Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Dreaded Birthday Invitations

I mentioned birthday invitations in an earlier piece. I think that invitations represent an important topic, so it bears repeating here. Every year I absolutely dread handing out the birthday invitations. I learned back in 1st grade that you can’t let the kids hand them out, no matter how secretly it is done.

I’ll never forget the first graders piling out of the classroom. I handed Halley the invites to slip into a few of the girls hands undetected. She did a great job, too. The problem was that one little girl grabbed the envelope and yelled out to the other girls, “A birthday invitation! Did you get one? Did you get one?” I was mortified!

One little girl I did not even know marched right up to me, told me her name, and said that I could bring her invitation tomorrow. I’m sure we have all had tears over the birthday invitations our children did not get. Especially, when they are handed out overtly on the playground or when another child goes around spreading the bad news that your child did not get one.

We really do need to teach our little ones proper birthday invitation etiquette and we parents need to follow it ourselves. Why is it necessary to teach our children proper birthday invitation etiquette? Well, we are doing a lousy job of it now and look at what is happening. I haven't met a mom yet who loves to hand out birthday invitations. We've all seen the abuse and the hurt that is caused by not training our kids how to graciously and quietly accept an invitation.

In fact, my nine year old was ousted from her group of friends because she did not invite 2 of the other girls from the group. Those 2 girls, by the way, had never once invited Halley to their homes nor to their parties. Not only that, but the two girls were mean to Halley because of her growing friendship with Veronica, "the prize" without whom they would not be "popular".

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