In a little less than a month, my son will be turning 7 years old, and I gotta admit, I'm pretty stressed out about it. And no, I'm not all bent out of shape because he's growing up or because he's not a little kid anymore. Nope -- the source of my anxiety all stems from his upcoming birthday party.
For the first time, we're not inviting all of the kids in his class, and I'm fully anticipating taking some heat for it. But if we invite everyone and they all RSVP yes, we'll have a party so big, it will be tough to handle. Also, while he has a lot of friends, he's not buddy-buddy with all the kids in the class, so having them at his birthday party really doesn't make any sense.
He deserves a fun party, with his good friends, and even though I realize there may be a few hurt feelings among the kids who aren't invited if they hear him talking about the party, it's a risk I'm willing to take.
After all, isn't it a good thing for kids to experience a little bit of disappointment now and then?
I know I want my son to realize he's not always going to win, or get his way, and even though it's not the best feeling in the world -- he's not going to get invited to every single party every single year. I'd rather him get used to being excluded once in a while in elementary school than grow up to be an adult and wonder why in the hell things don't always work out the way he wants them to. (That's what all good parents want, right?)
The kids aren't in preschool anymore, and it's only natural for them to branch off and have separate groups of friends than some of their other classmates. Why should they be expected to invite kids they rarely socialize with outside of school? If we invite them all this year, then we'll be expected to invite them all next year, and so on and so forth.
Personally, I really think it's best to go ahead and break the cycle now, and let my son have a party with the friends he truly wants there instead of inviting kids for the sake of inviting kids. And if a few feelings wind up getting hurt, so be it. If we base every single parenting decision on hurt feelings, we're going to wind up with a society of really bratty, entitled children. (And nobody wants that.)
Do you invite the whole class to your kids' birthday parties? Why or why not?
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