Is it ever OK to ask another parent why they didn't invite
your child to their child's birthday party?
We posed that question to the 23 members of our Parent Panel,
and here's what they said. What would you do? Comment below!
See more from
the Parent Panel and meet the parents!
I would never dream of it. Kids' relationships change from week
to week (they're kids!). Additional economics and dynamics affect
party invites. I have no business in someone else's pockets or
Rani Morrison, Oak Park
No. It can awkward for you and the other parent. Birthday
parties can get so expensive and parents are trying to cut costs in
anyway they can. There will always be another party to go to!
Jackie Sergeant, Richton Park
Friendships at such a young age are constantly evolving.
Therefore, if my child wasn't invited to a party, I would take the
opportunity to teach my child how to roll with the punches. It will
feel bad, but in the big scheme of things, will it really throw my
child's life off course? No. I wouldn't even address the mother of
the birthday child. Instead, I would focus on teaching my child how
to handle their feelings, and make them realize it will probably be
different year-to-year with friends.
Kerry Quirin, Downers Grove
Not unless it's an obvious eyebrow-raiser, like being the sole
uninvited child from the entire first-grade class.
Jiye Lee, Chicago
I go with "treat others as you wish to be treated; would I like
it if I was approached?" I also think of the economic times and if
the party only had five kids I wouldn't feel bad, but if the entire
class was there and my child was not invited, I would seriously
debate about confronting the evil person that left my child
Rebecca Moulfarha, La Grange Park
Really? Has it come to this? Are we, and by extension our
children, now entitled to the celebrations of every classmate,
neighbor, relative and teammate? Sometimes we don't make it past
the velvet ropes. Let. It. Go.
Brian Reilly, Elmwood Park
Sure, if it's imperative to you knowing why/why not, inquire in
a friendly tone/timely manner and prepare, as the response might
not be what you want to hear. Personally, another b-day party is
always around the corner, no inquires here.
Monique Zipperich, Palatine
No, I don't think it is right. Not every child could be invited
to everything. I think it's a good lesson for kids to learn early
on and parents should put their energy towards something more
important than whether or not their child was invited to another
Tracie Guzolek, Chicago
If you suspect that there's been an actual error (such as
becoming lost in the mail while all of the kids in class are
talking about it), then yes. Otherwise, nope!
Trish Muro, Chicago
I suppose it depends on the relationship you have with that
family. There are numerous reasons as to why someone may omit your
child from a birthday party. The family could have financial
limitations, space limitations or could have just plain forgot to
include your child. If you do ask "why," be prepared to accept the
reason without judgment. Party on!
Ryan Salzwedel, Chicago
Don't ask. Use this as a teachable, albeit possibly painful,
moment to teach your child about being gracious when you are not
included and the value being inclusive whenever possible. Support
your child and their feelings and let your family have a "party" of
Aileen Robinson, Chicago
Unless my child is upset about a close friend's party, I won't
sweat it. These gatherings can be very complex and expensive
things. Invite the birthday friend out for a special outing with
your child instead. It might even be more enjoyable!
Heather Earnhart, Chicago
Only if your son/daughter often plays with that child or would
be considered a friend. If you are not close with the parents of
the birthday child, that might have something to do with it.
Jeff Mezydlo, Chicago
It's OK to ask if you have good intentions and are
non-confrontational, but the decision of who to invite is
ultimately that of the birthday child and their parents. On the
bright side, it's one less party to shop for and chauffeur your
Rebecca Pobloske, Itasca
It's never right because it's immature and ridiculous for a
parent to question another parent's choice of invitees. Kids need
to learn to get through their disappointments in a healthy way. I
would feel sorry for the child whose parents thought questioning a
party invite was the right thing to do.
Anne Rezabek, Elgin
I would not ask. The child's family may have financial
constraints, family traditions or other reasons to limit the
invitations issued. If my child wants to give the child a birthday
gift, we would deliver it privately.
Kate Atkins-Trimnell, Homewood
I personally don't think it's appropriate to ask any parent why
their child didn't get invited to his classmate birthday party. The
other parents may have their own personal reasons, be it financial
or personal, and I'd rather not know.
Chely Carrillo, Chicago
If I felt close enough to the parent, for example if we did
favors for each other with watching the kids, then I would ask
casually in conversation, trying to eliminate any feelings of
awkwardness. Otherwise, I wouldn't solely ask this question, and if
I didn't know the parent very well then I absolutely wouldn't
Mona Shah, Glenview
No! It would only embarrass you and the other parent if you ask
about it. There may be a budget issue or guest cut off - or maybe
your child doesn't get along with their child. Keep your thoughts
to yourself and move on.
Cherish Walsh, Streamwood
Being excluded from a birthday party can be very hurtful and no
parent likes to see her child hurt. I would console my child,
discuss the situation and try to take away the sting. But I
probably would not confront the parent. I might, however, talk to a
good friend whose child had been invited to get some insight.
Lolita Cusic, Chicago
As a non-confrontational person, I wouldn't ask. I would ask the
teacher or a mutual friend the circumstances or if there's a
problem between the children (or adults) that you're not aware of.
Try to give the benefit of the doubt.
Lisa Cheruff, Skokie
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