What to do when a "good friend" excludes your 1st grader from his party

Sarah - posted on 02/07/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )

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We just moved to a new town 2 1/2 months ago and my boys, age 6 and 10 seem to have quickly fit in and are enjoying playing every day with the other kids in the small neighborhood (we are in a cul-de-sac and there are 2 streets.) My 6 year old, however, seemed to really miss his old friends, and also very sadly suffered the the terrible death and loss of his best friend in our old town right after we moved. But we were really glad to see that he quickly made friends with another 6 year old in our new neighborhood and they started playing almost every day. About a month ago though, little problems seemed to pop up. Like one day he came home crying that he accidentally hurt his new friend while they were playing tag, and his new friend said some very unkind things to him (he's the dumbest kid ever to do something like that and he doesn't want to be friends...) But they went back to playing. Then soon after that they were sitting on the bus to school and this new friend got mad because my son bumped him with his backpack and poked his eye, so he told him he hates him and they aren't friends anymore, and my son said he turned and looked out the window so he wouldn't see him crying and he punched him in the back of the head! The next day he thankfully apologized, so I never brought this or the other things which include other unkind comments to his mom...who seems to be a nice woman although reserved....they seem to be a very nice family, with lots of friends in the neighborhood. Which complicates the politics of all this, since we are new and don't want to start out on the wrong foot so to speak. I also understand my son can be really rough and tumble, and isn't perfect himself, so I've tried to let them just work stuff out, although my son would never intentionally hit or hurt a friend. Anyway, the last week he's been coming home upset that his friend tells him on the bus all the time that he isn't invited to his birthday party. I guess I didn't really believe it, since they play at my or their house so often. The morning of his birthday, my son went to his house (as he often does on Saturday mornings) and had asked me to get him a tub or army guys, so we wrapped that up and he went over and was there all day playing and for the family party along with their other close friend, a 5 year old who always plays with them too. So the big problem started yesterday. He comes off the bus in tears, this friend had his bathing suit in his backpack and was heading out after school to his waterpark party, where he said his friends from school were going and the other 5 year old buddy was going too. My son isn't invited "because he wrestles and might hurt him in the water." I feel so insulted and angry that this mom could be so incredibly unkind as to exclude my son form his party. Whenever I pick him up from their house I ask if they've played nice, she always says yes. My son is crushed. So, do I approach her, obviously there is an issue between the kids, should I ask if my son is not playing nice or what the problem is? Should I even bring up the party? Their other "best friend" from across the steet from our house went! I would never do such a thing...

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Gwen - posted on 02/07/2013

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I'm not sure what to say about the neighborhood politics, but my daughter just gave me the list of names she wants to invite to her party, and her best friend Calin, who she adores and knows from birth isn't even on the list. I told Calin's mom he wasn't invited (sorry!) and we just laughed at how funny preschoolers are about stuff. It's really not the end of the world that he wasn't invited. Maybe, like my daughter, his Mom told him he could only pick a certain number of people. Or, maybe they aren't that good of friends. It seems like the other boy is a little manipulative and mean spirited anyway. I think I'd sign him up for an activity or sport where he might meet some nicer new friends.

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Sarah - posted on 02/07/2013

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Thank you for your replies, I appreciate the other perspectives!

I feel really bad for him because of all he is gong through right now, and he is a kindhearted kid who would NEVER say "your not invited to my party..." and that all part of why I feel so upset by this. I am also upset because the other mom knows he's new and trying to fit in here, and has been upset by the death of his old friend. So I think that was pretty rude of her. Especially since her son is the one doing all the hitting and mean comments.

Thankfully he is starting hockey soon and you make a really good point that maybe they aren't that good of friends, and it seems his friend is a little mean spirited. It would be good to help him make some new friends.

I guess I wonder if I should talk to her, first to let her know how her son has been treating my son, and second to ask if my son's behavior is provoking this in any way. He has so much more freedom in this new neighborhood and is not so much under my watchful eye all the time.

Amy - posted on 02/07/2013

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My son just had his 7th party and I did the same thing as Gwen this year and last, give me the list of people you want invited. Then we took some kids off of the list, since the party was at our house some of his friends can be a handful, I informed my son that they couldn't come because of the concerns I have about their ability to behave. Nothing against the boys personally, I know boys can be rough and sometimes impulsive but I didn't want them in my house when a party was going on. One on one where I can provide adequate supervision is another story.

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