A dad is being supported for not inviting an 8-year-old girl to the bounce house backyard party he threw for the neighborhood kids.
The dad, u/Inevitable-Rain7586, shared his story to the popular r/AmITheA**hole subreddit, asking the denizens of Reddit if he was wrong for excluding the young girl. He earned 14,800 upvotes and 2,600 comments for his post, “[Am I the A**hole] for not inviting the next door neighbor girl to our backyard party?”
The original poster (OP) explains that he likes to throw bounce house parties “every now and then” for the neighborhood kids so his sons can play with their friends who all go to different schools. However, he told the parents of the 8-year-old girl that lives next door about the party, but declined to invite her.
“My f**king God she screams over everything. It’s not even a scream. It’s ear piercing screeching. I cannot stand it. I can tune out the loud sounds from my 7 and 9yo boys and their friends but not that girl’s screaming, ” u/Inevitable-Rain7586 wrote. “It’s like she sees a bug, she screams She thinks someone is chasing her, she screams. She jumps off a swing, she screams.
“I’m pretty sure it’s for attention but I can’t spend my Saturday listening to it in my backyard. Like I’d end up yelling at her and I don’t want to do that or come across like an angry dad, “he added.
The OP didn’t hide the reason from her parents, who argued back that she wasn’t louder than any of the other children, but he said that wasn’t true. He added that if she stops screaming all the time, she’ll be welcome, but until then, she won’t be bounce in any of the OP’s houses.
“They were deeply offended,” he said.
Newsweek reached out to u/Inevitable-Rain7586 for comments.
Even among adults, being the one person who isn’t invited to a party can be tough. But when it’s a children’s party, it can be even harder, as children may not understand why they’ve been rejected.
In a 2017 advice column, a mother of a young boy asked syndicated columnist Carolyn Hax what to do when her son was invited to a friend’s birthday party—even when, several years ago, the friend’s parents stopped talking to the letter-writer. Hax said that while the other parents’ behavior was odd, it’d be best for their son’s sake to go to the party anyway.
Ann Cannon of the Salt Lake Tribune had a similarly “don’t rock the boat”-style answer to another letter. In this case, the letter-writer saw that their neighbor threw a birthday party for her son on Instagram. However, even though their kids play together, the letter-writer’s son wasn’t invited, and she asked if she should confront the neighbor.
Cannon said that though it was a faux pas on the part of the neighbor to post the picture on social media, it was likely best to pretend she didn’t know about her neighbor’s party. But if the snub happens again, then the writer should confront her, Cannon added.
Newsweek has published a few stories about children’s parties and guest list problems. One mom worried that she’d erred by bringing her husband to a child’s party where all the other children only brought one parent. Another mom took her child from a “stressful” party and inadvertently triggered a walkout from many of the other who also weren’t having fun. And in another story, a mom was backed for only inviting her son’s five closest friends to a party instead of his entire class.
Reddit largely took the OP’s side.
“[Not the A**hole]. It’s your backyard and your party. If you don’t want to invite someone, you don’t have to,” u/DisneyFoodie20 wrote in the top-rated comment, earning 19,900 upvotes.
“Exactly! I hate when someone thinks they deserve an invite. Entitled neighbors, co workers and ‘family’, especially. Hosting anything should mean that you get to invite whoever you want. As a host, you are responsible for the fun of your guests, so I totally understand not wanting to invite someone that may annoy everyone else,” u/flutterby228 wrote.
“[Not the A**hole]. My nieces have this kind of scream. I have never heard anything like it in this world. I have to plan when I can handle hearing it, because constantly reminding them helps, but doesn’t stop it,” wrote u/crystallz2000.
“We also had a neighborhood kid known as The Shrieker to the other parents. Then the kids caught on started calling him that. He was highly offended and denied shrieking any more than the other kids,” u/BaitedBreaths shared.
“Once he was made aware of the issue I figured he’d had fair warning. The next time he was playing video games with my son and made that ear-piercing shriek I said ‘THAT’S why everyone calls you the Shrieker, no one likes it, and if you do it again you’re going home.’ Less than a minute later he got sent home. I don’t think he even was aware he was doing it.
“The other parents started doing the same thing, except we stopped giving him one freebie shriek. First shriek and he was out. He learned,” they continued. “Many years later and he’s a great kid with a well-modulated pitch, haha. But to be honest I’ve always felt like I acted a little bit of an a**hole, kicking a little boy out of my house. So your post made me feel validated. Thanks!”
“Who wants a banshee? Nobody does,” u/MischievousBish added.
It wasn’t unanimous, however.
“Honestly I said [Everyone Sucks Here] because….come on when you have kids and they have a friend over, you remind the kids of the rules at Your house. One warning. ‘We don’t scream here. If I hear that again I have to ask you to go home,'” u/Ladyughsalot1 wrote. “Parenting doesn’t mean you parent someone else’s kids. But as a kid host You definitely let them know the rules and consequences at your home.”
“Unpopular opinion and I’ll accept any down votes people may leave but [You’re the A**hole]. You invited every single kid but her. She’ll see all the kids there and she’ll know she is the only one not invited. I understand that you don’t wanna deal with an annoying child but it’s kinda mean. I’d be different if she was a bully or is mean to the other kids but excluding her because she’s loud isn’t nice. And again, she literally lives next door,” u/Negative-Swordfish-9 wrote.