Inviting one of daughter's friends but not the other

squirk

Saw what you did and knows who you are.
Joined
Apr 9, 2011
My teen daughter has two very close friends, and the three of them are kind of inseparable.

Kid A (Radiohead fans? 😀) has been friends with my daughter since birth. Kid A is relatively level-headed, well-mannered, knows how to act properly in public, and requires no more supervision than my own daughter would. That is to say, "not much".

Kid B is a nice kid, but she comes from a much different background. Family is a little "rough around the edges" (at least, in our opinion), and has a different perspective on what's allowable public behavior and what is not. Kid B is kind of manic and can be unpredictable. Tends to deviate from instructions. Yells/curses at the top of her lungs a lot at inappropriate times. We're not huge sticklers on cursing, but Kid B sometimes does so, loudly, in front of our younger kids. Never deliberately, never maliciously - she's just been raised by parents with different sensibilities. In short, while Kid B is a good friend to our daughter, we nonetheless find her to be a "handful" to deal with, especially in public.

We are very close with Kid A and want to invite her on our next cruise. We like Kid B, too, but we really don't want to invite her, because it will not be a relaxing trip for us if we are constantly needing to redirect her behavior.

That said, we don't want to hurt Kid B's feelings by being excluded. My daughter recognizes and agrees with our concerns, but worries about harming her relationship with Kid B. It would be impossible to take Kid A without Kid B finding out, and we don't want to ask anyone to lie.

The two obvious solutions are to either a.) take neither Kid A nor Kid B, and avoid the issue altogether; or b.) just bite the bullet and take both of them. But I'd like to come up with a third option where we take Kid A without making Kid B feel bad.

I know everyone's different, and will have different opinions on stuff like this, but I'm guessing some of you have faced similar situations. How would you address to let down Kid B as easily as possible?
 
Last edited:

otten

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 4, 2015
Honestly I don’t think there is a way of inviting one and not the other without hurt feelings. There is no way for kid B to not feel excluded when you are excluding her. I would personally invite both or neither because I wouldn’t want to put my daughter in the position of hurting one of her close friends.
 

Neverbeast

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
It sounds to me like Kid B would benefit more from having this experience with your family. Being in situations where she is expected to live up to behavior standards are going to be life shaping opportunities for her. If it were me I’d take Kid B and your daughter out to lunch and have a frank talk. Tell Kid B you’re thinking of taking her but haven’t confirmed. Tell her flat out what the expectations would be- close quarters so no swearing and quiet voices. Good manners at dinner and respect for other guests etc. ask her if she thinks she can meet those expectations and what she wants you to do if she’s not meeting them on board? Or how she can show you she’s practicing those behaviors before you go?

I think teens can handle that kind of conversation and need to onow
What their behaviors look like from the outside. (Gently obviously)

But I don’t think it’s going to be a good situation for you to only take Kid A. That’s going to cause drama for your daughter. I don’t think anyone would judge you for taking just Kid A but probably the easiest thing for your own kid is to take both or neither.
 
  • Mainsail Minnie

    Momketeer
    Joined
    Jul 28, 2019
    My teen daughter has two very close friends, and the three of them are kind of inseparable.

    Kid A (Radiohead fans? 😀) has been friends with my daughter since birth. Kid A is relatively level-headed, well-mannered, knows how to act properly in public, and requires no more supervision than my own daughter would. That is to say, "not much".

    Kid B is a nice kid, but she comes from a much different background. Family is a little "rough around the edges" (at least, in our opinion), and has a different perspective on what's allowable public behavior and what is not. Kid A is kind of manic and can be unpredictable. Tends to deviate from instructions. Yells at the top of her lungs a lot at inappropriate times. We're not huge sticklers on cursing, but Kid B sometimes does so, loudly, in front of our younger kids. Never deliberately, never maliciously - she's just been raised by parents with different sensibilities. In short, while Kid A is a good friend to our daughter, we nonetheless find her to be a "handful" to deal with, especially in public.

    We are very close with Kid A and want to invite her on our next cruise. We like Kid B, too, but we really don't want to invite her, because it will not be a relaxing trip for us if we are constantly needing to redirect her behavior.

    That said, we don't want to hurt Kid B's feelings by being excluded. My daughter recognizes and agrees with our concerns, but worries about harming her relationship with Kid B. It would be impossible to take Kid A without Kid B finding out, and we don't want to ask anyone to lie.

    The two obvious solutions are to either a.) take neither Kid A nor Kid B, and avoid the issue altogether; or b.) just bite the bullet and take both of them. But I'd like to come up with a third option where we take Kid A without making Kid B feel bad.

    I know everyone's different, and will have different opinions on stuff like this, but I'm guessing some of you have faced similar situations. How would you address to let down Kid B as easily as possible?
    I'll give my perspective as both a mom and as a teacher who witnesses girl drama every year. Do not invite either one. It will be hurtful to your daughter in the long run, to have her friendship with Child B disrupted by the hurt to Child B of being left out of the trip. Child B will not just accept & get over it the way an adult might. She will not forget. That will do more damage to your daughter's friendships than what good would come from inviting Child A. In this case, with the trio being so close, it simply won't work, in terms of their friendship, for one to be left out. So please don't go there, for your daughter's sake, since she's good friends with both girls and that's a beautiful thing.

    For your sake, I don't think you should try bringing both girls, since Child B has behavior problems. It would stress you out on your vacation and is not fair to you.

    I recommend making this a family-only trip, which is still a wonderful thing. In this case, bringing a friend would cause too many problems.
     
    Last edited:

    BlueRibbon

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 8, 2018
    Given your description, there is no way to invite Kid A without making Kid B feel terrible. I agree with your assessment that you should invite both or neither.

    There was a great line above from Neverbeast that Kid B would probably benefit greatly from being around your family for the trip. But if taking Kid B on a cruise makes you uncomfortable, is there a WDW trip coming up that you could invite both to?
     

    GPaLarry

    Have earned one ear!
    Joined
    Jun 28, 2016
    When my wife and I did a Med./WBTA without our kids/gkids, three of the gkids were not happy (it was during school and way to long for them to take off). However, we told them we would take them with us anyway, ala Flat Stanley (look it up if you don't know about him). Our son-in-law photoshopped the faces of all five of them onto images of their favorite princesses (and prince). When we were in Parc Gruell in Barcelona we pulled them out (about 7" tall) and took photos of them by the signature lizard...likewise on Punta Delgada, at the leaning tower of Pisa, etc.
    Perhaps you folks could do the same with Kid B and mention that you might take her on a future (when she calms down a bit) cruise. In the meantime, take photos of Kid B with Kid A and your daughter on various adventures on the cruise and show them to her when you return, maybe even do a small scrapbook. Good luck!
     
  • squirk

    Saw what you did and knows who you are.
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2011
    Both or neither....are you footing the bill? That could come into play as well. If you are not footing the bill can both girls afford it?

    MJ
    Well, that is my "out," if I wanted to go that way. Kid A's family could afford to pay her fare. Kid B's family could not.

    But excluding Kid B ostensibly because of her family's financial status would probably just make her feel worse.
     

    CamColt

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Aug 7, 2000
    I agree both or neither...but I might lean more toward neither.

    Or would you be open to inviting both families? This way everyone takes care of their own kids and the girls can still spend time together.
     

    StarSeven7

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 13, 2017
    When my wife and I did a Med./WBTA without our kids/gkids, three of the gkids were not happy (it was during school and way to long for them to take off). However, we told them we would take them with us anyway, ala Flat Stanley (look it up if you don't know about him). Our son-in-law photoshopped the faces of all five of them onto images of their favorite princesses (and prince). When we were in Parc Gruell in Barcelona we pulled them out (about 7" tall) and took photos of them by the signature lizard...likewise on Punta Delgada, at the leaning tower of Pisa, etc.
    Perhaps you folks could do the same with Kid B and mention that you might take her on a future (when she calms down a bit) cruise. In the meantime, take photos of Kid B with Kid A and your daughter on various adventures on the cruise and show them to her when you return, maybe even do a small scrapbook. Good luck!
    No offense, but I think this is a really bad idea in this particular situation! I can see that it was kinda cute and funny in your situation though. But when you’re talking about teen girls with one of 3 friends being left out, that really changes things. I think there’s a high chance that friend B would feel like she was being taunted if the other girls brought along a picture of her everywhere! It’s not like she would have been invited but couldn’t go for other reasons! She wouldn’t have been invited at all so to kinda say “wish you were here but not enough to invite you!” Would not feel good at all!

    OP- I would invite neither girl and just take a family trip. Is your daughter an only child and that’s why you want to invite a friend? I’m sure she would meet a few other kids onboard that she might click with.
     
  • lklgoodman

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 25, 2016
    When my wife and I did a Med./WBTA without our kids/gkids, three of the gkids were not happy (it was during school and way to long for them to take off). However, we told them we would take them with us anyway, ala Flat Stanley (look it up if you don't know about him). Our son-in-law photoshopped the faces of all five of them onto images of their favorite princesses (and prince). When we were in Parc Gruell in Barcelona we pulled them out (about 7" tall) and took photos of them by the signature lizard...likewise on Punta Delgada, at the leaning tower of Pisa, etc.
    Perhaps you folks could do the same with Kid B and mention that you might take her on a future (when she calms down a bit) cruise. In the meantime, take photos of Kid B with Kid A and your daughter on various adventures on the cruise and show them to her when you return, maybe even do a small scrapbook. Good luck!
    You're situation was different because you didn't taken any of the kids. Doing this would make Kid B feel even worse, look at everything we did without you. Plus OP could say they would take her on another trip some day, but something in the future could happen that prevents them from being able to do so. Have you discuss this with either set of parents, do you even know if they would let you take their daughters on the trip? You don't say how old they are, just in high school which where I live could be anywhere from 14-19 yrs old. At 14 I can see it causing a lot of problems, but a 17-19 yr old should be able to understand that there are things in life that they may not always get to do. I think it is wonderful that you are even considering this, good luck with making a decision.
     

    bumbershoot

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2007
    Family trip.

    I grew up poor. I didn’t get to do a lot.
    But excluding Kid B ostensibly because of her family's financial status would probably just make her feel worse.
    That’s not this family’s responsibility. Heck, I wished my friend had invited me and paid for me to join her on family trips to Hawaii. They didn’t. It wasn’t her family’s responsibility to take her poor friend anywhere.

    And I don’t think it’s this family’s responsibility to show B the world and help her figure out how to be in the world.
     

    Geomom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 17, 2010
    If the 3 are inseparable, you either have to bring neither friend or bring both. It will not just be kid B that would suffer by being left behind. Your daughter and Kid A will end up feeling guilty if they go without kid B.

    I do sympathize with you though, as far as not wanting to take 1 of the kids with you. We were talking about letting DD15 take 1 friend with us to Disney World for her 16th birthday and told her which one I'd be willing to take--the one she's known since 1st grade and that I'm willing to put up with. She isn't part of a close trio of friends, she has a bunch of friends, so it's not just leaving 1 behind...but there were definitely some of those friends that I didn't want to be with on my vacation...1 sleepover night/year was enough with some of them. But...it turns out that trip isn't going to happen anyway...DD is going to Japan on a school trip over her 16th birthday instead!
     

    squirk

    Saw what you did and knows who you are.
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2011
    Family trip.

    I grew up poor. I didn’t get to do a lot.


    That’s not this family’s responsibility. Heck, I wished my friend had invited me and paid for me to join her on family trips to Hawaii. They didn’t. It wasn’t her family’s responsibility to take her poor friend anywhere.

    And I don’t think it’s this family’s responsibility to show B the world and help her figure out how to be in the world.
    I wasn’t saying I should pay (or feel obligated to pay) for Kid B. I was just saying that finances could be my non-judgmental “cover” for not taking her vs. saying she’s just too much of a hassle:

    “We would have invited her, but we knew her family couldn’t afford it so we didn’t want to put them in an awkward/embarrassing position having to refuse.”

    As you said, not my job to fill experiential gaps in her life. Honestly, though, I really wouldn't mind paying for her if she weren’t such a pain in the neck to supervise.
     

    lklgoodman

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 25, 2016
    13. I don’t think they have that mature perspective yet.
    Yea, at 13 it would be best to take both or neither. I have a 11 yr old dd who just started junior high school this year. I thought I would have a couple more years before all the drama would start. School has only been in session for a month and I can tell it's going to be quite the year, lol!!
     

    lilsonicfan

    <font color=teal>The TF knows Canada VERY well!!<b
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2003
    Neither. And please please don’t entertain for even a second the “Flat Stanley” suggestion which was mildly cute for a grandpa taking none of his grandkids (who IMO shouldn’t even have had an opinion about not being invited) but is terribly offensive in the context of taking one kid but not the other.
     



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