Birthday parties

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    To my knowledge, J has not been invited to two of his school friend's birthday parties and there are probably more. A little boy, a year younger than him, that he plays with a lot recently had his birthday and J told me tonight, quite cheerfully, that the other kids were invited and not him. He said that his friend told him "his mother didn't want him there". I asked him if he felt sad about that - he said no. I then told him that there was nothing wrong with him, he was a lovely boy, people liked him, it's just that because he moved around so much, grown-ups found him difficult to have in their houses - he said quickly, "yes, yes, I know about that".
    I actually find this quite heart-breaking for him and terribly cruel. I have heard it as standard from other parents of ADHD kids on the French forum I belong to. I imagine it happens in the States, too. I honestly think it must be pretty devastating for a kid. And to have it keep on happening... I just don't know what can be done about it but I'm almost tempted to have a word with the mother of this little boy who actually works at the school as an assistant.
  2. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    This happened to my oldest son, who is now 22, quite a bit. It was compounded by the fact that my daughter, one year younger, was invited to more parties. If he found out about a party, I'd tell him who cares, now we don't have to waste money buying a gift for a kid you don't really like anyway and we'd do something else at that time.

    I would carefully consider how to have a word with that mom, not because she didn't invite J but because she is clearly badmouthing him in her home. I say carefully because she works at J's school and you don't need her making things tough on him. J just may not care about parties. My son really didn't that much. He was interested in his own party but not anyone else's unless they were bowling.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    My opinion is that birthday parties were created by saddists.
    I always hated them as a kid - mine or anyone else's.
    Never could pull off a successful one for my kids, so gave up early.
    We made birthdays "family time", and special.
    Other people's birthdays? if they want to share it, that's up to them.

    Why is a stupid party so important anyway?
    Especially when parties are used to drive cliques and be exclusive and all sorts of damaging efforts... adult ones included.
  4. bby31288

    bby31288 Active Member

    All I can is add Birthday Parties. WORST Idea ever! I get a pit in my stomach just reading your post!
  5. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry for you and J. We can tell that we don't care about stupid birthday parties (to our kids and ourselves) until we are blue in the face. And still it hurts like hades when our kids are excluded. Both to us and our kids. And when it is their birthday parties and they invite all the kids in class - and no one comes, it hurts even worse. Been there, done that, too many times. Still have blue face from repeating how it doesn't matter and it is because difficult child's birthday happens to be difficult time of a year and in no way makes difficult child a worse kid. Didn't help a thing. Helped even less that easy child was always invited and everyone was so eager to accept his invitations.

    Birthday parties were certainly created by sadists. ISCdn is certainly right in that.
  6. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Count my son in as one who doesn't get invited to parties either. His autism leaves him with very poor social skills and he has trouble interacting with kids he would even consider his friends. It's just not fair. NO advice to give just hugs. Our poor boys. I really do feel bad for them.
  7. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Thanks all. I don't know whether it makes a bit better that the children themselves are not excluding him but the adults... and that J himself understands that. It just seems so heart-rending that he himself knows and somehow accepts that he is excluded because of his hyperactivity. Of course it IS difficult and to a degree I understand the adults because having J means you have to supervise more, work more, relax less, etc. But what price a bit of humanity?
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    The kids take on what their parents model though, at least they could say they have limited numbers or something. Geeze. Q has never really had good friends anyway but when very little got to go to a birthday at a fast food restaurant. Other than that nothing. He's never had a friend party but we go bowling or out to eat with his cousins. Last year he pushed my mom on the way out (last year after the hospital, when we were in huge struggle ) so I have ptsd from it. It's been pretty sad to me when even in classes full of kids with autism he was not invited. I'd never do that. I would have parents come though, I would myself never leave q alone with anyone. So I'd understand if someone asked me to stay but they never even asked.
    Bless his heart. I really love your J.
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I think your brief conversation with J and his response indicates that he is ok accepting that his energy level is really too high for parents of quiet kids to feel comfortable with him as a guest. That's a huge life lesson. Sometimes we are not included and it does not mean that we are "bad" or "losers" or "abnormal" etc.

    It may sound like I'm being condesending but I'm not. I am impressed that he is so perceptive. You can not control who enjoys your company as an adult and he can not do so as a little boy. I've raised two difficult child's who were excluded from many group activities and parties. difficult child#2 as an Aspie got it. GFGmom was extremely hyper and not perceptive. She did not "get it" like J. I wanted so much to "fix it" but I couldn't.

    I would definitely not attempt to enlighten the parent host. I'm sure the results would not be helpful to J. Hugs DDD
  10. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    J's response suggests that he's quite comfortable with the situation. I know that as parents, it hurts terribly when our children are excluded from things, but if it's truly not bothering J then I would let it go, especially if the other boy's mother works at the school. I wonder if J feels relieved that he doesn't have to spend an afternoon suppressing his impulses and trying hard not to misbehave.

    When I was a little girl, my mother used to throw elaborate birthday parties for me with many children I didn't know very well or like very much. My auntie tells me that I used to make sure everyone had something to play with, and then leave to go read a book in another room.

    Some kids just aren't cut out for parties.
  11. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes... I guess in my thinking it's not the missing the party that is the hard part but the being excluded. Certainly it's my heart rather than his that seems be torn when he tells me that the other kids went but not him.
    J is actually very happy with himself and how he is. He has always had this strong, larger than life personality, he brought it with him. I suppose it fits in with that that he doesn't take it personally when he is not invited. I do suffer on his behalf though, because, like Buddy, I just don't think I could do that myself, exclude one child from a party.
  12. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

  13. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    Another one here. All 3 of my difficult children had issues with birthday parties, both the girls were invited to far more then my son. I think my middle one was invited to more then any but she is my social butterfly until people see through her and find her immaturity and outright actions. Then they tend to not like it and have problems and it extends well past the party. Parents ban their kids from her or the kids naturally just walk away from her.

    When I'd have parties for them we'd be lucky if 2, 3, or maybe even 4 (not usually) kids would ever show up. As they got older the numbers dwindled and this was out of 15-20 invites sent out (sent out way more to always compensate knowing the no show rate). I got so tired of their disappointment of kids not wanting to come to their parties that I just had to draw a line. At 12 no one had anymore birthday parties of any type. My middle one is the one who has the biggest problem with and still does to this day (going to turn 16 in the spring). She still will beg for a party of sorts. I also don't let them go to the invites because I've found that all they did was get made fun of in one form or another at the party (humiliation was a good one) and while they might not have immediately known it, I did and I did not want other kids having fun at their expense. It's just not right! The repercussions after the parties were always huge too, all that would be said. Not nice things and parents would talk as well.

    We go through enough with our kids in general, if I could eliminate some of it where I can I do try but this is a sad thing.
  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I just "have" to share a story..a story that moved me to tears just a few years ago. difficult child#2 is an Aspie who is really kinda confusing. When he was sixteen he received a beautiful formal invitation to a birthday celebration for a young girl who was in his one Special Education class at the high school. The invitation was engraved, included a reply card, dual envelopes...the whole smear. It was at the one and only "fine" hotel in our town.

    husband had just taken him to buy his first grownup dress pants, shoes, coat from a major store an hour away. I almost croaked when I saw the bill. husband said "he needs to 'know' how to present himself profperly". Lo and behold the invitation came (looking like invitations that I received in the 1950's and 1960's when I lived an above average life). I showed him how to fill in the card indicating he would be there and explained to him how hotels and country clubs needed to know how many people were coming for their food and service prep.

    I dropped him off at the hotel. He looked really handsome and walked with the confidence one has when they know they are prepared and looking good, lol. He was to call me when he was ready for pickup or..I would be outside waiting when the party was over. He was dropped off at home before the official time of party end. I, of course, did not comment. I greeted him with a hug, told him how handsome he looked (and he did..he's a good looking kid) and we all went to bed.

    The next day I asked about the party. He was the ONLY person who showed up. They had hired a DJ. They had a full buffet of wonderful food. The entire party was the girl, her parents, her grandparents who were paying for the lovely Sweet Sixteen party........and.......difficult child#2. He told me "Mama the men playing the music kept asking me what songs I liked so I would dance with her. I did dance every dance but I'm not really a dancer, Mama. I ate so much because there were not other people to eat all the food...and I didn't want to eat that much." "Her Uncle drove me home and on the way he thanked me for being her friend. He even got out of his car and shook my hand and gave me a hug. He told me "you have been a wonderful companion for my neice and you are welcome in my home or her family home anytime..thank you."

    I'm moved as I share this because it caused me more than one sleepness night. You can not make a difficult child a easy child. You can pay countless money. You just can't change it. My difficult child#2 was confused but he was proud. I had taught him how to dance and which fork to use and what to say. He was the Aspie man of the hour. The girl??? She had a sad night that she probably will never forget. DDD
  15. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member


    That is the #1 reason that I never had birthday parties for my kids. I was so terrified of that empty room.

    Tigger and my nephew are just a few months apart. Tigger was NEVER invited to nephew's "kids" birthday parties. My sister would have 3 parties -- one for her husband's family, one for our family and one for her child's friends. Logically, it made sense as Tigger is very outgoing (plus the hyperness) and nephew is very quiet and so are most of his friends so Tigger would have dominated the party just cause he was Tigger. Still stung. Of course, my sister was very good about how she handled it and Tigger never felt 'left out'.

    So glad that it is pretty common here for a child's last "kids" party to be their 10th birthday and we are well past that age!
  16. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Oh DDD, that is a truly heart-rending story. How cruel life can be!
    Well, it's J's birthday next Monday, as it goes and we're going to England for a few days to see my mother. My brother who lives in the States will also, coincidentally, be there and we will take J somewhere for a treat on the day, something he'll like. J really wants to see my mother to whom he is very attached but I think I partly did this to get out of the whole birthday party thing... he did have one last year, at a fast food restaurant, and kids came but honestly it's stressful - knowing that the parents "disapprove" of J or at least of his behaviour and don't really want their kids to be friends with him. Horrible, but true - even though they have nothing against J himself and would never be nasty to him directly.
    At any rate... it has really clarified one thing for me. I want to return to Morocco to live and for J to grow up there. Blow the wretched nationality thing - we will find a way round it in future. I'm going to do all I can to fight the rejected British nationality application for him anyway. No impulse decisions - we will stay out the academic year here and I will put in a maximum of planning and preparation. But J needs to grow up with an identity and a sense of belonging and it will not be found here. I am not thinking Morocco will be some kind of paradise - of course that does not exist on the earth - but he has a better chance of finding his mark there. And it is where and who he really is.