I'm having a 4th birthday party for my daughter, and invited about 8 girls out of 40 or so kids from her Kindergarden class.

Today I received a text from a girl's mum, saying that they lost the invitation and can she RSVP with me. Problem is that her daughter was not invited in the first place, and they must have found out from someone else, and think that it's a 'whole class party'. My daughter doesn't want her daughter to be there as they do not really play together.

Do we just invite them to make this whole thing go away, or stand our ground and let them know that they were not invited? If so, how to put it gently?

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    Thank you everyone for their 2 cents worth. It took a lot of convincing (to my daughter) that we should include this girl at her party. She asked a lot of why's, and I explained that sometimes you have to include people to not make them feel sad. My son gave an example of his inviting everyone even though he didnt want a couple of the boys who he never played with. Besides, friendship dynamics will change in the next few years, so you never know... My daughter prefers few and intimate friendships but perhaps this is a good way to get her to step out of her comfort zone. Thanks again Aug 14, 2016 at 1:07
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    Please do me a favor and follow up on this her after a couple of months. It looks like that mother is a bit too intrusive, and giving in as you did could backfire. Some people don't stop if you don't say NO very clearly. I would have said no, and I wonder how your way of handling it works out.
    – daraos
    Sep 3, 2016 at 20:03

2 Answers 2


Just tell her simply:

We have planned to have a small party with my daughter's close friends, and so we did not invite the whole class.

Where to take it from there is up to you. If this girl and your daughter truly don't play together, the other mother should be reasonable enough to understand that her daughter is not a close friend. There may also be a cultural element here. Is it common for parents to bring treats to class for their child's birthday? If you plan to do so, you can add:

Your daughter is of course welcome to join the rest of the class in celebrating my daughter's birthday at school.

That together with the above should make it clear that they are not invited to your daughter's personal birthday party, but if you don't have the second bit then you may wish to add one more statement to make it perfectly clear:

Your daughter was not invited because of the limited number of guests we're comfortable accommodating.

You should feel no obligation to invite anyone to a party which you host.

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    Thanks for your comments. I think she is of the believe that the girls are better friends than they actually are, so to explicitly say that her daughter is not a close friend will definitely hurt some feelings. The party is at a venue so it's hard to use space as an excuse. I am worried this will turn into awkward moments at drop off and pick ups for the rest of the year (and possibly next year), hence really considering inviting her just to make life easier. I feel like such a wuss. We are actually bringing in cupcakes to kinder tomorrow to celebrate. The joy of modern kids' party politics! Aug 11, 2016 at 15:50
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    Perhaps change "close friends" to "few closest friends"? Aug 11, 2016 at 22:20
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    @RachelS It's a class of 40 kids. If you don't draw the line somewhere you may end up with more--if not this time, the next. Aug 12, 2016 at 16:30
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    I don't agree that drawing the line and setting it in stone is necessary. Three things can happen. You don't draw lines, in which case, yes, you will get everyone and their cousin. You draw lines and set them in stone, which I find, in individual oriented cultures, often leads to cliquish behavior and hurt feelings. Or you draw the line but be willing to flex here and there to demonstrate kindness and grace. You may get one, or even a few more (not all 40, I am sure), but the value of instilling a spirit of welcoming grace in your kids is definitely worth that.
    – user16557
    Aug 12, 2016 at 17:01
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    You can't be everyone's best friend, NosyLadyBug. If your daughter does not have a close relationship, or much interaction with this other child, then fall-out or awkwardness should be minimal, right? Why would there be uncomfortable moments if they don't really interact? If the child is someone who is a bit of an outsider and is treated poorly by kids because of general childish cliquishness, then I'd consider expanding the guest list just to keep my child from falling into that mindset. Otherwise, if your event is set up with the best intentions, you shouldn't be guilted into changing. Aug 12, 2016 at 17:17

I would encourage you to welcome this kid into the party. By doing so, you could teach your child the value of being inclusive even towards people we do not hit it off with. This other child might be feeling left out and might have even told her parent that she was invited. Or the parent might be feeling like her child is being left out and trying to look out for her by putting you in a position that is a little awkward, but that gives you the chance to extend grace.

I come from a culture that tends to be very inclusive, very group oriented. Inviting several people out of a group, means inviting the whole group, and you just better be prepared. But I have lived most of my life in the US, where the expectation is that you only go to a party if you are explicitly invited.

I find that the group oriented culture, in this factor, has a lot of positive value. I have used that to teach my children to be kind and welcoming even to kids that they would not normally gravitate towards.

You have a great chance here to teach your child grace and kindness to someone that may be feeling left out. I suggest you take it. A word of caution, if you do choose to extend this grace to the other child, the truly gracious thing to do is to not say a word about it to either the other child's parent or the other child. And you will need to make sure your child understands that.

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    I like the idea of showing her child how to act with grace and kindness to others but it would be wise to get more details from her child as to why she doesn't want the un-invited classmate at her party. Her child may not know it's good to make others feel welcome or there may be a stronger reason for excluding someone. Aug 12, 2016 at 19:48
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    Reading the original post carefully, it looks like the uninvited girls mother is lying - she says she lost the invitation when her daughter wasn't invited at all. If that mother had said "my daughter feels left out, would you mind if she comes and joins the party", that would be a different thing.
    – gnasher729
    Aug 13, 2016 at 21:54
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    @NosyLadyBug I would say that you should either stick with your original plan and let the uninvited person know that they are not invited, or if you are going to change your mind, you should invite everyone as you have done with your son. Just inviting this one extra child will confuse the issue in your daughter's mind, and could have unforeseen consequences if other children start asking why they didn't get an invitation.
    – Adam
    Aug 16, 2016 at 18:58
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    @PhilipNgai - good comment. Yes, good to check further why the little girl would not want this class-mate at her party. One of my kids was the victim of bullying for a little while, and I'd totally support her in not wanting to invite that kid over.
    – user16557
    Aug 17, 2016 at 18:57
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    @AgapwIesu: I was taught to tell the truth. The whole mess comes from the fact that NosyLadyBug didn't tell the truth, which was "you were not invited". And in your answer you encourage her again to keep the truth away from people, and worse yet to convince her daughter to not say the truth. Being unable to be honest is the one thing that causes most trouble in life, because truth has that ugly habit of coming out eventually. What do you suggest should NosyLadyBug tell other mothers, if they ask why their daughter wasn't invited? Because they didn't lose their invitation?
    – gnasher729
    Aug 21, 2016 at 18:25

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