I recently read a blog post regarding a seven year old girl who was the only girl in the class not invited to a birthday party, according to the mother. Now, the little girl was upset, the mother didn’t like her being upset, so she rang the mother of the birthday girl. What a surprise that the little girl was given a party invitation the very next day, which was accepted and the little girl went to the party.
I was appalled. To me, there are so many lessons here and none of them positive.
• The little girl learnt that if she makes enough fuss, her mother will rush in and ‘fix’ everything.
• The mother discovered that even at this stage of life, she can bully another mother into doing what she wants.
• The birthday girl learnt that you must bow to pressure and be fake just so people don’t get upset.
• All the other little girls learnt not to get on the wrong side of this family or there will be consequences.
In my opinion, there was a big life lesson to be learnt here by the little girl (and her mother it seems). Here is the hard truth, life is not fair and people won’t always do what you want them to.
I have no idea whether the little girl in question is a nice person or whether she is difficult, the blog post didn’t say, written as it was by the mother of said little girl. Even if she is the sweetest, most innocent girl in the world, it makes no difference to me. Her mother had a great opportunity to show her daughter what a strong woman looks like, instead she showed her how to manipulate – or get your mother to manipulate – the situation so you get what you want.
In the real world, life is tough, and full of injustices. How will our children learn to cope with this aspect of life if we don’t teach them? Why are we so surprised there is dishonesty, back-stabbing and gossip in our society when our children are being taught that bowing to social pressure trumps being honest?
If I have a party, I invite the people whose company I enjoy, who enjoy mine and who I can have a great time with. I generally don’t invite those I don’t enjoy being with!
Do I feel sad for the little girl who was left out? Of course. But I feel more sad at how it was handled. Is it unfair to not include just one girl? Yes, absolutely. But this does beg the question of why was she left out in the first place.
So. Am I being harsh given that I have never had this happen to one of my children? Should we, and subsequently our children, invite people to our party whose company we don’t enjoy? What would you have done in this mothers shoes?