How do I politely remind one of the moms in my son’s class that her son came to my son’s sixth birthday party and he didn’t bring a present? My son took a nice birthday present to his party and he keeps asking why he didn’t get a gift from his friend? What should I say to him about not getting a present?
–D.C., Barrington, RI
You don’t say anything about not getting a present. Birthday parties are not about the presents and who brought what. If the guest wishes to bring one and can afford to purchase one or has the time to make one, he does. Understandably, your son is disappointed. Have a talk with him about how giving a gift is an option.
When one of his friends doesn’t bring a present, it doesn’t mean that child doesn’t like him — or he wouldn’t have come. Mention that there could be several valid reasons why the child didn’t bring your son a birthday gift.
A working parent may have forgotten or simply didn’t have time to buy a present and wrap it. There could have been a miscommunication between the parent and the caregiver who thought she was taking him to a playdate and not a birthday party.
Possibly there was no money to purchase a present and the parent didn’t want to disappoint their child by not letting him attend your son’s party because she couldn’t afford to buy a gift. You and your son may never know the reason. It is important for your child to focus on the friendship and not the gift.
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