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'AITA for telling my daughter that either everybody comes to her birthday party or no one comes at all?' UPDATED.

'AITA for telling my daughter that either everybody comes to her birthday party or no one comes at all?' UPDATED.


"AITA for telling my daughter that either everybody comes to her birthday party or no one comes at all?"

My daughter is eleven going on twelve, and her birthday is coming up in a few weeks. For her birthday, she wants to go swimming, so we rented the local community center that has a pool and a giant activity room where we’ll have lots of treats and stuff.

We asked her to make us a list of invitees so we can get everything coordinated. She asked if she could just invite her whole class of 20 or so kids. It’s a big activity center with lots of room so we said that was fine.

So she goes to the kitchen and about ten minutes later comes back with her classmate “directory.” Her school puts together a small binder that lists the names of the students by each class, the names of the parent(s), and a phone number and/or email address.

She hands it to me and I quickly notice that three names have been crossed out. I asked why, and she said those are the ones she doesn’t want to invite. I started asking her other questions, like if they had an argument, or if they were mean, bullies, etc., and she maintained that no, she just thought they were strange and didn’t really like them.

I told her that she can’t just invite the whole class with just three exclusions. She just kind of looked at me and said it’s her birthday. I explained that this could be hurtful to them, and that if she was so staunchly against them attending, then it would be better to have a smaller party and invite just a handful of her closest friends.

She said she doesn’t want a small party, she wanted a big party, and I told her then everyone in the class is getting an invitation. She said no, they aren’t, and I told her okay, then no one is and she ran out of the room crying. She has started crying and running away whenever she has seen me since and I’m starting to feel guilty.

My wife was frustrated with me and says that she gets where I’m coming from, but it IS daughter’s birthday and she should only have the people she wants there. I tried to explain that I don’t want our daughter to be a reason these three kids have a crappy time in school. I can’t in good conscience let her exclude other kids like this.

Am I the ahole here? Wife says all we need to worry about is daughter having a fun birthday and I’m already ruining for picking a fight over something no one will remember years down the road, but I don’t agree at all. If they were bullies, that would be one thing. But they aren’t, so to me, it’s cruelty. And cruelty sticks with people.

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Successful_Bath1200 said:

NTA. Can I suggest you speak to your daughters Teacher and ask if there has been any issues or trouble where the 3 she won't invite are concerned. But you are right if there are no issues it should be all or none.

Apprehensive_Skin150 said:

NTA. Kudos for teaching her right vs. wrong. Maybe turn it around and ask her how she would feel if she was one of three excluded from a classmate’s birthday party.

Final-Negotiation530 said:

This one’s hard. As a teacher, I personally do believe kids should be able to pick who they want and not be forced to invite the whole class. This is a special day for them, and in the real world you DONT include everyone, as much as it sucks.

However, inviting such a large percentage and then leaving out just 3 is really rough. Any way to edit things a bit, does she mostly have girlfriends and the 3 are guys so maybe leave out all of the guys and make it an all girl party?

I feel like in a class of 20, maybe leaving 7ish off is okay, but when you start getting down the the smaller numbers it’ll hit those kids hard. Whatever you do, send the invites outside of school if not everyone is invited. Ultimately, I’d suggest you talk to the teacher. Your daughter may not want to share the real issue. NAH.

ThrowawayJIC000 said:

YTA - I know this might be controversial but I was a kid "not long ago" and I was friends with most people in my class but there were definitely kids that I didn't like/didn't get along with that I didn't want in my birthday party and I've always thought it was unfair that I had to invite everyone...

My mom had the same opinion as you, everyone should be invited and I shouldn't leave anyone out, but at the end of the day it's their party and it will just be uncomfortable for the guests because they will know they are not wanted - trust me, kids are ruthless and will go above and beyond if they are unhappy with the situation.

I think you're just gonna end up making your kid unhappy and the other 3 kids as well - will your daughter and her friends actually include them in the activities or will they just show up to the party and be left out by everyone for a couple hours? Which scenario is best?

If they were toddlers I'd understand, kids that young are friends with grass if need be, but they are at the age to have people that they like and dislike.

Such-Awareness-2960 said:

This is a tough one, but I am going to say YTA. I understand wanting to teach your daughter to be kind and inclusive, but not at the expense of her own feelings or comfortable. Women are taught from young age that we have to be nice and considerate of other peoples feelings sometime at the expense of our own.

I understand what you are trying to do but you are also telling your daughter she can't celebrate her birthday with the people she wants to because it would be rude to the kids that aren't invited. You are telling her she has to make her celebration about including other people.

Inner_Doubt_1660 said:

YTA. I was the kid in class that had to be forced to be around the weird kids. I was partnered with them and told that I was helping them. I hated it. I'm not saying your daughter is forced to do this. But I totally get why she doesn't want them at HER party.

When she's a teenager and she throws a birthday party, are you still going to force her to invite people she doesn't like? Because to me you're teaching your daughter that other people's feelings matter more than hers.

Do you think other kids who possibly don't like your daughter will invite her? And if that does happen, what are you going to tell her? Your kids feelings should matter more to you than strangers you don't know.


Thanks for reading, glad the final verdict is that I am not the asshole here. Not appreciating all the comments, PMs, and chat requests making wild assumptions, projecting, threatening me, and attacking me, but I DO appreciate all the people who appropriately and civilly shared all kinds of thoughts.

We talked again this morning morning and I asked her more specifically about her feelings towards the three and it’s really nothing even potentially problematic like people were suggesting, but I thought it was important to make sure just in case. I asked her to put herself in their shoes—what if one of her classmates was having a party and invited everybody except her?

How would she feel? This is the approach I admit I should have tried in the first place, and it worked. She gets it. I explained that’s why she can’t invite the whole class except for just three people because at that point, it’s a class affair.

I reiterated that she could still have a small party with just her close friends, but she said she wanted to still have a big party and everybody is invited.

The opinions were fairly divided for this one. What's your advice for this family?

Sources: Reddit
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