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Third Grader Was Purposely Excluded From His Classmate's Birthday Party — He Was Told He 'Didn't Make The List'

Photo: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock
Children in a classroom holding up their hands

The “r/Parenting” subreddit is a tight-knit community in which parents all over the world share their parenting woes and seek advice about the things that may or may not be troubling them.

One mother recently made a post regarding her 8-year-old son who is in third grade, and how one of his classmates deliberately excluded him from an activity for the rest of the class.

Her son’s third-grade classmate told him he ‘didn’t make the list’ for his birthday party that everyone else was invited to.

Many schools around the country have adopted policies in their institutions that deem all of the students in a classroom must be invited to a birthday party if invitations are being handed out in class — this school, however, did not have such a policy.

“My 8-year-old son came home crying yesterday because another student, M, handed out birthday party invitations to all of his classmates except for him,” she started her post on the subreddit. “It happened in his classroom and there are 18 students in his class.”

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Growing up, it’s hard to find a place to fit in and friends to fit in with — identity crises are constant in the life of a growing child, and in order to circumvent that and any hurt feelings, schools have taken action to prevent that.

“When my son asked M why he didn't get an invitation, M apparently replied with a big smirk ‘I guess you didn't make the list,’” she explained.

He has told his mom that normally, he doesn’t have any problem with M, but he becomes kind of mean towards him when other people are around.

“I have no issue with M not inviting my son — it's his party and he can invite whoever he wants,” she continues. “But it seems unnecessarily cruel for M to deliberately exclude my son, and only my son, in front of his classmates at school.”

He already has a hard time fitting in because he’s a little “off-beat with his love for horses, steam engines, and old musical recordings,” so she worries that this act will signal to other students that he should be alienated more.

She expressed her idea of bringing it up with his teacher and the school principal, and even admitted that a part of her “wants to name and shame M's parents through the class chat group.”

However, she figured that would end up fruitless and only hurt her son more.

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The parents of Reddit chimed in to give the hurt mother some advice on what to do.

Before accusing the parents, one person suggested that they may, in fact, have done nothing wrong.

“It’s possible that the parents did, in fact, make invitations for every child in the class — and their son just decided to not give your son his,” the top comment read. “So might be best to ask some questions before accusing the parents.”

One of the replies insinuated the same and even suggested that she should reach out to M’s parents directly if she had their contact information.

“The parents should probably be at least a little embarrassed and apologetic,” they wrote. “If the parents react poorly to this, they’re a--holes and you spoke your truth.”

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Another parent suggested that she direct her focus away from the incident that occurred in class, and focus more on her son’s resilience.

No, it wasn’t the typical “be a man” speech, but more so a conversation and lesson about self-worth.

They said she should “teach him that there will always be mean people around, but that his job is to cultivate enough self-worth that it won't impact him so hard in the future.”

One of the ways that people suggested this was to do fun things with him herself and also to fortify his social life outside of class so the incident doesn’t feel so all-encompassing.

After her discussion with his classroom teacher and the school principal, they adopted a policy that said if invitations were being handed out in the class, then everyone had to be invited, and the teacher had no idea her son had been excluded.

“My son has not mentioned the party since that fateful day and seems to have moved on,” she said. “I made a list of fun things for us to do over the next couple of weekends and his mind seems to be focused on those things.”

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Keep up with his rants about current events on his Twitter.