Reply To: Birthday party heartbreak

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I am very sorry to hear that this happened. But I want to also take a moment to share some very valuable information. I have twins, one boy and one girl, and I have had the experience as well. Both of my children have ADHD, one hyper and climbing walls while the other is inattentive, and they drive each other insane. I can only imagine what peers must go through.
We tried for years to have birthday parties, you name it and we did it. What I learned shocked me…I am also a teacher so once I figured this out, I see it constantly now for what it really is, time and effort. Kids are over scheduled and parents are exhausted. My children have a spring birthday. Parties this time of the year have never been successful for us. So I switch it up. I schedule them after all the testing is finished, never on a three day weekend, and around our closest family and friends. One year we had a summer birthday pool party. We did it the first Saturday after school ended and had lots of silly games, pizza, snacks, and the pool. This was the most successful party as 8 kids came. My son had 5 and my daughter 3. I sat with them and explained that families have different beliefs and values and that means they don’t always prioritize kids birthday parties. It doesn’t always mean that kids do not like you. It means that this one plays a sport, this one visits a sick grandma, this one has two houses and mom/dad won’t share time, this one has no money and is too embarrassed to come, or this one forgot to show the invitation to his parents at all and no one checks the front pocket of the backpack.
Sadly, another fact that suprises me is that people don’t rsvp or decline, it is always a guess.
I have come to realize that it is more about the adults I am friends with and less about the kids too. So I foster friendships with parents of kids I see really interacting with my children. Just because they are in my child class does not mean they are a friend and I would rather have one real friend at the party instead of 3 bullies.
I know this is a hard situation, but if you look it with positivity than so will your child, and unfortunately some people are selfish and don’t care how their behavior hurts others. Our kids need to know that is not their fault.
This year we waited for summer and each child will take 4 friends to a place of their choice. My kids are 13 now, so this is much more acceptable. Another fun thing we did was offer a weekend get away of their choice instead of a party. That was fabulous as well.
I decided that people have their own reasons for not coming to parties. I see it in my classroom, I hear it from my friends with “typical” kids, parents are too busy and forgetful, and some only do family birthdays. Our world has dramatically changed and our children are not growing up the way we did. We need to step back a little and focus on the most important things, our children and our families. The interesting thing is that everyone here has talked about their kids being resilient and that is what they need to be successful in life. We need to be resilient as well and be a champion for our kids.
Keep positive. This is more about the other families and less about your child. We are doing the best we can today and that is ok.

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by Jn185.