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Ask Denene: Not Invited

It may be a tough piece of birthday cake to swallow, but your son is going to have to learn sooner or later that he won't get an invite to every bash. On the practical side, not every mom has the energy or cash to invite the entire class. In fact, it's typical that by kindergarten or first grade the guest lists become smaller. On the realistic side, not all kids get along, and the birthday boy may have decided your son is on his "do not call" list. Really, in both instances, there's not much you can do about it; it's the party thrower's prerogative to decide who makes the cut and who gets to hear all about the soiree at school.

I know every mom wants her child to be liked. But he can't -- and won't! -- be liked by everyone all the time. Hard as it may be, suck it up and help him sort through his feelings of rejection: Remind him of all the people in his life who love him and value his friendship, and point out to him that even though he won't be going to this party, there have been many more that he's been invited to -- and even more still to come.

On the day of the party, let him have a friend who's not in the class come over to hang out or go to a movie. Then he'll be less likely to spend the day thinking about what he's missing; he'll be celebrating what he has -- a buddy who appreciates his friendship and a mom who gives it to him straight, no chaser.

Ask Mom Squad expert Denene Millner your trickiest parenting questions at Parenting.com/momsquad.

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