Is It Ever Ok To Leave A Child Out?

Being a mum of twins often means that I have to divide my time between our girls. Sometimes this is pretty easy, but at other times it can be hard.

For example, I find it easy to divide my time equally between them when listening to them reading their school books. They’re quite happy to sit and wait for the other to finish before taking their turn.

Sometimes though when we’re playing a game it can be hard, and that’s because our girls have very different tastes when it comes to playing games. One likes to play with dolls, whereas the other would prefer to play a board game or do some colouring in. This is when things can get a bit tricky. I need to determine how long I should play dolls with one whilst the other waits or entertains herself before I swap and play a board game with her.

Of course sometimes we all play dolls together, but that doesn’t happen very often, whereas we do frequently play board games together as a family.

In trying to split my time equally between them I hope that they learn patience, but this isn’t always the case!

I’m a firm believer in letting my children get bored. I don’t constantly entertain them, even if at times it feels like I do! Allowing them to get bored inspires them to use their imaginations and make up their own games which is a great skill to learn.

At home I don’t ever feel like one of my children is ‘left out’ when I dedicate time to one of them as they know that soon I’ll swap and dedicate time to the other.

Outside of the home though I have found some situations tricky and it seems I’m not alone in this. A recent Mumsnet thread saw a mum take to the forum to ask if it was ever ok to invite her sons whole class to his birthday party minus one child. The child who her son didn’t want to invite turns out to be a bit of a bully towards her child.

My first reaction was to say it’s fine to leave that child out. I certainly wouldn’t invite a child who bullies mine along to their birthday party, but it seems this thread divided opinion.

Many people said they would either invite the whole class and teach their son how to be the bigger person while others said it wasn’t fair to exclude the one child and that if her son couldn’t handle being in the same room as the excluded child then he should have a smaller party and invite perhaps just a handful of children. I guess that way it wouldn’t look like you were excluding just one child, but what do you think?

When I look back at our own experiences of birthday parties I feel we’ve been lucky that most parents have always invited both girls. After all they’re in the same class. However, on one occasion only one of our girls received an invite and it certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons. Naturally the one who wasn’t invited was upset, and I understand that, but then I also wonder if she would have actually enjoyed the party had she gone as it was all boys minus her sister, and I imagine it would have been far too boisterous for her.

The dilemma I faced was should I allow the invited child to go and have the one who wasn’t invited feeling left out, or should I not allow the invited child to go leaving her disappointed but her sister happy that neither of them would go?

As it turns the decision was taken out of my hands as we had a pre-booked event the same day, but I’m still unsure as to what I would have done had we have been free that day.

I know it’s important that they do their own things and naturally as they get older they will have their own friends who inevitably will do different things together, but at 6 years old trying to explain to a child why she didn’t get an invite and her sister did was pretty heartbreaking.

What do you think? What would you do?

One thought on “Is It Ever Ok To Leave A Child Out?

  1. Oh crikey, what a dilemma. I would definitely let the invited one go, if he wanted to go without the other, and then do something nice with the other. I wouldn’t think it fair not to let one go if the other had not been invited. I find that my boys tend to get left out of things as people feel if they invite 1 then they have to invite the other, so they rarely get invited to play dates or parties.

    With the class party there is absolutely no way I would ever exclude 1 child, in my eyes that is being a big of a bully as the child.

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