My mom is gonna flip when I tell her that her brother gave his difficult child son (who is the same age as my difficult child 2) the choice of opting out from attending difficult child 2's birthday outing this weekend. And I have to admit, I'm a little annoyed, because even if the kid didn't want to play paintball (which is what we're doing for difficult child 2), the family still could have come to wish difficult child 2 a happy birthday, Know what I mean?? This kid is already developing antisocial tendencies (at Thanksgiving which was at his house, he did not come out of his room for more than a few minutes the entire day. Spent hours in there playing video games and only because I sent my kids in to say hi to him did they spend any time with him. He never came out to greet the adults or eat with the family). I guess it's just a difference in parenting, but my mom often gets annoyed when her brother lets his son (who is an only child) choose whether or not to participate in family events. He's given him this decision making control ever since he could talk. Kid doesn't want to do something, they don't do it. On the one hand, it's empowering for a child, but on the other, this kid has missed out on trying many cool things in life simply because he didn't want to attempt it and he's certainly not doing anything to cultivate a relationship with his cousins. My mom and I admittedly share the view that a parent should never take no as the final answer when it comes to exposing our kids to life's experiences. Sigh.