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Excluding ex from son's B-day party..??
February 22, 2007
10:20 pm
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veggiemom
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Just wondering if anyone has any opinion or advice on the following:

My son turned 5 in December and neither I nor his dad could afford a party with his friends. (We did have a family get- together, cake & presents, etc on his actual B-day).

Well, my little guy insists that he hasn't turned 5 yet because he didn't have his "birthday" which to him means a party with all his friends.

My brother and his wife have generously offered to "host" a party for him at one of the local kid party places. However, my sister-in-law asked that I not invite my ex, my son's dad. My family has lost all respect for him. They gave him chance after chance and the benefit of the doubt for many years and finally they have written him off.

I am not sure what to do about this. I know I can't keep it from him because of course my boy is excited and it will come out, and I would never ask him to not tell daddy.

But my ex is going to be outraged to not be invited, and I will be the one who gets the brunt of it. He already has a lot of hate and anger that he directs towards me. He's an alcoholic who blames everything wrong in his life on someone else, and in his mind, I have totally screwed him and wrecked his life.

So do I just stand up to him and tell him the truth: that my family is paying for this and they don't want him there? Or do I invite him anyway and go against my sister-in-law's wishes? She did say she understood it might be difficult to NOT invite him, so I don't believe she would be mad or anything.

Any opinions? Advice? Thanks...

February 23, 2007
12:02 am
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Loralei
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veg, I apologize in advance if this offends you. But I've raised two fine sons to adulthood and think I did a great job. So my question is this: Why is a 5 year old calling the shots?

You already gave him a nice little B-day party with cake and presents. For your son to be so unappreciative of this gesture that he claims that he hasn't had a REAL party yet, shouts out 'spoiled brat'. Is that what you want to raise? Because that is what you are teaching him to be by humoring him with more materialism. You are raising your child to walk all over you. Please think about this. Again, I'm sorry if this hurts your feelings, but I've seen so many parents make this kind of mistake time and again and they are doing their children no favor by catering to them upon demand.

February 23, 2007
1:15 am
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veggiemom
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Hey Loralei,
It's not like that...and I swear I am not saying this as one of those parents who says "not my kid"...I am perfectly willing to admit that my kids aren't prerfect, BUT, he is not saying it in a bratty "I want my REAL party with my friends!!!" kind of way.

It is more like, since he has been to about 5 friend's parties over the last few months, he thinks that your " birthday" IS the party.

I don't think he is old enough to understand the concept of a "year" and the date of his birth marking another year gone by...his only reference point is this vision of the party and gathering with the friends as he has seen many of his little friends do recently.

Believe me, if I thought it was him trying to call the shots, or that he was being a brat, I would not stand for it.

The other thing is, this little guy is the sweetest, most loving, kind, caring boy. There is nothing about him that is bratty, he is almost TOO willing to please and keep the peace, make sure Mom is happy(I know, not necessarily a good thing, scares me that he's a little co-dependent in the making...)His teachers at school tell me the same thing. So, I know I must seem defensive, but I really have to disagree with you here. No offense!!! Please know that I respect your opinion and (as always) appreciate your advice. I just think you'd have to know my little guy to know that's not where he's coming from....

February 23, 2007
8:40 am
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hopeful for change
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One of the things I have found out the hard way..is that I needed to make things seperate. I mean it sounds nice and all to have everything together, but over time it becomes more difficult. In the long run the kids learn they get two partys, two christmas etc.

I know you can make a cheap party with all the friends over at home and that will suffice, been there done that. Cupcakes you make a couple of bucks and koolaid.

February 23, 2007
9:35 am
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risingfromtheashes
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Loralei,

At that age, my daughter was ALSO very confused about the age issue.

She thought that since she had her birthday, but also a party on another day, that it made her another year older....and had TWO birthdays that year.

For some reason, kids at that age associate the party with the turning another year older. And it's not uncommon for them to think that it's the party, not the calendar date that means their birthday has arrived.

It took three years for my daughter to understand that she did not have two birthdays a year...the day on the calendar and the day of her party.

February 23, 2007
10:15 am
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nappy
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I would of told my brother and sister in law that they didn't have to do that and that you will just have a little party for your son and that his father is invited IF he wanted to come. Your son is only five and if the father is in his son life then you have a long way to go with the father being in his life and yours.

Don't anybody have to put up with the father except you. If he is an active father, then it is you that will have to decide if you want him in any activities with your son or not.

A party for a five year old does not have to be all out, cupcakes and ice cream and something to drink (punch) especially if he has already had a party. Playing kids games and just making it plan fun. It's making the party fun for the kids that really makes a party.

February 23, 2007
11:01 am
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Loralei
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Thank you, veg. I worried last night that I had spoken out of turn and I really didn't want to hurt your feelings. I'm glad to know your little guy is a sweetie.

Ok, I'm going to give you my opinion on how I would and have done these party things. I'm not telling you what to do, just what I would do.

When you throw a kid a party, it is a party for them, not the adults. I think many adults use their kids Bday as an excuse for them to party. Kids want to be with other kids their own age. When they are young, all that is needed is some cake and ice cream shared with a couple of the kid's best friends. Kids are happy just getting to spend time with their buddies at home. They don't need more than that. When they get closer to middle school age, then consider the kids party places or a more planned activity. They will appreciate it more when they finally get it.

Like nappy said, if you throw the party, then you get to choose who to invite. If your ex behaves and you don't mind him being there for cake and ice cream, then that's really all the adults you need at your child's party. It is not the time for a family reunion. I personally don't like the idea of having more than one Bday party a year. It gets to be overkill.

February 23, 2007
3:46 pm
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Zinnie
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Tell your little guy that this year - his party was with the family, etc. Then, tell him that when he turns six - he can have a "big boy party" with all of his friends. Start putting away a little money each week or month to make it enjoyable. Make it fun for him to. Get a can or jar, decorate it with him for his "party fund."

When you start letting others plan and give parties for you or your child, they then feel that they have the ability to "call the shots" who is invited and who is not. This is the childs father. Now, IF he can behave, then by all means invite him to the party next year - but, make it clear to him that this is for his CHILD and that your son will have his friends there. That means that he has to be the adult and show up sober and act like an adult to all that are there - even ex in-laws whom he may or may not like. If he cannot do this, then, perhaps he does not have to be invited. BUT, this must be done on YOUR terms.

I do understand what you are saying - is this a five year old calling the shots? At first glance, I would want to say yes, BUT, keeping in mind that he is just now five and probably just now starting Kindergarten. What this means is that yes, he IS seeing and going to parties that his little friends are having. I'm sorry he did not get this, but, there is no reason why he can not have one next year. Explain this to him, and again, make it an "event" for him to look forward to - make a jar, or can... that he can participate in and encourage him to put some thought into what he would like to have (within reason) at his very own "big boy party."

Z.

February 23, 2007
10:08 pm
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atalose
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If your brother and sister in law want to host a party for your son and you are ok with that, let them.

It's like you are being invited to attend, you are not the one planning this or sending out invitations, they are the hosts, period and if they chose not to invite your ex that's there business.

If your ex asks you why he was not invited, simple say, it's a party for 5 year olds planned by you brother and sister and it's up to them who to invite.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

February 23, 2007
10:46 pm
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veggiemom
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Wow, thanks everybody for all of the great advice and suggestions. I have options I hadn't even considered!

I do like the idea of an "old-fashioned" b-day party at home. The kids would probably love it in fact.

Thanks so much. Still not sure which way I'm going to go with this, but I so appreciate the input and ideas.

(Loralei you didn't hurt my feelings! I appreciate and respect your candidness--if that is a word lol)

Veg

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