Ask Kari: My daughter was not invited to a child’s birthday party — should I invite that child to my daughter’s party?

Dear Kari,

My daughter was not invited to a birthday party recently that most of her friends attended. Now it’s her birthday and I am wondering if I should invite the girl who left her off her party invite list to my daughter’s birthday celebration?

Protective Party Mom

Dear Protective Party Mom,

It can be hard to watch your children navigate the in and outs of social dynamics and not want to protect them from harm and hurt feelings. That said, you don’t know if the party she was not invited to was simply a numbers issue; perhaps the birthday host had to leave a few children off the list, including your daughter. It wasn’t personal, as the parents probably gave birthday girl a number she had to stick to. From that standpoint, I would invite the girl to your daughter’s party if your daughter is friendly with her and wants her to come to the party. This is a good teaching moment for your daughter, as she should not consider every act a direct action against her. Sometimes things are the way they are and it’s not a personal statement against us. I believe that it’s better to function from a place of enjoying peoples’ company whom we like without keeping score of who owes who.


As published in the October 2014 issue of Connections.


About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a licensed independent clinical social worker and a resident of Issaquah Highlands.

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