Budget-conscious mom of bullied 8-year-old refuses to invite 30 classmates to birthday despite parental complaints

Gillian Sisley

A budget-sensitive mom who is throwing a small birthday party for her 8-year-old is being pressured by her daughter’s teacher and other parents to invite all 30 of her child’s classmates. She’s written a Reddit post to find out whether or not she’s in the wrong for refusing to do so.

*This is a work of non-fiction sourced from social media discussion boards and verified experts/specialists.*

A mother of an 8-year-old girl has been making plans for her little girl’s upcoming birthday. She describes her daughter as introverted, shy, and ‘bookish’, with only a few friends. The little girl is also bullied at school by some of her classmates.

The 8-year-old asked just to have a simple birthday party with her 4 friends.

Though this is often what the author does every year for her daughter, others heard about it, which has led to some real issues for the author:

“Word got out that my daughter is “having a party” and I got an email from her teacher where she essentially called me out for my “lack of inclusivity.” She said that she had gotten complaints from other kids in her class that my daughter was being a bully for only inviting certain people (re: her close friends) and the teacher told me that now I had to invite the whole class.”

According to data from USA Today, the cost of the average child’s birthday party is about $400. This includes cake, decorations, snacks, and other items needed for activities.

Though the author explains that they’re ‘not poor’, she states that they’re also ‘not rich’, and as they live in an apartment and she cannot host 30 children at her home. She continues:

“I also was afraid of my daughter getting bullied at her own party and wanted this to be a safe space for her. So I politely told the teacher this and explained that it wasn't even a party but a get together for her closest friends.”

The author has continued to stand her ground for the sake of her daughter, but the fallout from this decision has been quite extreme:

“Now I’m getting loads of angry emails from parents of kids who weren’t invited asking me why not and pressuring me to invite their kids. One even accused me of being discriminatory against their son because he has asthma. I’ve had 10 angry emails and I’m starting to think maybe I should invite all the kids in the spirit of inclusivity and have it in a park or something.”

Data from the National Bullying Prevention Center shows that about 1 in 5 children report being bullied in school. Students classify bullying as being made fun of, called names, physically assaulted, and excluded by peers.

What do you think?

Is the author indeed excluding other children from her daughter’s class by having a small, intimate birthday party?

Or does every child have the right to feel safe and celebrated on their birthday, and it’s not exclusion when 4 out of 30 children are invited, but rather a private event that others shouldn’t feel entitled to attend?

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