We live in a society (well my little spec of society anyway), that seems to be all inclusive, invite everyone all the time. I am not opposed to the all inclusive idea, I actually like it most of the time, however there are times when inviting everyone is not condusive to the event. Such as a sleepover at my house. We have a very small house. So the dilemma arises, one of my girls wants to have a party and who does she invite? What is the proper etiquette in this siutation in this day and age?
I want to teach my girls to be thoughtful and always include everyone however there are times and situations where it is ok to have an actual guest list and invite a limited amount of people. I also want to teach my girls that its ok to be the one not invited. They need to know not everyone can be invited all the time and their self-worth and value is not determined by being "popular" and invited to every party and event. This is a delicate road to navigate.
When party planning I ask my middle school girls to make their own guest list then I review it. In the situation where I see one name left off the list, say a name of a friend that they may not be super close with but this friend is very close to the group of friends that is always doing things together, we talk about it. Parents Magazine has some great advice about this particular situation.
How do I avoid making a child feel left out?
Even though we may have a smaller, more intimate party for something like a sleepover, we also try to have plenty of larger gatherings where lots of friends we know are invited. Even though we have a small house we are thankful that large outdoor gatherings work at our home. We have a good size back yard and pool. This allows for large, fun summer parties. Everyone likes to be invited and included. Girls are especially sensitive to this. As I raise my girls I want them to be sensitive and kind while at the same time being able to form close friendships without becoming cliquish or exclusive.
How do you handle party guest lists with your kids?
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