We have a birthday party coming up in our house, our youngest will have his first birthday party where he invites his classmates. Our school has a rule that if you are inviting students from the classroom you have to invite everyone. My other children have never had an issue with this, but my youngest had the most interesting reaction so far. He was upset, not because he did not like a student and wanted to exclude the student, but because the child in question is a bully and he did not want the bully to bother his friends at his party.
I felt badly for my son. I knew this child was a bully, we have had several interactions with the student, and since I teach at their school I know the student’s history. My poor son was not trying to exclude or hurt anyone. He merely wanted to protect his friends. I tried to find a way to help him to understand that this child might just be young and has not learned how to act around other kids yet. That maybe the student wants to be liked so badly they behave in a way that does not get them what they want. I tried to help him to see that the students might have other bad things happening that make them act out.
Eventually my son agreed it was still wrong to exclude the child and that maybe if he tried harder to include the child and showed the child how to be a good friend that maybe the child would change their behavior. Now my son is looking forward to his party, but he says he will still be watching to see if his friends are being hurt or made to feel badly then he will not hesitate to protect his friends. I am proud and impressed that he wants to protect his friends, it shows that he cares and is not willing to allow bad things to happen to anyone. However, part of me feels the same way he does, why should I reward the bully by allowing them to participate in the festivities? How would you handle an issue fo a bully during birthday parties?