Must You Invite the Whole Class to a Child’s Birthday Party?

Must you invite the whole class to your child's birthday party? I say no. But some schools are taking it upon themselves to tell parents how to run their personal affairs. What do you think? @OneFunnyMotha

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I say no. I say it’s up to the family to invite whomever they choose to their own private, personal affairs. But some schools have recently taken it upon themselves to instruct families on how to run their personal lives. They are now issuing policies mandating all students in class be invited to a child’s birthday party. I say that is completely absurd given we don’t live in a totalitarian society. Not yet anyway. And I’m saying it over on Brain, Child. Today I’m engaged in a battle royale with Rudri Patel in Brain, Child’s great debates series. And Rudri’s going down. Rudri, who is a former lawyer (so I have my work cut out for me), argues for inviting the whole class while I argue hell no. But you decide. Go on over and check out the debate on whether or not to invite the whole class to your kid’s birthday party. And let me know who won.

Must you invite the whole class to your child's birthday party? I say no. But some schools are taking it upon themselves to tell parents how to run their personal affairs. What do you think? @OneFunnyMotha

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19 thoughts on “Must You Invite the Whole Class to a Child’s Birthday Party?”

  1. Oh my goodness. I am so with you. My kids’ school (when they were younger) had this policy and it puts an undue burden on a family to have to invite 25 kids to a party instead of 8.

  2. Yes! Absolutely, I always invite the whole class! Chances are, less than a third will make it and I would never want our family to be the reason anyone feels left out. Besides what could possibly justify making someone feel like crap?! This world is hurtful enough, why add to it.

  3. Nope, I don’t invite the whole class. And I don’t believe that schools have the right to mandate what you do for your child’s birthday party. I don’t mind if they say you can’t hand out invites at the school unless the whole class is invited. That being said, I wouldn’t allow my child to invite all but just a couple of kids from their class, because I don’t think that would be nice. We usually just pick a handful of kids they are actually friends with.

  4. We did. In fact we did a joint party for BOTH my younger boys . We invited both classes, AND their siblings as long as their parents would stay and watch over them and all our neighbor kids too. We had a double water slide, snow cones, face painting and two pinatas. 60 goodie bags were made and all but FOUR were claimed. We actually got friends of my teenager to come help out and it was a BLAST! Ruined my yard. Foot deep mud but it was well worth it.

    1. Totally get that. They really shouldn’t have any say in what happens at your house. Period.
      Our schools don’t allow the kids to hand out invites at school. I think to prevent hurt feelings. I actually just sent the invites in a big envelope with a note and a copy of the invite so the teachers could see it and asked them to make sure every kid got one. Neither teacher minded doing it since we were all inclusive.
      Best part: we got exactly FOUR RSVP’s. …total. from BOTH classes. Yet most of the kids showed and some did bring their sibs.

  5. Oh geez. Ya know…seriously we are raising a bunch of babies. Life goes on. So what, our feelings got hurt. It’s life. Not everything is fair. To actually have to mandate a policy for parties….come on! There are kids that were mean and nasty to my child when she was younger and no way would I want to be forced to have to have them at my home. Financially some can’t afford the entire class and do what they can by inviting 5 kids instead of 30. Can’t even believe this is a topic of conversation.

  6. I am with you on this one.

    I let my son invite six kids from preschool to his 5th birthday party. Five attended. All but one parent dropped their kids off. The kids played, had pizza, played some more, ate cake/ice cream, presents, done. The kids had a blast with simple, low-key fun and I didn’t feel overwhelmed, which happens to me easily with a house full of people. Instead I was able to pull off a nice (January) party and focus on what my son wanted and what worked for our family.

    His preschool allowed me to put invitations in cubbies discreetly. I talked to my son about it because he made the guest list and was aware that not everyone was invited. I took it as a teaching opportunity and he responded favorably. I hope someday when he does not get invited to a party it will help him understand that life isn’t filled with constant over-the-top birthday parties. At least not in our world.

  7. Her reasoning is ridiculous. Is she going to follow her child all through life ensuring she’s “included”? And I really don’t agree that “inclusion” is the most important thing for our kids. When my kids aren’t invited to something that makes them sad, we definitely address the problem, but most of the time they realize they’d rather not be where they’re not welcome or wanted.

    Putting aside my child’s feelings (which they’ll have to learn to work through eventually, you’re not always invited to everything) think about the logistics. I couldn’t even AFFORD five birthday parties that included everyone in my childrens class (once all 5 are in school). They wouldn’t even get to have one!

  8. I am very surprised by the many responses of parents who believe parents shouldn’t be told to invite the whole class. The school’s intention is not to be some kind of dictator but to protect hurt feelings. Unfortunately, these mandates happen because of repeated complaints from other parents whose child is excluded. How many of you that responded that you can make your own list ever had your child excluded from a party a few times when “most” not “a few” kids were invited. I believe there needs to be some guidelines – not a black/white system. I think it is Ok to invite just all girls or all boys. I also think it is OK if you are having it in your home an only inviting a few – 4 or 5. Over the years, I have seen many times almost the entire class invited (20 kids) and just 3 left out. I think these are they types of situations that force these rules to be set up in the first place. Do you still agreed this should be allowed? Or , how about when there is one child with special needs integrated in the class and everyone but this child is invited to the party.

  9. Yeah if the school wants to pay for it!! Not to mention what are we babysitters too? You know a ton of parents would just leave the kids and come back when its over. Hell no!

  10. I understand no one wants to hurt anyone’s feelings, but do we really want to teach our children to be fake. If they don’t like someone, for whatever reason it is, they shouldn’t pretend. Polite is one thing, fake is something else.

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