Did I do the right thing ?

We are friends and neighbors with a family we’ve known for about 7 years. The friends son was having a birthday, he decided that instead of having a party, he just wanted to go and pick out a present at Toys-R-Us. His mother called a week ago to ask my children over just to have some cake and play for her childs birthday. I said yes. That was supposed to be yesterday, but yesterday, my kids were acting like total brats. They were really out of line with their behavior, so I called my friend and told her that my kids couldn’t come. She wanted to know why, so I told here that the kids were misbehaving and I didn’t think I should reward them for their behavior by allowing them to go. She became angry with me. She said that it made her son upset. I apologized, but said I didn’t feel it would be a good decision to let my kids go. She is still very angry with me.

I am a stricter mother then she is and there are many times that she disagrees with my disipline. I disagree with hers also(She just gives her son whatever he wants) but I don’t feel it’s my place to tell her what to do. However she tells me how wrong I am all the time. I don’t really feel I was wrong, but I would like to hear other opinions.


Well, I think that you should have disciplined your children somehow. However, you were punishing your friend’s son, too, for something that he didn’t do. He was (let’s hope) looking forward to a visit from your kids. He didn’t get one. Now, if you’d said that your kids were being totally bratty, and that you didn’t think that the friend’s son would enjoy being with them that day, THEN your friends might have felt better about the whole thing. But, if your kids could have behaved themselves at friend’s son’s playtime, then they should have gone…and you could have made them do chores or something as punishment.


How dare you tell that nice woman that she shouldn’t tell you and your children how to live your lives?..oh, that’s right you didn’t tell her that. Perhaps you should.

By the way, screw her!

Just out of curiosity, how many other kids were going over there? If it was just your kids, I could see where she could get upset, but if there was going to be something of a party, then she shouldn’t be so irate.

As for “did you do the right thing by not letting your kids go,” yes. There have been a few occassions in my childhood where I wasn’t allowed to go to a birthday party because I was grounded, or vice versa. Party’s are fun, so if you’re being bad, you shouldn’t be allowed to have fun. that’s the point of punishment. I was never allowed to have a t.v. in my room growing up 1) for fear that if I did, I’d never come out of my room, and 2) because a standard punishment was to be sent to my room, away from t.v., friends, distractions, and the like. You did the right thing, so don’t worry about it.

As for telling her off, eh…that’s up to you. You could make some comment about how “look, you raise your child your way, I’ll raise my kids my way, and we’ll see who ends up in prison for date rape,” or something a little less offensive. It’s okay to give advice to a new mother, but you’ve got more than one kid, I think you’ve got it down by now. Maybe not, but from this little story, it sounds to me like you’re on the right track.

There weren’t going to be any other kids there, he didn’t want a big party, he decided to go to TRU instead. I told my neighbor that the kids were just miserable to be around. And my neighbors husband dosen’t like when kids run around, so he would be yelling at the kids anyway. I did tell my neighbor that if she wanted to have the cake today ( Her son real birthday ) We would be there, but she hasn’t called me back about it.

In a way I feel bad about it, because I didn’t want to dissapoint the other kid, but in another way I don’t.

Raising kids is really hard sometimes.

Yes, you did the right thing. You may not have been as political as needed to explain the situation, but if the kids were not displaying party behavior, they should not be let out in public.

However, the birthday boy is also right to be disapointed, though not in you, but in your kids. Your kids chose to behave in a way that was unacceptable, thus hurting their friend’s feelings.

Now, the birthday mom…eh. I can see being upset if you know your kid is going to be hurt. (This is a universal and non logical parental responce. There is no real way to fight off the “You are hurting my child, now you must die” instinct.)

The best way to do it is to get your kids to apologise to their friend for being inconsiderate and do the party a different day.

Boy, I heard that.

The bottom line is, did it work on your kids. Did they seem chastened at not being allowed to go to the other kid’s “party”? That was, after all, the idea.

And don’t be too hard on the other mother. I am sure it was disappointing for her kid not to be able to celebrate with yours.

You stick to your guns. Kids need limits, and they are always better off and happier (in the long run) with parents who mean what they say, and can’t be coaxed or browbeat or wheedled or argued out of them.

One idea would be to catch your kids on a day when they are being particularly good, and then say “You were so helpful today - let’s bake little Jimmy a cake for his birthday and invite him over for a surprise party.” You don’t have to make a big deal about it, but kids like surprise parties. They don’t have to cost much. One of the fondest memories of my youth was making masks out of balloons, papier mache, and old newspapers at a celebration like that.