal to the 8, e.g. 8th birthday, 8 boys incl mine. We also send treats to school for all to enjoy.

The Perfect Trio said...

My kids choose. No way I'd invite the whole class! That's way too overwhelming for me as the party thrower AND for the birthday boy.

I do take cupcakes to the school for the whole class. That's a special time for the birthday boy for sure!!

circlesofsunshine said...

well, we have lots of family/cousins so that has made the friend guest list for us a little easier because we decided a while ago that each child can choose a couple of friends to their party.
We have been to a lot of parties with TONS of kids and it really just isn't fun for any of the kids, not even the bday boy or girl. It is just too much. They have so much more fun with a handful of friends that they really enjoy playing with.

Al@PolkaDotsandPaisley said...

I totally agree with you. I think the child should invite who they want but at the same time I don't think it's ok to invite almost everyone and then leave out a select few.

Susannah said...

I always appreciated that my parents let me choose who I invited. Some years I wanted a huge party and some years I wanted three friends. That's what my hubby and I are planning on doing with our kids.

Maybe I feel that way because I don't like the idea of participation trophies either. :-)

MargaretB said...

I feel exactly the same way you do! I'd let him choose and unless he's choosing everyone except one or two kids, I'd go with his choices. I used to work in a school and it was our policy to discourage kiddos from talking about birthday parties at school (we also had a 'no passing out invites at school unless the whole class is invited' policy with the parents), to keep kids from feeling excluded. I think it's great of you to teach him to be sensitive and it's also great that you use your kids being left out as a teaching moment. I think the earlier kids learn that they may not be included in everything, but it's ok, the easier that reality will be for them later ( I am not a big fan of participation trophies, also) I always feel harsh thinking that, so it's nice to see other mamas that feel the same way :)

jennyonthespot said...

I agree! We do the same (my oldest is 13). Last Friday my 10 y.o. told me her "good" friend passed out invites at school. Everyone kept talking about the party... asking Livi if she was going to go... But she didn't get an invite. One of only a few who did not. I don't expect my children to be invited to every part (I DON'T WANT IT EITHER!), and we do not usually invite each classmate (once or twice)... but when we do invite classmates, we keep it low on the radar and are very careful about feelings. My daughter says she's fine, but I know it hurt her and that makes my heart hurt. But we will use this as a lesson in kindness and empathy.

Wendy @ Ramblings from the Sunshine State said...

I let my children choose. When they were little, I would put the invitations in their agenda (here they all have an agenda that the teachers put notes, etc in) along with a note asking if they could discreetly pass them along to the named children. That way none of the kids saw and it didn't cause a big ruckus.

Jason and Traci said...

In my son's class last year, the teacher required that if you were going to hand invites out at school, that you HAD to do the whole class.

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