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26th Jan 2024

‘Am I wrong for turning away an uninvited child from my daughter’s birthday party?’


When it comes to kids’ birthday parties, there are a number of reasons why your child should sit one out.

Whether it’s an illness, head lice, conflicting schedules, unforeseen family emergencies, or any other mitigating circumstances, it’s pretty much set in stone they won’t be attending the birthday event.

However, the line becomes a little more blurred when one of your children is invited to a party and their sibling isn’t.

Well, one mum took to Reddit to find out if her decision to turn away an invited kid’s uninvited sibling was a tad too harsh and the large majority of results are in favour of turning away any invited children.

Writing under her family member’s account, she sought the opinions of other parents who had come up against similar situations when planning a soiree for their little ones.

The mother of three began, “I’m sure, you’ve attended many birthday parties and had the misfortune of seeing that one parent who always drops their kids off and leaves without considering that not all the children were invited.”

Labelling the act as ‘selfish’, she acknowledges that this is not the child’s fault but rather the parent’s fault for assuming one invite applies to all children in that family.

Outside of the nuisance for the party organisers in terms of budgeting, the poster says it’s often a ‘miserable situation’ for the sibling who is stuck at the party without friends and kids their age.

Credit: Getty

During the party in question, the mum says Covid guidelines were in place at the time and therefore they decided to keep it low-key.

Explaining that they opted to take the party outside of the family home and to a craft party where each child gets a pre-paid and pre-chosen crafting pack to work with for the event, she reasoned that “any extra children would be unpaid for and would not have their own crafting kit.

This fact was heavily emphasised to the parents of the children invited and there were no disagreements about it, according to the mum.

The day of the birthday party rolls around, and, lo and behold, one parent arrives expecting to drop two of their children off, one of which was not invited.

When confronted, the parent reasoned that their two children could share the craft pack between them to which the party organiser outright refused.

“Had this been a small at-home event then sure I probably wouldn’t have made the fuss, grit my teeth, and dealt with my private feelings on the matter,” they said, but the idea of the two siblings sharing one pack did not sit right with her.

No excuse as to why the uninvited child could not be taken home was given, which led the poster to stand her ground.

“I still stuck to my decision when child B threw the biggest tantrum, parent made no move to calm but instead blamed me for saying no and [saying] “all the other parents always let both children attend,” they wrote.

In the end, neither child ended up attending the craft workshop as both were taken home when one wasn’t allowed to stay, leaving the prepaid slot for the party unused.

The mum of the birthday girl concluded, “I feel teaching my children the value of your word and sticking to it is more important than sparing the feelings of a child and parent who should know better.”

The general consensus was that the mum was completely correct in how she handled the situation.

“They should have spoken to you first, instead of dropping a random kid on you like that as if you run a daycare,” one replied.

Another tied their own experiences from childhood in their support, “I’m not a parent but as a kid, the only people who came to my parties were my friends, I.e. the kids I invited. Why would the birthday kid want other random kids there?”

One parent says they had encountered similar occurrences but agreed with the party organiser, writing: “I’ve had parents offer for my other son to come – sometimes I’ve taken them up on it, others not. But they OFFERED,  didn’t demand!”