The ‘AITA’ mom says she doesn’t want to make her daughter invite people she doesn’t want to invite
A post in Reddit’s ‘Am I The Asshole‘ subreddit is getting a lot of commentary — a mom is asking if she’s the “asshole” for not inviting a student with special needs to her daughter’s birthday party. She defends herself by saying her daughter asked that she not invite him, but she admits she’s been catching a lot of flack for excluding him and him only from the party.
“My daughter is in the second grade, her birthday is coming up and we have a pool party planned at our park district for her birthday with her classmates,” the mom writes. “One student in her class, let’s call him Tyler, is nonverbal autistic. I’ve met him a few times, and he’s a sweet kid, but yeah nonverbal autistic. He is in my daughter’s class partially but leaves midway through the day to go to a special program or something.”
She says she gave her daughter the choice of inviting all the girls in her class, or the whole class altogether. “I am not letting her invite specific people and single anyone out. She ended up choosing the whole class, but my daughter, as respectfully as a second grader could be, asked me if it was okay if Tyler did not receive an invite,” she writes. “She said he’s barely in her class and doesn’t really know anyone, and it might be tough for him to be at a pool party.”
After discussing the issue with her husband, the mom says they agreed that their daughter doesn’t have to invite him if she doesn’t want to. She does acknowledge that it would be rude to have her daughter pass out invites in class if she’s excluding Tyler, so she’s mailing them instead.
She also mentions that it’s a drop-your-kid-off-swim party, and that she doesn’t have “any experience handling special needs children” and that she didn’t know if he’d need a caretaker or parent there the whole time.
“A coworker told me I made a huge mistake by ‘teaching my daughter that it’s okay to exclude those who are different,'” she says. “IDK if I’d read that much into it. AITA?”
People reading this AITA post wasted no time in casting their judgments and calling the mom out for not simply asking Tyler’s parents what he would want to do or what he would need.
While a young girl shouldn’t necessarily be forced to invite people to her birthday party that she doesn’t want to invite, this was a great teaching moment and hopefully, the mother doesn’t waste it. Like many Redditors suggested, the party could include just a handful of close friends or the entire class — including Tyler — with a courtesy follow-up conversation with Tyler’s parents once they receive the invite.
It’s never too late to learn a valuable lesson, and hopefully having the self-awareness to post this leads to a better solution all around.