Jan 24, 2023

Are Parents Required To Invite The Entire Class To Birthday Parties?

The rules for parenting have changed over the past thirty or forty years. Although many of those changes are for the better and are likely producing more mentally sound adults, others are just flat-out annoying.

One thing that most parents dislike, I think, is the unwritten rule that your child must invite every last classmate to a party if they’re going to invite one.

This woman’s son was excited about his party, but given their family’s finances at the time, OP knew they would not be able to afford anything extravagant.

I(28F) am a mother of a wonderful 8 years old son. This whole thing happened last April, but I am still getting complaints. So here I am asking strangers for a judgement on the internet.

So last year was my kid’s first year in “big kids’ school” like he calls it, since his first grade coincided with the pandemic. We are not in the best place financially; like most families, our consumer debt piled on and we are throwing every spare cent at it.

They invited only his 5 closest friends, with invitations sent directly to their homes, and sent cupcakes and juice to school for everyone else.

So when it was time to throw him a party, I only invited 5 of his classmates, the ones he considered his friends. For the others I sent 2 dozen cupcakes and juice boxes to class.

The invites were delivered to their houses and not in front of the other kids.

At the party, the guests got to make their own pizzas, decorate their own cakes, and had a generally fun day that left them talking about it at school on Monday.

Like I said, money was tight so I got creative. I made 9 small cakes (box cakes, vanilla, chocolate and funfetti), buttercream in different colours. Also made big sugar cookies and different coloured frosting and sprinkles. And finally bought tortillas, made pizza sauce and had a variety of toppings. I asked that the kids bring swimsuits and water guns.

We had a make your own pizza station for lunch, then they played with their water guns. Then they decorated their cakes and finally their cookies to take home with them. That was a Saturday.

Well the next Monday, the kids would not stop raving about how fun the party was, how it was the best birthday party ever.

That’s when the trouble began, as the students who weren’t invited went home and complained to their parents, who then told OP she was wrong to exclude people.

The other kids were not happy to not be invited.

At pick up Tuesday, a couple moms confronted me about not inviting their kids. I said that I am sorry, but it was a small party for his close friends only. They kept complaining about me excluding their kids.

OP is still hearing about it months later, so should she have asked everyone or no one?

I didn’t take it seriously then, but now it is a new school year, almost 6 month later, and I am still getting the occasional comment thrown at me. So AITA?

Reddit’s weighing in!

The top comment pointed out that five children is not very many, and anyone with a working brain should realize that.

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Image Credit: Reddit

This person pointed out what we all know, which is that times have definitely changed.

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Image Credit: Reddit

More than one person pointed out that dealing with being excluded is just a part of life.

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Image Credit: Reddit

Not everyone wants all those kids in their home, regardless of whether or not they can afford it.

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Image Credit: Reddit

This commenter thinks helicopter parenting is at least partially to blame.

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Image Credit: Reddit

Times really have changed when it comes to parties.

As a parent I find it super stressful!

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