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to think that it is poor behaviour if children/teenagers play on their phones for 100% of the time at a meal out?

(151 Posts)
FlouncingMintyy Sat 16-Feb-13 19:54:26

Bit of a reunion with old friends today. We are scattered far and wide so don't see each other all that often and have lots of children between us ages ranging from 8 to 14, who don't know each other particularly well but have certainly met before and seen each other from time to time.

There were more than 25 of us and the only way we could configure it in the restaurant was for the 8 children to sit on a table nearby.

Aibu to be really unimpressed that 3 of these kids simply played on their phones for the entire meal and made no effort to interact with the others?

My dd said that one boy (younger than her) literally did not speak at all.

EuroShopperEnergyDrink Sat 16-Feb-13 20:32:24

The only thing anti-social is the kids table. I bet they wouldn't have had their phone out if they were mixed in amongst the adults.

I know it's the hosts fault- and not yours, but it was a poor choice of restaurant if that was the seating arrangements.

If you want to treat them like babies, don't expect them to be stroppy and fannying around on phones. This is an age where they should indeed be mixing with adults, having conversations and socialising- and basically learning how to behave in this situation. You can't expect them to learn this if their parents have a 'seen not heard' mentality if it comes to kids- which is why it makes sense that the hosts children were the main offenders grin

Bogeyface Netherlands Sat 16-Feb-13 20:32:34

In this case, no I dont think it iok to accomodate the preferences of adults, if the adults stick them off somewhere on their own and then dont interact with them!

I dont allow phones at the table at all, I am very strict about it, but in this case I am on the kids side. They are dumped with a load of kids they dont know, in a place they probably dont want to be and then left to it.

YABVVU

Bogeyface Netherlands Sat 16-Feb-13 20:33:32

Parents who are scared of saying no to their kids, or just oblivious to how awful it looks?

Or appreciate that the kids are bored and letting it go for the sake of harmony.

Remotecontrolduck Sat 16-Feb-13 20:34:14

It is anti social to not make an attempt to talk, but you can't expect a 14 year old and an 8 year old to have much to talk about really? There is a hell of a lot of difference there. It was probably quite awkward all round.

Maybe next time mix the adults in with the children.

GloriaPritchett Sat 16-Feb-13 20:34:20

I am quite surprised at myself, but I still don't think it's that bad. They've been dragged quite far away from home at half term and made to sit in a restaurant at the kiddy table with a load of other kids who they don't know and probably aren't interested in knowing.

EuroShopperEnergyDrink Sat 16-Feb-13 20:35:08

They should be learning to host the younger ones?! Jesus wept.

They should be learning to mix with everyone, adults included! As a too cool for school 14 year old who ALWAYS had her cousins foisted on her and forced to play entertainer at gatherings, I can understand the phone button-mashing

HollyBerryBush Sat 16-Feb-13 20:36:29

I doubt it was a short meal - and I doubt a 14yo had much to say to an 8 or 10 yo either. Sounds a bloody awful time for them TBH. Nothing in common, not of an age, lobbed in a corner and ignored by adults, some of whom were probably drinking.

ihearsounds Sat 16-Feb-13 20:38:22

So they were dragged out on a Saturday to meet up with a load of boring old people. When all they wanted to do was be with their mates. Then they finally get their and all the dc's, regardless of age and maturity are lumped on the kids table.. I know what I would have been doing. Bitching about it on fb

Porkster Sat 16-Feb-13 20:42:29

Whilst I think it's a bit tragic when I see kids out with their parents for a meal and the kids are playing on their phones and not chatting - if the kids were lumped together and didn't know each other, I don't blame them.

FlouncingMintyy Sat 16-Feb-13 20:44:11

Your posts really make me pmsl HollyBerryBush, you are so consistently hostile. I haven't seen you utter anything vaguely pleasant yet. Are you some sort of construct?

FlouncingMintyy Sat 16-Feb-13 20:44:54

ihearsounds I take it you are also 14?

LaQueen Sat 16-Feb-13 20:45:06

I'm with Pag on this one.

Our DDs have never been allowed toys/gadgets/gizmos at the dinner table, and they never will be.

Even DH, who is welded to his Smart phone, has learned to switch it off when we're eating at home/eating out (it took a few heated sessions with a whip and a chair, but he got the message eventually).

I bleddy hate to see families eating out, and half the group are buggering about with mobiles, the entire time. It just looks so soulless.

I mean God forbid, that children and adults should actually...I dunno..have a conversation with each other, and actually make a bit of a social effort, even if they'd rather not.

This sort of behaviour is simply not tolerated in my family - you are expected to pay attention, join in, take part and be sociable - yes, even (gasp) make conversation with people (gasp) slightly older/younger than yourself...and even (gasp) if secretly you'd rather be doing something else.

I (hope) I'm raising and encouraging our DDs to learn good social skills & behaviour, and encouraging their ability to chat with people they don't know that well.

ihearsounds Sat 16-Feb-13 20:47:31

Why do I need to be 14 to understand their point of view?

EuroShopperEnergyDrink Sat 16-Feb-13 20:48:37

'AIBU?'
'YABU'
'No, I'm not/*general flurry of cattiness*'

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 16-Feb-13 20:50:32

You should have mixed the children in with the adults and had a proper social event, instead of excluding them to a table of their own.

GloriaPritchett Sat 16-Feb-13 20:51:03

To be fair, Euro, a lot of people have agreed with the OP.

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Sat 16-Feb-13 20:52:21

I've had a similar thing very recently and one of the mothers ticked off her son, aged 19, quite nastily, he sheepishly put his phone away and made an effort to chat.
She spent the next hour answering calls!

EuroShopperEnergyDrink Sat 16-Feb-13 20:54:00

Exactly- lots of people have.

Some haven't though, and that's equally fine. Why must they be faced with sarcy 'are you 14?' comments?

GogoGobo Sat 16-Feb-13 20:55:11

EuroShopper - so you don't see any merit in teenagers doing something for an hour or two that isn't entirely on their terms?

FlouncingMintyy Sat 16-Feb-13 20:56:14

How would you have mixed the tables then please? Given that we were

1 adult + a 14 and 12 year old
1 adult + a 12 year old
2 adults + a 12 year old and a 10 year old
2 adults + a 12 year old
2 adults + a 10 year old and an 8 year old

and 5 adults with no children with them.

And we had one table of 8 and another table of 12.

Please tell us how we could have mixed this up, thank you.

ReindeerBollocks Sat 16-Feb-13 20:56:46

DH did this regularly. He did it during a romantic evening out just the two of us. I was so hacked off after a while I walked out.

He doesnt do it anymore.

It is extremely rude - my parents expected us as children to make conversations with one another when out in big group. Learning to socialise with new people is a great asset that some children wont have if they are glued to their phones 24/7.

fluckered Sat 16-Feb-13 20:58:36

i think it was lousy to lump them altogether like that without them really knowing eachother. they were old enough why didnt they sit with the adults and engage with everyone?

GloriaPritchett Sat 16-Feb-13 20:59:36

I would have really tried not to bring any of the children to be honest. I hated being dragged to my parents' friends' parties.

ihearsounds Sat 16-Feb-13 21:00:51

4 children at both tables.
Asked the staff to put the tables together for a bigger party.
Made the reservation for 21.

HollyBerryBush Sat 16-Feb-13 21:01:16

I'm with gloria

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