Including everyone in your child’s class when planning their birthday party is often considered the best practice nowadays to ensure no one feels singled out or bullied. But what do you do when one of the kids in your child’s class is the bully, and he’s bullying your kid?
A guy on Reddit found himself embroiled in drama when he chose not to invite his daughter’s bully to her birthday party. He wasn’t sure about how he’d handled it, so he went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.
The Original Poster (OP), who goes by need_toknow on the site, asked:
“AITA for excluding one kid from my daughter’s class to attend her birthday?”
“I’ll be honest I’m still learning the ropes with this whole dad thing. Only been in my daughter’s life for over a year after finding out about her and taking over since her mom’s no longer in the picture. She just turned 7 and we’re having a small b-day celebration in my backyard with her classmates this weekend.”
“When school opened again we started having problems with one kid in particular ‘Nick.’ A lot of the parents have been complaining about him because he’s a huge bully to the other kids and gets benched (basically a time out) a lot during recess.”
“I’ve had talks with the teacher because he made my daughter cry after teasing her constantly about her mom. I was pissed, her teacher promised that they’re going to be handling the situation with Nick and keep him away from my daughter.”
“Supposedly they’ve had many talks with the mom but all she seems to do is baby the kid. He hasn’t bothered my daughter since my talk with the teacher. So for my daughter’s birthday she decided to invite almost everyone in the class. Obviously except for Nick.”
“Her mom confronted me after school when I was picking her up. I guess he was crying that he didn’t get an invitation. I had my daughter wait in the car and this lady was giving me hell for excluding her son when this could’ve been a chance for him to finally get along with his classmates.”
“I told her, lady he had months to do that (or her to teach him to), this is their last week of school. Bit too late to be trying to make friends now with how he was treating all the kids especially my daughter. She just kept saying I should be ashamed of myself for not taking this opportunity teach my daughter a valuable lesson on learning compassion.”
“It was just a really intense encounter but in the end I still refused to give an invitation since my daughter said she doesn’t want Nick at her party. I’m still thinking about the whole interaction. I’ve never dealt with a parent like that and being still new to it all myself I’m sort of having doubts on how I handle it. I did the right thing or wrong?”
“I want my daughter to be comfortable and happy on her b-day but I get this upset another kid. AITA?”
Folks on Reddit were then asked to evaluate who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Perhaps unsurprisingly, they had very little sympathy for Nick and his mom.
“NTA. She should be ashamed of herself. This would be a great opportunity for her to teach her son about the consequences of his actions.” —tyson_de
“…I get that he’s a child, but kids have to learn these fundamental lessons at some point. His mother had the opportunity to create a discussion about how, as we get older, bad behaviour results in fewer friends.”
“The fact that she tried to turn it into a ‘learning compassion’ thing makes it pretty clear that she’ll continue to handwave away poor behaviour, leaving her son potentially socially stunted if he doesn’t learn these lessons himself.” —NattG
“I read the post twice and I see no explanation for why his daughter is supposed to show a kid compassion for being a jerk. Like, sure, kids with Tourette’s, epilepsy, autism, brain injuries etc can hit out impulsively or spit out random spontaneous insults, but months of targeted behaviour is just being a very small a**hole.”
“It’s sad that the chilld is suffering the natural consequences of his mother’s parenting failure but that’s not OP’s fault at all.” —Elesia
“She wants OP to tell his kid compassion but can’t be bothered to teach hers not to be a jerk? NTA and a great dad. Your job is to protect your daughter and not subjecting her to toxicity in her own home is key.” —Evening-Cry-8233
“NTA… I tell my students every choice has a consequence, some good and some bad. This Nick and his enabling mom made choices. The consequence is no one wants Nick around. You can also think of it as action – reaction.”
“Because of Nicks choice to bully and the mom’s choice to do nothing about it (actions), no one wants Nick around (reaction). Your daughter deserves an amazing birthday party with friends. You are an excellent dad for teaching your daughter she is not a doormat and supporting her choice.” —allflowerssmellsweet
“No surprise that this woman’s kid is bully, clueless to decent social interactions. NTA OP, you’re doing parenting right.” —westbridge1157
“Yep. What’s the phrase? ‘Fu*k around and find out’? She’s modeling that other people have to accommodate her perfect sweet little baby angel, and the best case scenario is he grows up into a thoughtless boor.”
“Unfortunately, I suspect he’ll double down on being a dildo next year, rather than looking inward, internalizing the harm he’s caused, and making changes in how he treats others.” —Arse-Weasel
“NTA. The only ‘lesson’ that needs to be learned here is that treating people badly will get you excluded from things.” —Alarmed_Handle_6427
Hopefully Nick and his mom can learn something from this experience.