When Kids Are Excluded
Here we go again! My daughter was excluded from another birthday party. It felt like an awful case of déjà vu. This time it was a similar situation where my daughter insisted she was invited according to her friend, classmate and daisy troop mate. She even insisted the mother said she was invited. While I wanted to cry inside, this time I called in the reinforcements of my sister, sister-in-law and friend.
My sister and I vented about how sad it is when kids get left out, especially when a child isn’t old enough to know not to talk about a party in front of friends. We also both agree that it’s one thing to exclude the majority of a class, but to only exclude a few – not cool. In this case, 3 of 10 girls in the class were excluded.
I confessed to my sister-in-law that her not being invited not only brought great sadness to my husband and I, it also brought great concern. Was she being excluded because kids don’t like her? In this case, the mom has talked highly of our daughter, so that was equally confusing. Here’s what my sister-in-law asked me…
1. Does she (your daughter) come home from school saying no one sits with her at lunch? No
2. Does she come home from school saying no one will play with her? No
3. Has she been invited to other birthday parties? Yes
4. Has the teacher reached out you to express concerns about her not getting along with other girls in the classroom? No
5. Does she talk positively about her days at school? Yes
6. Does she get invited to play at friends’ houses? Yes
I thought this was a fantastic series of questions to ask and answer. She went on to remind me that many families don’t always host elaborate parties that include all the kids. She also reminded me that next year there will be a whole new set of girls in her class. And that the friends she has now will most likely not be the friends she has long into adulthood. Wow, did this 10-minute conversation make me feel a million times better.
As for my friend (someone I’ve known since I was 2 years old!), she was so quick to agree to bring her daughter over to play the afternoon of the party. And my daughter and her daughter were instantly on cloud nine. It took about 30 seconds for them both to change into fancy dresses and let their imaginations run free. They spent hours together that day and still wanted to play more (trying to convince us of a sleepover). I especially loved this picture I captured. The 2 girls laying in the grass, daydreaming no doubt. Looking at cloud formations perhaps, sharing their favorite things just as I had done with her friend’s mom for years and years. At one point I opened the door and asked them what they were thinking about. Their response surprised me but made me smile. “We’re playing coronation!” But of course. Two young girls together, during the height of the “Frozen” craze, one wearing Elsa’s coronation gown… I should have known.
And really, the best part of this all, was when I picked my daughter up just before her play date. She confidently said “Mom, I’m over it! I had the best day at school. I just can’t wait to see Julia.”