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This one really hits home. My son had trouble making friends for the first like 2 1/2 years of school. It was so hard watching my little man be so sad that he would cry cause he had no one to play with at recess. He said he would ask kids if they wanted to play/be friends and would get turned down all the time. I tried to convince him not to give up but after a while he just stopped. He was convinced he’d be friendless forever. I think that him being himself and this thing at his school called the “Buddy Bench” really helped him. It’s a place where kids could go to at recess and find other lonely kids to play with. Now he has numerous best friends, gets invited to birthday parties all the time, and even had his first sleep over last summer. It’s a great feeling.
You know i always though buddy bench was stupid af and was gonna contest school funds going toward something that stupid in my area ...
Guess not, buddy bench sounds awesome for kids.
Edit- should clarify i donate money on behalf of my dad. I thought seeing funds go to something like that was stupid, but op's comment + thinking about my best friend made me realize its not stupid at all and i encourage it.
It really is. Especially for kids that are introverts. Everyone deserves to have some friends.
Yeah. Its normally hard for myself to imagine my self in that position. I moved alot growing up but i managed to make friends right away. None of my siblings had issuues making friends. We were all well off in a sense, when it came to school anyways.
I sometimes tried to invite people who were kinda outcasts who enjoyed the same things as me because i liked having a massive group of friends. Its how i met my best friend. Everyone called him weird because he always wore a winter jacket, even in later summer/autumn (turns out his mom was controlling). I knew he loved soccer, i wanted to beat the grade 6 students, so i invited everyone including him. We had 14 years of amazing friendship before he passed away.
He was mostly the reason of me inviting people we saw as weirdos into our group. He always told me about how he felt before. Idk
The general idea is good, and it's just 1 bench so the costs shouldn't be high. Unfortunately at my school it was basically known as the loser bench so no one would touch it with a 10 feet pole. Sitting there might mean being shunned even more.
When I first heard about buddy benches being proposed, I thought it was the world's dumbest idea. I'm definitely colored by my past as a kid who never had many friends in school, but I was certain that buddy benches were just going to be used by asshole kids as ways to easily identify lonely kids in need of bullying.
Stories like yours (and many others I've seen on reddit and elsewhere) have completely proven me wrong and completely changed my mind on whether buddy benches are a good idea. I'm very happy to have been proven wrong on this.
To be 100% honest with myself I felt the same way, especially because my son was bullied all throughout 1st grade. It was heartbreaking and made me feel useless. The school we had him at was awful. Luckily we moved and brought him back to the school where he originally went to Kindergarten. His current school has zero tolerance against bullying. I know for a fact kids that engaged it it have been expelled and/or asked to leave the school after warnings and prior punishment. I think every school should have a Buddy Bench.
Whoa, a zero tolerance policy that's actually enforced (and thus, works). What a concept! Glad you found a place like that.
I'm so happy for your son. I love this idea, my kid's school has one too. The bench really changes the narrative over making friends. Instead of putting the burden on an individual it allows the different parties interested in making new friends to find each other easily. My daughter is quite friendly and outgoing. She would play with anyone, but wouldn't always know if someone was looking for a friend. I know she has specifically 'gathered' kids from their "Buddy Bench" to include at recess.
You know, there was this kid with asperger in our class. No one talked to him, because we thought he was really weird. He liked videogames, as well as my group of friends. We used to go to someone’s house to play smash, but we never invited him because he was “really weird” (we were 13 at the time, so we were really ignorant).
Eventually this friend of mine invited us over to play smash for his birthday, and he said we should invite him. “Why? He’s weird” was pretty much our answer, but he said we should give him a chance because he never gets invited to anything. So we invited him. The next day he told me “thank for the invitation guys! My dad was very excited, although I don’t understand why” I can only begin to imagine how his dad felt. We all had a great time.
Always give a chance to everyone guys.
This made me feel wistful. I hope that kid Is out there living a happy fulfilling life
He is! He’s going to a college near to mine and he’s doing pretty well
Something similar happened to me when I was growing up, but we never had that moment of "give him a chance". He was really big into manga before I knew what it was and I ended up turning into a really huge manga reader later in life. I can't help but think we could have been great friends if me/kids my age weren't so awful.
Its been like 15 years since and I still think about him.
I get it, we used to treat him awfully. I wish I could go back and change that
As someone who was bullied by some and completely ignored and excluded by everyone else for several years in school because I was "weird" (had zero understanding of social cues and how making friends works and had some very niche hobbies that I was fairly narrowly focused on) - it makes me happy to hear that maybe my former bullies or even just the many people who wanted nothing to do with me may feel that way today. They started coming around a bit in the year or two before we graduated (after being in the same school for 5 years) and nowadays I can interact with all of them except a few stubborn dickheads very normally when we run into each other somewhere.
I would say that some of them probably do feel that way now, I had a kid who lived down the road from me who I considered my mortal enemy when I was younger because he was always trying to bully me, take advantage of me and was basically just a huge douche but we had a common friend so we were always around each other and it drove me nuts. After knowing him for some time I found out that his father was an absolute shithead and put that kid through some serious shit, I didn't quite understand when I was younger that it was a contributing factor to his attitude and while it doesn't make his actions totally excusable it at least gave me some perspective.
I moved out of state for a few years and eventually moved back near my hometown and got in contact with a few of my old friends, it just so happened that this dude still hung around with some of them. I had lost a bunch of weight at this time and one night decided to meet up with one of my best friends to shoot pool. We ran into my mortal enemy at the bar and when I saw him I immediately wanted to leave but he came up to me and hugged me, told me how great I looked and how happy he was to see me. To be honest it threw me off a bit, since then I've seen him several times and he's always been really nice and that's enough for me to move on from my feelings about him. There were many other bullies that I haven't seen since high school and I also wonder if they ever regret the way they behaved, I want to believe they do but who knows for sure.
There was a kid in high school who would go out of his way to freak everybody out because he wanted to be left alone. He would talk about researching cannibalism, praying to Satan, just a bunch of crazy shit to get a reaction. Even the principals and teachers called him a freak except you could tell he was a really nice guy, he'd just been misunderstood and bullied for so many years that was the way he dealt with it. I had an English class with him and went out of my way to talk to him about the movies he had been watching. He was into crazy stuff like Cannibal Holocaust and would go into disgusting detail, but you could tell he was over the moon someone was having a genuine conversation with him. He was on the basketball team but the coach never let him practice because again they thought he was a freak so one day I found a basketball and played with him on a side goal since I never got playtime myself - we did that for probably a semester.
Fast forward to senior year and the drama teacher gives him a speaking part as a troll. DUDE FUCKING KILLS IT! As far as high school acting goes, this guy pulled a Christian Bale and became that role. I felt proud of him though I never got a chance to tell him. My mom gives me updates about him when she sees him around my hometown. Apparently he's been supporting his sick mom and sister since high school working out of a factory. That says a lot because I remember working in the office and his mother would always pick him up and tell the receptionist what a great son he was (which no one believed because they thought he was a freak). He walks around with a cat tabogan and a leather jacket, so I guess he hasn't lost is different sense of style he had in high school. Sometimes I feel sorry for the guy but then again I wonder if he's been where he's always wanted to be - with his mom and sister?
I had this backfire on me once. I reached out to this one girl in fifth grade (age 10) because I felt bad she didn’t have any friends. It turned out that she was a cruel and obnoxious person; there was a reason she didn’t have any friends. After months of put downs and her trying to bolster her self esteem by stepping on my shoulders, I finally asked myself why I was hanging around someone who made me feel bad all the time and tried to distance myself.
I was the only friend she had and she would. Not. Let. Go. She would follow me everywhere, refuse to leave me alone, launching subtle digs at me about how unchristian I was. It got to the point where I couldn’t even sit with my actual friends because they’d leave as soon as she sat down with me, if they stayed she’d spend the whole time insulting them.
The only way I’d get that girl to leave me alone for even 10 minutes was if I was truly cruel to her, like spitting in my food and offering it to her or calling her an annoying jerk to her face, and even then I’d only be free for a few minutes while she went to report me for bullying and then come right back next to me.
I used to lie awake at night wondering if I had become the bully I had read about in so many stories the way she said I was, and would try to fake sick to stay home from school and away from her.
This lasted all through middle school, ages 10-14, and she seemed to truly hate me by the time I was 11 but still never stopped following me around. Only stopped because we went to different high schools.
Basically what I’m getting at is that if you’re looking at befriending an outcast, you may want to take a few weeks to scout them out and watch from a distance about how they treat people, otherwise you may end up in an impossible situation. Sometimes someone doesn’t have friends because kids are assholes, and sometimes someone doesn’t have friends because they’re the asshole.
Edit: I’m sorry this is so long, I guess it turned into an off my chest thing, I don’t really talk about it in real life.
I was one of the girls who stayed away when she started following you everywhere (Probably not you specifically, but its a familiar story.) I'm sorry. We shouldn't have abandoned you with her like that. We should have seen that she was just as mean to you as she was to us, and not written you off as part of her two man crew. Whether it was actually me or a friend like me, I'm sorry.
I’m sorry that happened to you.
Similar story. Nice to the outcast guy briefly in grade 9 because I felt that everyone deserved friends, scarily stalked for 3 solid years. Turns out he was a social pariah for a reason. That's not always the case, but it is sometimes.
Holy shit, you just described the exact situation my daughter (9yo) is in right now. I can't stand her friend, and my daughter has said she continues to be her friend because no one else is and she never gets invited to things. I love the heart of my daughter, but also wish she would cut that toxic friend out of her life. Her mom is super nice though and good friends with my wife, so it complicates things as well. Tbh, her mom is a bit older and is simply outmatched by her only child, letting her walk all over her and get away with too much. She also misses a lot of school because she gets "stomach aches" and "headaches". Lol, this little girl is definitely the boss of her family.
This is really heavy. Do you wanna talk about it? Also, from what you told us, I don’t think you were ever a bully.
Nice job. My daughter has a good social circle but tells me stories sometimes about some kids at school. I always encourage her to be kind to them and that small gestures can have big meanings. The world can change for the better one small act at a time. Tears at my heart when I think of lonely kids who just need one good friend but don’t.
You are a good parent
There’s a kid in my class who has aspergers and when everyone saw how strange he was, they avoided him but me being the kid who wanted to have a good relation with everyone in class, i decided to chat him up and help him out because i decided that talking to him for 3 seconds wasn’t going to satisfy my inner “nice guy”
Turns out he’s pretty smart and everything. He’s basically maxed out everything BUT his Social skills are at 0 so he doesn’t know how to act around people. It’s been 4 years now and now he’s able to joke with us and give witty comments at appropriate times! It’s pretty cool to see how well he turned out and i’m very sure he’s going to go on to pursue his incredulous goals and do good things.
Therefore i can’t stress enough on what OP said, that we should really always give someone a second chance. If it doesn’t work out and the person IS actually a jackass or asshole, don’t be deterred and keep being positive because it’ll help both of you in the long run. I Know because i learnt something that i wouldn’t have if i had not decided to be that 1 kid who approached the autistic kid who always sat alone and seemed to be in his own world.
I wish there were more people like you Chuuun. I’d settle for just one at my son’s school. It is very tough.
I was born in a different city and so around when I was in 1st grade we moved to a new city. I was already super nervous. My first day of school I started to get hints that the super popular guy was having a birthday soon and it seemed like pretty much every kid was invited. I was quiet all my first day and got weird looks and even had a girl tell me I’m from somewhere else and why would I ever want to leave my home? I remember that hurt cause it made me miss my old home and friends so much.
End of the day we are heading for the student pickup lot and mr. popular comes over and says something along the lines of “hey I just asked my dad he said it was okay can you come to my birthday this weekend? It’s at my house and there will be food and kids from school and a bounce house!”
We were best friends till high school and I had an amazing group of people to grow through school with because of him and the people I met through him Then his parents sent him to a private school and I stayed in public, so we grew apart.
I think back on him a lot cause it was one of the first times I was shown that strangers and peers you don’t know are just like you and that there is kindness in the world!
It’s just as heartbreaking for the parent as it is for the child that doesn’t have friends. I’m glad you guys included him. You probably made his year.
One of our kids struggles with this, and you’re right. It’s heartbreaking.
Having grown up, we now realize that 'he's wierd' is exactly the reason we SHOULD invite someone.
10 years ago my sister made friends with a geeky guy with asbergers. Fast-forward to today and he's been my brother-in-law for almost three years. :)
My dad said something to me when I was younger that will always stick with me. He said when he was in highschool there was this kid that everyone made fun of. Had some kind of deformity and people called him "egg head". My dad was always nice to this kid and stood up for him. About 5 years after highschool my dad got a call. The kid's father had passed away and he wanted to know if my dad could make the funeral. Basically was asking him to come. My dad said there was maybe 4 or 5 people there. The kid told him he didn't know who else to tell but since my dad was always so nice to him and it meant so much to him, he really wanted him there. You never know how much your kindness can help someone who truly needs it. Be good to people.
I’m so happy you invited him. It warms my heart. One year we threw a birthday party for my son at an indoor swim park. We sent out invitations to his whole class and only 1 kid showed up. I was close to tears but my son didn’t seem to mind at all. He had a blast with the one boy that showed up. I hope he remembers the great time he had with that one boy and never think of the 28 other kids that couldn’t bother to show up.
At my middle school I was part of the misfit group. We didn't have any loners at our school because our group let anyone hang out. We all knew how it felt to have no friends so we didn't do that to anyone else.
That's my son, he's 11 now and has always found it difficult fitting in. He says that kids don't like him until they get to know him, but most kids don't give him that chance. But he does have a handful of good friends... Which makes me super happy.
christ. this felt a way.
This post just made me feel so good inside!
Your friend is a great person.
Is there a sub for this too?
“If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change” -Batman
That's awesome, hope he has a great sleepover!
This was my dad when he found out I had a gf
You’re twenty five Andrew, you don’t need our permission! Shit, he might leave for good! Karen, it’s happening!
"Dad, I'm gay and I have a boyfriend."
"Great!! Does this mean you're moving out of the basement?"
“Awe, dad, don’t cry. I know you’re happy for me but-“
“THE HUMAN GARBAGE DISPOSAL IS FINALLY LEAVING!”
can you take out the trash when you're leaving?
But dad, I'm already taking myself
I was talking about your brother son .. your brother ..
goes and opens the fridge door and silently sobs.
Fuck I'm 25, Andrew, single, and split an apartment with my mom. I feel so attacked
Hell I'm 28 and have never had a girlfriend. My dad just says things like "eh you don't need one" "they're nothing but trouble", but I think deep down he's actually kinda sad for me. He gets kinda pepped up when I talk to him about a girl and then I can see the disappointment when I tell him I fucked up again. He just wants me to be happy
28 is about the age when my brother started to date in earnest, iirc. Before that he’d never had a girlfriend. He’s nearly 40 now with a wife and two kids.
Idk maybe don’t worry too much about being a late bloomer.
I don't think people are worried about being a late bloomer, they are worried they will never bloom.
My parents found condoms in my backpack recently and let me just say they did not have the same reaction
Would your parents prefer you didn't use condoms?
That’s what I would have thought. Apparently they are against the entire idea in general
The idea of rubber? That's just stupid, I mean what are their tires made from?
I meant sex but thanks for making me chuckle
You in high school or college?
Dude if you're old enough to go to go to college you're old enough for your parents to stay the hell out of your personal life
Not everyone can afford college without parental help. Plus not everyone wants to cut their parents out of their lives, even if they disagree on certain things.
How did they find condoms in your backpack if your in college? Home for winter break? Sex in college is normal anyway
Well they caught me smoking weed and we’re going thru my backpack to find what else I had been doing. They found cigarettes and half a bottle of vodka too.
College and they dislike the idea of you having sex? Are they mormons or some shit?
They are probably just concerned because they don't know who you might have sex with and would prefer if you only had sex with someone who you are officially dating and was already introduced to them. "please no one night stands" - kinda deal.
Now, I personally feel having condoms just in case is never a bad idea.
Ahhh yes the parental reaction that forces their kids to lie and hide shit. Always a smart power move
Thats so sad! I remember when my dad found condoms in my purse, i had asked him to grab it from the car and it spilled. I was terrified for a good 15 seconds before he packed everything up and told me that the brand I had wasn’t very reliable and I should stick to latex free trojans to be safe. Definitely appreciated my parents a lot in that situation. Im sure it helped I was 17 almost 18.
I’m 20 so this is even more sad. Alexa play “numb” by linkin park in full volume please
I truly don't understand parents acting like this...they sure fucked to make a child and for pleasure (probably) why are they acting like its such a big deal when their kid does the same thing...
When my dad found out i was trying to get one, he beat me shitless with his belt.
my mom when she found out 😫👌
This was my dad, he was so happy he finally got to tell me no.
Yeah, those kind of parents are a bit annoying. After people flake 3 or 4 times, you eventually stop inviting them.
Then you wonder why you sit alone at lunch for a few years.
I'm happy for you man
My mom always says “I’m worried you never spend time with your friends!” And then I ask to spend time with friends and she says “don’t you have homework? Studying?”
God dammit! This is too real for me!
I just realized that parents worry about this with their kids. Mine never asked or seemed to care. Never occurred to me that they should until this moment. Would've seriously helped just to know I wasn't the only one and it wasn't due to no one wanting to hang out with me.
I had a relatively good childhood and am not looking for sympathy. As compared to the horror stories I have heard I was very lucky. Not trying to blame them, they probably did the best they could. Just trying to figure out the origin of my perceived shortcomings so I can bring it out into the light of day. I can't believe I didn't realize this. I guess I did realize it but never connected it to my own experiences.
Such a horrible feeling to go through. I am elated for your son and for you. That must feel so frustrating to not be able to protect him from that and to only be able to help him through coaching/advice. You're a good Dad for worrying about this and having it matter so much to you.
PS-Make sure to tell him not to be the first one to fall asleep. Maybe let him take a nap before he goes over to his friend's house even. First impressions and all.
Or be my parents that used to not let me ever sleep over despite all my friends doing so regularly because of something that happened to my Dad’s friend in 1980
What happened to your dad's friend in 1980? ( happy cake day!)
On a more serious tone, my dads friend was sleeping over and the kid his friend staying over had extended family over. Long story short the uncle came into the room they were in and.. you can guess the rest.
That's meee, I finally have friends! :)
Congratulations. That is no small achievement. No sarcasm intended.
That's so wholesome, thank you ;-; ❤
Im so happy for you. I moved to Turin to study here and I found some friends as well. I feel less alone now. have a nice day guys
I remember when I switched schools in 5th grade and for the first two weeks I would sit in a classroom with my mom because I had a hard time making friends until one day they invited me to play some football at recess. I went out and played well and had a lot of fun.
Fast forward to college and I still have a very hard time making friends, or transitioning from classmates to friends. Don't think I'll be invited to play recess football this time though
My son has aspergers. This is how excited I was when he made best friends with the kid across the street when we moved to our current place.
But my parents says no
I've been out of the house for a decade and I'm still bitter about that. My early 20s sucked cause my social skills were shit since I was essentially forbidden from actually hanging out with friends outside of school.
People stop inviting you to shit when you always say no.
This was my life, down to the very last sentence. I didn't get it until recently, but you summed it up perfectly. Why invite someone over and over who can't go? And that's how a kid becomes isolated and weird as fuck
Sameeeee. "Spend time with the family! Do you even like us?!" Like, I never leave??? So kinda not tbh
Just to sleepovers or to hanging out with friends in general? Why would you completely isolate your child? Were they just really protective or religious or something?
Idk, man. There were perfectly normal parents in all other ways. I was pretty spoiled actually, in material things. I was a strong student, never got into fights or in trouble at school. It wasn't a punishment, it was just not something that was done.
Like middle school, everyone would hang out at the mall for hours on a Friday night, some arcade time or a movie or just walking around goofing off.
Asking to get a ride to the mall and picked up in 3-4 hours? No way in hell that was ever happening. The only acceptable events were extremely structured ones, pre-planned months in advance, with my exact location known down to the minute.
At 18 I pretty much had to sit my dad down and tell him I wasn't asking permission anymore. I'll let him know where I'm going cause I was still living in his house, driving his car, but I wasn't asking permission. If he didn't like it, he could kick me out and take the car.
But that meant I was pretty much starting from scratch at ~17/18 on building my social skills. Took me well into my 20s to truly get over the arrested development and realize I can actually do what I want, when I want.
I still have quirks from it. I rarely call people because I assume I'd just be an annoyance. Texting is a godsend, I can still arrange plans and it's low pressure enough that I don't feel that way dropping people a line that way.
I still catch myself trying to talk myself out of planning events, and go along with whatever my group of friends want to do. I've managed to get past that and do stuff, but I still have that voice in my head telling me I'm somehow doing something wrong.
It's kinda crazy. I would never describe my upbringing as abusive, but it in reality is probably was a bit. My parents paid a ton towards my college, bought me a car, I never went hungry, I got all the new consoles when they came out, the Christmas tree had a dozen gifts under it just for me every year.
So ofc, I then feel like an ungrateful shit when I feel bitter about this other stuff. It's complicated for sure.
My parents: "We wish you would make more friends at school" Also my parents: "We don't feel comfortable with you going over to someone else's house"
Same and now because I missed out on lots of social stuff it has made me terrified of doing social stuff as an adult ._.
I will always upvote “The Office” memes
I watched this very episode like 3 days ago. Seeing him get teary eyed always gets me teary eyed.
Knowing that you get teary eyed is getting me teary eyed
Knowing that you get teary eyed over someone else getting teary eyed about watching a person in The Office getting teary eyed is getting me teary eyed
Knowing that you get teary eyed over someone else getting teary eyed over someone else getting teary eyed about watching a person in The Office getting teary eyed is getting me teary eyed
I don't know from what episode is that pic from the Office, but it makes me happy everytime I see it xD
Then theres me, who gets constantly insulted by my father for being quiet, which results in me being more quiet, which leads to him thinking I'm like this outside so I apparently have no friends, so he insults me more for having no friends and being ugly and hated.
Maybe he's not aware of his actions. Have you tried just telling him what he's doing wrong?
Yes I have
Edit: Hes a narcissistic bastard that doesn't ever talk to me nicely.
Dont let his toxic crap personality mess you up for the rest of your life. He has a problem, not you, and hes a prick for taking it out on you
Being an introvert I spend a lot of time by myself, and I often stay home alone in the weekeds. The last time I was at the bar with my dad, I was talking to some friends and my dad came over with a beer for me. He Pulled me close and told me with the sincerity that only alcohol can produce how much it warmed his hearth to see me having fun with my friends, and that he was proud of me. I nearly cried right then and there. I'll never forget that moment.
I miss you dad.
Haha! My parents reaction was to say "uhh, no, sorry, we don't know their parents or know this friend well enough".
And that's the story of how I got to have a quarter life existential crisis over my abysmally lacking social skills. I have no friends. Not one
Be like the dad in the picture, people
During my first year of middle school o started hanging out at school with this girl in my classes. From the moment I met her I could tell that she thought I was super weird bit nevertheless we somehow managed to get along pretty well. A few weeks before my 13th birthday I asked my mom if she could call and ask the girl's mom if she could come to my birthday party. The mom said yes. I got a call from the girl a few minutes later and she was bawling. I asked what was wrong, thinking that her mom had said yes over the phone but told her no in real life. She told me that nobody had ever invited her to a birthday party before because she didn't really have a friend like that and she was so happy and moved that she couldn't stop crying. She's been my absolute best friend for almost thirteen years.
NicerDicer Action going on
Yay for your son!
I really really hope to have this one day. My son and I have a slight version of Aspergers and man are we awkward.
Made me tear up. I have a brother like this. Literally never got invited to do anything when he was in high school. No one ever called, came over, or has him over. Still breaks my heart. Hes an adult now and still has trouble making friends (he had one for a year in college but then that friend graduated ans that was that.). I know all my mom wanted was a friend for him.
I'm so glad your son has a friend.
To all the parents here saying their kid is struggling to make friends, I am pulling for you.
I have two daughters myself, and one thing I try really hard to do is to teach them to look for kids that might not be playing with anyone, to introduce themselves and invite that kid to start playing with them. I try to get my girls to imagine they are a new kid somewhere and they don’t know anyone, and I ask them how they want to be treated.
The most proud moment I have as a parent is when I hear about it see my kids go up and introduce themselves to someone new and invite them to play. The other kid doesn’t always accept, but I am proud of my daughter nonetheless.
The world I want to live in has more people like my daughters, because unfortunately for me, I was that kid who was alone and scared to talk to people.
I love this 😊
Random comment for saturation
Take my upvote, and I hope your son has/had a great time!
Plot twist: He says," We're gonna play Fortnite."
I’ve got two xboxes so when my kids friends come over they sit next to each other and play on side by side screens. Kids love coming over now. 100% ROI.
How horrible that these children enjoy something.
Priceless moments. Never happened for me though
My dad always felt bad because I would get invited to sleepovers, but I always had to decline because I inherited a genetic condition from him that caused me to wet the bed every night, and he blamed himself for it. I had to wear diapers or change the sheets every single night until I was 12. He had to have surgery to get it fixed when he was about 13. It was the summer after fifth grade when I finally got mine fixed with some kind of prescription nasal spray. My dad still keeps the empty bottle from the first bottle of my prescription because it's when I finally got to start being a normal kid.
I don't want my parents to be proud so I just don't go.
Edit: sorry I lied, noone ever invites me anywhere