Tuesday, September 2, 2008

You and you...but not you

So your child is having a birthday party. There are choices as to how to distribute invitations, but the easiest way for most parties (during the school year) is to let them pass out invitations at school. Let's talk about how that can be done minimizing hurt feelings. Let me say that I prefer that my children have the address or at least the phone number of the child they'd like to invite, and then the invites can be mailed.

When passing out invites at school it's important that you sit down with your child and explain what happens when someone whom they know is not invited, how that makes them feel, etc. Then you give them specific instructions that might sound like this, "When you pass out the invitations, do it by yourself maybe during recess, go and find each friend, hand them the invite, and just say 'here is something for you to open when you get home', and then move on to your next friend". This does not mean that their friends will listen to your child, but it gives them the opportunity to do so.

Whenever possible, you could also take your child on a special "date" and drive them to deliver the invitations. I do realize we live in a very busy world where things are spinning so fast for most of us, we barely have time to breathe, but, taking the time out for our children to explain these things to them really does pay off in the end because you are helping them recognize that others have feelings too and asking them how they would wish to be treated were the tables turned...great teaching moment!


Tracy P. said...

As a former teacher, I MUCH prefer the idea of figuring out how to mail or deliver the invitations, rather than letting it become a project for school. Even though your child might follow through and suggest that the invite be opened at home, the recipient may not be all that likely to follow through. Also--keeping up with an invitation received in the midst of a school day transition may be difficult, and then it's as though it was never received.

Deanna said...

I too am in the school system and we have a policy in place for just this situation. Children are not allowed to bring invitations to school unless the entire class is being invited. It is very hurtful to have a "select" few talking about the party and the rest of the children left out. No matter how discreet your child may try to be, you have no control over what the other children will do and it is unfair to put them in a situation that can turn out so poorly.