Bullying is commonly linked with teenagers, but it’s a behavior that can occur across different age groups. The distinction lies in how the bullying is expressed. Typically, younger children may not resort to physical violence but instead use hurtful language or falsehoods. Since adults understand the severity of bullying, such behavior may not seem as significant in comparison and can be overlooked.
It can be challenging when parents fail to recognize that such behavior qualifies as bullying, and if left unaddressed, it could escalate into a more significant issue. This particular woman appears to be exacerbating the problem by attempting to persuade her daughter’s classmate’s mom that her child’s bullying of her daughter isn’t a valid reason to exclude her from a party to which everyone was invited.
A mom excluded one of her daughter’s classmates from her birthday party, but she believes she had a good reason for doing so.
The Original Poster (OP) has a 7-year-old daughter who attends a small private school with 20 other kids in her grade. Payton, the daughter, has an upcoming birthday, and her mom is in the process of planning a party. As a result, she distributed invitations to the parents of Payton’s classmates.
The children are quite excited about it because Payton’s birthday parties are already known for being a lot of fun. The mom has even hired a party planner and allowed Payton to unleash her creative vision.
A mom is organizing a birthday party for her daughter Payton, and the school is well aware of how enjoyable and extravagant these parties tend to be.
Image credits: Opposite-Leg2854
In response to a comment, the mom revealed the vision for the party, saying, “It’s Barbie-themed, but with princess appearances instead of a Barbie appearance. And there will be a superhero appearance for the boys, with Spider-Man meeting Ariel. The party will feature face painting, a Barbie box for pictures with a balloon arch around it, and everything will be in pink. There will be a balloon artist, but not a clown due to some kids being scared of them. The party will also include an ice cream, cupcake, and donut bar where the kids can decorate their own treats. A big white bouncy castle with pink balloons on the side will be there, and she mentioned that a magician would be a nice addition. We usually have a DJ, and this weekend, she’ll be selecting the food. She said, ‘Mommy, these are just some of my ideas right now.'”
She invited all of her daughter’s classmates except for one girl because this girl had previously bullied Payton, and the birthday girl is not friends with her.
Image credits: Opposite-Leg2854
It will undoubtedly be an extravagant party, but one person from the class was intentionally left uninvited – Payton’s bully. This girl had been making hurtful comments about Payton’s appearance, body, and excluding her from group activities, among other things.
The bullying had been ongoing, and the Original Poster (OP) had numerous meetings with the girl’s parents and the school. However, it appeared that the issue was not resolved, and the other girl’s parents didn’t seem to grasp the seriousness of the situation, as indicated by their exasperated reaction upon learning that Payton didn’t want the bully at her party.
Exactly, it’s completely understandable that the person being bullied wouldn’t want their bully at their party. Bullies can make them feel uncomfortable, upset, and even afraid, and there’s usually no friendship between them. So, it’s entirely logical not to invite the bully.
The OP clarified to the other mom that her daughter wasn’t invited to the party due to her past behavior, and while she expressed regret that her child was upset, she emphasized that it was Payton’s birthday, and she deserved to be happy and comfortable at her own party.
The bullying consisted of hurtful words and the exclusion of Payton from playing with other girls in her class.
The OP was bothered by the fact that the girl’s mom attempted to change her mind by offering an apology letter. It’s not that the OP discounted the value of apologies, but in this instance, the offer seemed insincere. The mom explained in the comments, “I’m not refusing an apology; I’m refusing an apology in exchange for an invitation. Sincere apologies shouldn’t come with strings attached or conditions.”
The OP, being a mom herself, does have empathy for the girl who is feeling excluded and won’t be able to enjoy the extraordinary party. However, some people in the comments pointed out that actions have consequences, and due to the bullying behavior directed at her daughter, she won’t be allowed at the party.
Nevertheless, the bully’s mom seems to believe that not inviting her daughter makes her the one who’s being treated as the bullied kid.
A retired psychologist also participated in the discussion and offered their perspective: “Based on your comments, I’d say this is one of the few valid reasons to exclude a single child from a party. The bullying problem has persisted and hasn’t improved despite discussions and meetings with parents and the school, correct? Why would anyone ever expect you to invite your daughter’s bully into your home to celebrate your daughter’s life?”
The retired psychologist also emphasized that not only would the bully learn that negative actions have consequences, but Payton would also be taught the importance of setting boundaries and not succumbing to someone’s pleas for sympathy when they were the ones responsible for their treatment.
This dispute has created a divide between the two moms, and it resurfaces every time they encounter each other.
However, child psychotherapist Zara Kadir provides a different perspective. Bored Panda contacted Zara Kadir, who works with children aged 4-12, to get her expert opinion on whether the situation is as straightforward as it appears in the comments. According to the expert, the OP wasn’t being fair.
Zara Kadir explained, “I think the bully’s mom had a right to be informed so she could protect her child,” and she also suggested, “I think the birthday girl’s mom should have invited her closest friends only.” She believes that “excluding a child who’s engaging in bullying (and obviously facing some challenges) will only lead to more problems.”
Payton’s mom acknowledges that the bully is just a child who wants to attend a party, but she firmly believes that her daughter deserves to have a worry-free and enjoyable celebration.
Zara Kadir elaborated, “Bullies need to be empathized with, especially at a young age. I wonder if the bully is being mistreated at home or dealing with low self-esteem, and she might be acting out by making her peers feel bad about themselves. If I were the birthday girl’s mother, I would either recommend inviting a smaller group or view it as an opportunity to repair the relationship by inviting the bully and trying to find common ground.”
“We want to know what you think about this situation. Do you believe the bully’s mom doesn’t think her daughter did anything wrong? Or maybe she knows but doesn’t want her to get in trouble? Do you think not inviting the bully will make things worse? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.”
People in the comments supported Payton’s mom because they couldn’t understand why a child would have to invite their bully to share their birthday celebration.