Birthday snub? WWYD?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Birthday snub? WWYD?
53
Mon, 04-12-2004 - 12:36pm
Last weekend, a friend of mine threw a birthday party for her 6 yo dd. She couldn't invite all the kids from the class so she asked her teacher what would be the best way to distribute the invitations. The teacher told my friend that she should invite all the kids in the class. So my friend told her that she couldn't for a number of reasons including her budget and the size of her yard. So the teacher suggested that she give out the invitations personally to the parents when they come to pick the kids up after school. Well, my friend said that she couldn't because she's at work all day. (her dd goes directly to the after school program). So the teacher told my friend that *she* will give out the invitations to the parents. Well... she didn't get any RSVPs but she thought the invitation was a little confusing about the RSVP (the phone number was there but no clear "RSVP" marked).

Anyway, NOT ONE of the TEN KIDS came to the party. Her dd was crushed. They had put a lot of effort into planning the party. My friend thought maybe the teacher didn't give out the invitations because she thought that all the kids in the class should have been invited. That would be totally out of line on the part of the teacher, IMO. I told her to call up the parents, but she doesn't know their phone numbers. I told her to talk to the teacher, but my friend hates anything that could be confrontational. WWYD?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Mon, 04-12-2004 - 1:25pm

I would drop it this time.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

Avatar for mygriffin
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Mon, 04-12-2004 - 1:28pm
How awful. IMO, she has three choices: 1) Get the parents' numbers and call a few to check to see if they received the invitation. 2) Tell the teacher that not one child showed in order to see the reaction. 3) Do nothing and forget about it.

I find it really hard to believe that not ONE child out of 10 showed up. Surely her DD has a "best" friend in the class whose parent would have CALLED to say they couldn't make it.

What a huge disappointment.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Mon, 04-12-2004 - 1:32pm


Yup. That's why my friend thinks that the teacher may have not given out the invitations. I know her dd and she's really outgoing and my friend has seen her interact positively with her friends at school. She had tears in her eyes at the party asking her mom where all her friends are. It was heartbreaking..

I wonder if she can get some phone #s from the school. That's probably the best option, IMO.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 04-12-2004 - 1:34pm
Hugs to that poor little girl! OMG, talk about scarred for life. As for the scenarios behind it, wow, that is tough! IMO, the mother should get a hold of the parents. They don't have a class contact list??? If not, try the phone book, but I think she should find out if they were distributed or not, and if not, I'd be pretty upset. If the teacher had *issues* with the invites not including all, then she should have declined passing them out. If she took them and did not pass them out, that is just plain wrong. It sounds like that particular school has communications issues if she doesn't know how to get a hold of other parents?!?!?!? We have a directory to get a hold of anyone at the school- student/parents/faculty for any reason, but it is private school, maybe public schools have privacy issues or something???? But still, I'd tell your friend to get to the bottom of it immediately. Something doesn't *smell* right with it. Maybe the teacher told the other parents other kids weren't invited so keep it hush and the parents decided to boycott? I probably would not let my child go to a *selective* bday party out of principle. I'm anti that kinda thing, even if it is over budgets/room (see below). I was left out of bday parties sometimes as a kid because I was the little Catholic girl and the Mormon mothers did not want me at their childrens' parties, and that scarred me, trust me, I still remember how sad I felt. Anyways though, as much as I'm anti-selective parties, I still see something wierd with no one coming. Maybe everyone was just busy? I don't see how all ten kids could have had plans though, that is wierd. She should find out and maybe re-schedule the party?? I do think it's wierd that she doesn't know one parent well enough to just call and say "what is up?". I know nearly every mother of every child in my son's class. I know the sahm ones really well because we are talking at pickup/dropoff..... but I at least know the names and faces of the wohms because they still come to functions and we talk, etc, and they make the effort as wohms to know all of us in case of emergency (stuck in traffic, please pick up my kid, etc). And maybe that is just it...... she hasn't taken the time to get to know any of these other mothers (and work IMO is not an excuse) so they got the invite and were like "who is this?" and decided not to go? I don't know.

My son's school is very strict on its birthday policy. Invitations are not to come on to school grounds unless every child in the class is invited. It's a none or all policy. If they didn't have it that way, there would be cliques and there would be kids left out every time, and those kind of things affect children (hell, I think that is why I'm so anti-mormon sometimes, lol, I remember being left out and that affects me). Now, they do publish a student directory with phone numbers and addresses at my son's school. If you are having a quaint party and just want 1-2 kids, you could use the directory to mail those invitations and bypass the rule......... but then you gotta hope that the kids don't come to school on Monday and brag about being at Fred's party, because if kids get upset over it, you'll be meeting with the Head of School. Now, true, some of you might say that you aren't going to be forced to invite every kid by a school. But the school is private, it has its rules, you accept the rules in the parent handbook each year in a contract that you sign, if you want your kids to go there, you will abide by their policy, even if it infringes on something as personal as a bday party. It seems that none of the parents, including myself, have a problem with the policy. We all invite all the kids, hands down. Even if it were not policy, it really is the *right* thing to do. And I like it, it prevents certain children from always being excluded, and it helps the parents get to know eachother as well. Now, all 16 children in ds's class have yet to make it all to the same bday party. There are scheduling conflicts, illnesses, etc that have prevented all children from showing. Usually, I'd say the average is about 12 kids show at any particular class party. There is one little girl who hasn't come to anything, but we keep trying to lure her secluded mother out of the shadows (Divorce- father pays for the private school, but mother is re-married and on the poor side and we think we intimidate her, but we arent trying to, we want her to come out and get to know us! We do know the dad, he drops her off and is NICE, but says exwife is a *(&(*& and doesn't let the little girl come to anything). Budgets and room aren't an issue with these kinds of parents at this school so maybe that's why it isn't a big deal. But, *if* budgets and rooms were an issue to me, I'd restructure the party to include all the children. Hell, little caesars pizza, some two liters of shasta, a cake from Costco, and some games/favors from bday express, you can do a party for that many kids for el-cheapo. That way, no feelings are hurt. Hurt feelings are not something I ever want to be a part of, so I'd always find a way to include everyone. JMHO.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 04-12-2004 - 1:47pm
Does this school not provide a student directory? Every school my kids have attended has a student directory with phone numbers, email etc of each student and parents (you can opt not to have your name in the directory, but most have their names in it).

Why didnt she just get the phone numbers or addresses of the kids her dd wanted to invite, and either call the parents or mail the invitations directly to their homes? It sounds to me like the teacher forgot to hand them out, but the teacher should not have been handing them out in the first place, imo.

dj

Dj

"Now when I need help, I look in the mirror" ~Kanye West~

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2003
Mon, 04-12-2004 - 1:52pm

MAybe those ten kids invited went to their NCP's house for the weekend .. or had a sibling's bday party ..

Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color.  Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Mon, 04-12-2004 - 1:55pm
She was beating herself over that issue: that maybe she should have invited all the kids. But I told her that it's not her fault. As you said, if the teacher had a problem with it (assuming that she didn't give out the invitations) then she should have voiced it to her at that time. I'll talk to her later today and find out if her dd talked to her friends in her class. It's true that she doesn't know the other parents. Her dh drops them off in the morning and picks them up at the afterschool program. Her dh is nice but not a social butterfly so I don't think he really knows the parents well.... In fact, I think my dh would probably be the same way. This weekend, I was at this Egg Hunt in our community park and I was trying meet other parents etc. and my dh was just hanging out oblivious to it all. ..
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Mon, 04-12-2004 - 1:57pm
It drives me nuts too. The pre-stamped addressed envelopes is a good idea.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Mon, 04-12-2004 - 1:59pm
I'll have to ask her whether she can get a hold of a directory for her dd's school. That really seems like the best thing for her to do to check to see if the invites were even given out.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2000
Mon, 04-12-2004 - 2:10pm

Boy, that is a tough one.

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