Birthday Parties and Hurt Feelings

Many schools are paying attention to the hurt feelings that can happen when a child celebrates a birthday at school. Many schools have found these rules to be helpful.
  • No invitations to birthday parties are to be given out at school unless all children in the class receive one.
  • If children want to bring birthday treats to school for their birthday, there must be enough for everyone in the class.
If inviting the whole class is not what you want to do for a birthday celebration – or it’s just not possible – the way to protect the feelings of others as much as possible is to make sure the invitations are not given out at school. You can personally deliver them parent-to-parent or kid-to-kid by phone, email, or U.S. mail.
Home birthday parties can also mean hurt feelings. There are many good reasons it makes sense to limit the numbers at a party. Inviting the number of kids that match the age of the child (for example, four guests for a four-year-old) is a good rule of thumb.
If your child is old enough, discuss with him or her how to invite just a few friends without hurting others’ feelings. For example, giving an invitation one-to-one with a friend rather than in a group situation; sending invitations by mail; talking about the party (before and afterwards) only with those invited; having a simple answer ready for, “Why wasn’t I invited?” (“I was only allowed to have a few kids. I wish I could have invited more.”).

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