(Closed) How to tell a family member their special needs daughter is not invited…

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: How would you handle this?
    Sit down and talk with her. : (80 votes)
    53 %
    Send one invite to her&husband, then a second invite to her other kids. : (2 votes)
    1 %
    Other. (Explain!) : (70 votes)
    46 %
  • Post # 17
    353 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    You need to approach this understanding that parents and family of special needs children are constantly dealing with the “othering” of that child. Its one of the hardest things for parents to deal with, because trust me, unless they are in some serious denial, they KNOW this is a problem, but that doesn’t mean it won’t bring out feelings of hurt, defensiveness, etc, if she is not invited and her siblings are. Singling her out from her siblings is the height of “othering”.  

    Either have your brother (NOT  you, under any circumstances) talk to his sister and get a feeling for whether or not she’d even bring her (in this case you would still invite her but know that they wouldn’t bring her)  or only invite the parents. 

    Its a really tough situation. Hope it works out okay.

    Post # 19
    604 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2014 - Narrawallee reserve/beach & Mollymook golf club

    I would not invite any kids. There is every chance that no moatter how you handle the situation they will be very offened.

    Post # 21
    12 posts
    • Wedding: December 2012

    Point blank, you need to invite the parents only org he entire family. It’s not right to segregate the 4th child. I get that you want things to go picture perfect but it’s up to the parents if they are able to leave her with someone or want to bring her along… If they are from out of town it’s all or nothing. If in town, they would prob leave her with someone. You have to understand, they didn’t wish themselves into having a special needs child, nor should they feel left out bc of such…

    @Paula1248 You nailed it on the head! It’s the fiance’s job to speak to sister, and you also have to consider other family gatherings…

    Post # 23
    9544 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013

    @JoJoDahling:  I really appreaciate that you’re trying to think this through ahead of time. I can see both sides. You’re doing the right thing by thinking about how to approach this. Figuring out how to word things can make all the difference in the world. “I don’t want your daughter to come because I’m afraid she’s going to cause a scene” sounds totally different than “I would so love to share this special day with your whole family, but I’m concerned all the excitement might be too much for _______ – what do you think?” There isn’t really an easy way to go, if they really want to bring her. But if they would prefer not to bring her it won’t be an issue and you won’t be the bad guy for saying she can’t come.

    Post # 24
    2440 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: March 2012

    I agree with the others, invite the parents only.  It’s not fair to discriminate against one child because she has a disability.  She is a part of that family as much as the other children and deserves to be treated so.  To avoid drama with the family I would just invite the parents.  If you insist on the other kids being there than she should be invited too and if she is as difficult as you say she is, they probably won’t bring her or would be sensitive to her needs and get her out of there as soon as she starts acting up.  I really do think it’s unfair to not invite her because you are “on a very strict budget” and “we don’t want to deal with any problems this girl may have during the ceremony/reception”

    Post # 25
    353 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    @JoJoDahling:   No problem.  And its of course nothing against you or your relationship with your future in laws that your brother should have this talk alone. Im not sure if you have siblings, but its like if someone teases your little sister at school, you’ll fight for and protect her with everything you have… and then go home and call her the same names and kick her and slap her, and its totally different.  If that makes sense 🙂

    Post # 28
    1733 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    What a tough situation. My heart goes out to your sister-in-law to be’s family, who surely have many years ahead of wanting the best for their daughter and trying to figure out what her limits are. I can tell that you’re trying to find the most reasonable solution for everyone here. It definitely, definitely has to be a topic that your fiance broaches with his sister, though. If her condition is so severe that she could not be adequately provided for within the family circle before, and if that condition hasn’t improved much, then hopefully they would realize how challenging a formal occasion would be for her. Of course, it’s tough to know without knowing her condition exactly, and of course none of it is her fault, but I would imagine that part of being a parent is knowing what your kid can handle. From what you’ve said, I’m not sure she’s up to attending a formal wedding.

    That being said…I really do hope that, if she’s going to be living within the family circle from now on, you and your fiance and your larger family are able to work together to find ways to include her in more loosely structured family events. It sounds like things are very hard for her, and for your sister-in-law-to-be, naturally, so I’m sure active support from you and your Fiance would be much appreciated.


    Post # 29
    353 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    @JoJoDahling:  I’ve seen insensitive, and you’re not it  – you’re listening to feedback and thinking about it before you act on it.   Thats the opposite of insensitive.

    Post # 31
    4958 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2018

    @JoJoDahling:  This is definitely one of those situations that I don’t think anyone on the outside can truly give advice for. You’re going to need to talk to your fiance, have him talk to his sister, and go from there. 

    You’re not being insensitive at all. I have 2 siblings, am gaining 5 more (one of which has a few behavior problems), and have taken classes on special education and how to handle children/students like that… and I have absolutely no idea what I would do in your shoes. 

    Your Future Mother-In-Law may have some good advice. Approach her privately and see what she says. She may know how to go about talking to the sister and/or how she will react when you do. 

    The topic ‘How to tell a family member their special needs daughter is not invited…’ is closed to new replies.

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