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5th birthday party but no friends!


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#1 **Carol**

Posted 16 February 2020 - 11:40 PM

My DD turns 5 in a month's time. My DH  wants our daughter to have a party but I honestly wouldn't know who to invite? She's been at school for a month and doesn't seem to have any proper friends yet. I certainly can't afford to invite the whole class of 25 and don't like doing big parties at my house. I don't want to stress of prepping food for a park party either. I just don't want to do a party if she doesn't have good friends. We're disagreeing about it. He thinks it may help her form friendships. I just think we should do something nice as a family. WWYD?

#2 Ellie bean

Posted 16 February 2020 - 11:43 PM

What does your daughter want? Could you give her the option?
If she wants a party, you could just invite the girls from her class- I think that’s a way you can keep numbers down without leaving just a few kids out
Good luck, I find managing social stuff for my kids really stressful!

#3 littlepickle

Posted 16 February 2020 - 11:46 PM

Have a wonderful family day/ event. I found it really heart breaking to go to birthday parties when the kids were little to find the birthday child hiding in their bedroom because they were so overwhelmed with the influx of people in their house. Next year once she has formed a little friendship group she may be ready...

#4 #notallcats

Posted 16 February 2020 - 11:47 PM

Unless your daughter asks for a  party, I wouldn't have one.  There's plenty of time to make friends.  Just have a nice family party.



View PostEllie bean, on 16 February 2020 - 11:43 PM, said:


If she wants a party, you could just invite the girls from her class-

Why just the girls?  She might be friendly with the boys just as much as the girls.

#5 Ellie bean

Posted 16 February 2020 - 11:53 PM

View Post#notallcats, on 16 February 2020 - 11:47 PM, said:


Why just the girls?  She might be friendly with the boys just as much as the girls.
Oh definitely- I just meant it’s one way to keep numbers down if you don’t actually know which specific kids are your child’s friends, without hurting anyone’s feelings
I’m definitely not one to say friends should be along gender lines!

#6 rileys-mum

Posted 16 February 2020 - 11:54 PM

OP to be honest is it about you or your daughter? My kids would never of have a birthday party if I didn’t want to prepare have kids
Over or invite the whole class....... your DH is right it will help her form relationships. That is why I do what I do outside my comfort zone.

#7 PuddingPlease

Posted 16 February 2020 - 11:54 PM

My daughters birthday is in a few weeks and we made the call not to do a party this year because there wasn't enough time to get to know her classmates. We're catching up with some friends and family instead and she's excited about that. I've promised she can have one next year when she knows the other kids, honestly I think she was relieved and she isn't a shy kid.

If your DD really wants a party then it might give them all an opportunity to get to know each other out of school but if the only person keen is your DH then I'd probably dig my heels in a bit. It has the potential to be a bit awkward for her if she is still getting to know the others. At this stage of the year they don't even seem to know a lot of their classmates names.

#8 K.heather

Posted 17 February 2020 - 03:27 AM

If dh is so adamant that DD has a party then you insist he does all the leg work :) you can sit back and relax whilst he stresses doing all the prep work and inviting, whilst making sure dd has a great day.

#9 Dianalynch

Posted 17 February 2020 - 05:11 AM

My ds is a bit different, and while he loves parties, he finds it hard to make friends. I gave him the option - party or a weekend away with the family, he chose the weekend away.

#10 SplashingRainbows

Posted 17 February 2020 - 05:37 AM

I’ve certainly found parties a good way for my children to make friends, and also for me to meet other parents to organise play dates which really does cement friendships.

Yes they’re a lot of effort. But for us, worth it.

#11 Prancer is coming

Posted 17 February 2020 - 05:52 AM

I had a total of ine birthday party as a kid.  I assume it was because my mum did not like organising them, she did overthink things and worry.  I still think now she could have made an effort.  It certainly did not help my self esteem!

As a result, I probably have gone the other way and tend to do a party every year.  I would not let my own issues or worries get in the way.  DD had a friend where the mum was quite a worrier.  Her friend wanted to have a summer party but said she couldn’t as her mum worried no One would turn up over the holidays or they might mistake it as a party and bring a present.  Personally, I think her mum’s attitude and putting it on her kid did more damage than only a few people turning up.

kids love parties.  If it is the start of the school year, a lot of parents might be wondering if their kid has friends and would probably be thrilled to get an invite.  Have her invite a set number, like 10 or whatever.  Does she have outside friends or cousins/neighbours to invite too?  Maybe just a bbq at a local park would be easy?  Even if just a handful of people turned up, I bet she would have fun.

#12 Sancti-claws

Posted 17 February 2020 - 06:06 AM

View Postrileys-mum, on 16 February 2020 - 11:54 PM, said:

OP to be honest is it about you or your daughter? My kids would never of have a birthday party if I didn’t want to prepare have kids
Over or invite the whole class....... your DH is right it will help her form relationships. That is why I do what I do outside my comfort zone.
On the other hand, is this about your husband or your daughter?  A huge party can actually backfire on self-esteem.

I agree that if it is so important to your DH, he can take on board the thought load and some of the prep-work too.

But it is about your daughter - see what would be best for her.  Ask her teacher if there are one or two children who are best suited to her and have a small playdate is another option.

#13 lozoodle

Posted 17 February 2020 - 06:08 AM

FYOS tends to just be a whole class party usually, or maybe just all the girls from her class?

See what she wants though!

That said, those FYOS parties are a drag, but they can also be a great way to meet people and help them form some initial friendships.

#14 Krio

Posted 17 February 2020 - 06:15 AM

One of our son's has a Feb birthday and we usually push his birthday party to mid-late March. Aside from guaranteeing that whatever date we pick will have torrential rain, it's given him a chance to settle into school and suss out his new class. It was especially helpful in kindergarten as it gave him time to form some new friendships.

We usually invite up to 20 kids so not all of them will end up being his closest friends but it's a nice way to cement some of those forming friendships. In kindy, I think we did all the boys in his class plus some extra friends. Pushing it back a month has also given me time to get over the start of school rush so the party doesn't overwhelm me. He loves it as it extends his birthday celebrations into a new month.

I'm sure she will love whatever you plan and have a lovely birthday.

Edited by Krio, 17 February 2020 - 06:16 AM.


#15 null

Posted 17 February 2020 - 06:16 AM

In FYOS my children had birthdays in the park with the whole class invited. The food prep wasn't too bad but some parents got picky about having more healthier options.

#16 Crombek

Posted 17 February 2020 - 06:22 AM

FYOS has always been whole class parties. It can be expensive, yes - especially if your child is one of the first for the year & everyone comes, but as per PP it's a great way to put faces to names and make some parent connections.

eta: if you do it in a park & do a fruit platter & cupcakes it can be quite cost effective. My experience is very few kids eat much at all, too busy playing.

Edited by Crombek, 17 February 2020 - 06:25 AM.


#17 AllyK81

Posted 17 February 2020 - 06:23 AM

DS was FYOS last year and most kids had a whole class party. It was a great way for the kids and parents to know each other. Our kids will be at school together until Year 12 so it is worth the time and effort to get to know each other.

Of 25 kids, probably 5 won’t be able to come anyway. If your daughter does want a party, just have a play in the park with some fruit platters and cake after school if you want to keep it low key.

#18 MarciaB

Posted 17 February 2020 - 06:33 AM

If you decide to have a party - you can keep it fairly low key. 2 hours at home or at a park, food can be simple ( fruit platter, sandwich platter, cut up scrolls/cheese vegemite rolls etc from Bakers Delight or similar, pizza delivered). If at a park with a decent playground no need for entertainment or at home a few party games and you are done. After school parties on a Friday are great!

As PP said if you invite the class, at least 1/4 won’t be able to make it.

#19 luke's mummu

Posted 17 February 2020 - 07:11 AM

I found birthday parties are a good way to get on the “ social radar” of other parents, play days invites certainly increased after a party. I would go with all girls ( half the class) or in a park ( but then need to include food for adults). Also consider having it at an awkward time so less people attend. Saturday morning sport for older siblings will rule some kids out.

#20 Mollyksy

Posted 17 February 2020 - 07:29 AM

Our FYOS was whole class parties. It was a class of 19 so not too bad. Lots of parties at parks which as PPs pointed out is cost effective. We had a party at the grandparents house (which I missed with an emergency hospital admission but I'm told it was good!). On the other hand a few kids at a play centre is also good and generally what we did at daycare.

We got a list from the teacher. As PP have said, you can schedule it to be less convenient! But if it's the first party you may find an excellent turnout.

What does DD want to do?

#21 kerilyntaryn

Posted 17 February 2020 - 07:32 AM

Quite a number of the kids you invite wont be able to come,  parties can be a good way to make friends, for her and you.  I'd invite the whole class and probably only half will turn up.  What about having a party at Hungry Jacks or McDonalds,  they can be quite inexpensive and you dont have to do the work

#22 Lifesgood

Posted 17 February 2020 - 07:32 AM

My DD turned 5 a month after starting FYOS. We had a small party at home with her pre-school friends.

#23 Mollyksy

Posted 17 February 2020 - 07:33 AM

Oh forgot about McDonald's. We had a few of those too. Kids had a ball! Parents had coffee. All happy.

#24 Lucrezia Bauble

Posted 17 February 2020 - 07:35 AM

personally i think inviting the whole class on the assumption half won’t turn up is a bit of a risk - particularly if your prime concern is you can’t afford a party for the whole class. what if they do all turn up? i’d check with your dd first, maybe she has a view - or else I’d do Ellie Beans suggestion - just invite the girls in her class.


#25 Ivy Ivy

Posted 17 February 2020 - 08:21 AM

Yes I'm another for definitely don't assume whole class won't turn up.  I've hosted half a dozen "whole class" parties for my kids, some "whole class plus 5-10 particular extra friends", and everyone bar maybe one person per party max turns up.  Some bring siblings.  I've never had only half show.  Very dangerous assumption doing that.  My kids are early in the year, before party attending fatigue has set in, so maybe more of an attendance effort is made?

Carol, if you don't want to host a party, and your daughter is ambivalent, don't host.  Issue managed.
You could promise her a belated party in a few months if she'd like, that'd give her a chance to make some friends.  Because if cost is an issue, waiting until she has a little friendship group then just taking those kids out to a playcentre or outing or park party or whatever, will be much more affordable.

Playdates will flow from other kids class party socialising you and your partner do, if you make an effort in that direction.  Or, you can initiate playdates when you're more comfy with the parent group.  I don't think parties create playdates as much as holding a playdate creates playdates, because some (only SOME) parents wil reciprocate after a playdate but people don't as often counter a party invitation with a playdate invitation.




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