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When your daughter gets left out...

I think one of the hardest things about being a parent is knowing how to help your children feel better when their feelings have been hurt.

Recently my eldest was playing with a neighborhood friend.  They were having a great time until her friend told her that he needed to leave to go to another one of their neighbor friend’s birthday party.  As he said it, I could see my little girl’s face just fall.

Jade asked why she hadn’t been invited.  I didn’t have an answer for her that could heal the wound.

Scott jumped in with “We just live on the wrong street.”  As weak of an answer as that was, it was probably pretty close to the truth.

When her little friend’s dad came to get him for the party, Jade said, “I wish she would have invited me.”  He said, “You weren’t invited?  Interesting.”

That’s exactly how I felt too.

Jade continued to feel sad about it for awhile.  She wanted to confront her friend and find out why she hadn’t been invited.  I know how she was feeling, although I’ve never had the nerve to ask someone why I’d been left out.  And maybe, had I let her, she wouldn’t have asked either.  Although she is more like Scott and does ask the hard questions.

———————–

I am keenly aware of the feelings she was having.  I’m extremely sensitive to feeling left out.  Even though, I know it is most often times not intentional.   Since I do struggle with that feeling, I go out of my way to try and include everyone.  Sure, I understand that there are times that you can’t invite the whole world, ward, street or your family to do every activity.  We just try and make sure we are extending the invitations whenever we can.

But, I do understand that there are times that you are limited to a certain number:  The restaurant you are going to can only seat 8 at one table.  The party package you bought only allows for 4 kids.  The cost of each additional kid is more than you want to spend.  There are only 4 tickets available to the play you want to see.

I know you can’t ALWAYS invite everyone you would like.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t help keep the sadness away from the ones that are left out.  Nor can you protect your kids from being the one to feel that empty feeling.

—————————-

I guess one way of handling the situation would be to just say “Oh well” and help your child simply not care about being left out.  Unfortunately, I’m not the one that can teach that lesson because I’ve never been able to learn it myself.

Or I could have said that the invitation possibly got lost in the mail.  But if it didn’t, that would create a false sense of hope.

So how did I handle it?

I sat down with her and encouraged her to remember how she was feeling right then.  Then I told her to keep that feeling and remember to never be the one that is making other people feel that feeling.

She promised she would do her best.

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4 comments to When your daughter gets left out…

  • Julie Topham
    Twitter: julietopham

    I think you handled it beautifully! It is hard to see them disappointed though.
    We always tell Roo that it’s best to have tons and tons of really good friends instead of just a few. I don’t know what it is, but three girls just can’t play together… When Roo has been left out, we tell her to call or find someone else that is by themselves too and she won’t be lonely anymore.
    .-= Julie Topham´s last blog ..102 – Candles =-.

    [Reply]

  • kat

    the last point you made is perfectly it. just making sure our kids will never be the ones making others feel that way is a huge lesson they need to learn in life and although it hurts to watch our kids get hurt, it’s good for them and they learn, just as we did. i can only imagine how our father in heaven felt as he watched his son get beat, spit on, ridiculed, and ultimately killed. just a thought…

    i also think you handled it perfectly! she’s a happy, sweet little girl.
    .-= kat´s last blog ..SPRING SPECIAL! =-.

    [Reply]

  • What a great post. This hasn’t happened to us yet, but I’m sure it will. I think you handled it very well.

    I struggle with the same thing – trying to teach my daughter things that I haven’t learned to deal with myself. Every once in awhile she’ll say something that is an echo of me, and I wish it wasn’t. This week it was “I just can’t deal with this any more.” Ahhhh….

    I’m stopping by from ubp, nice to meet you!
    .-= Kelly from Kelly’s Lucky You´s last blog ..UBP Partygoers – Welcome! Win a $25 Target Gift Card! =-.

    [Reply]

  • Mrs.Mayhem
    Twitter: motheringmayhem

    What a good mom. I love that you sat down with her, comforted her, and then told her to make sure she didn’t hurt anyone that way.

    I’m like you, so sensitive to being left out. It is so hard to see my 2nd grade daughter being excluded at times.

    [Reply]

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