to think my DD was not being unreasonable to not want to sit at the 'childrens table'?

(115 Posts)
500DaysofAutumn Mon 14-Jan-13 19:16:41

It was my mums 80th birthday over the weekend so we had a lunch out with all the family.

We weren't however all sat on one large table - we were in a separate room with three long tables each pushed against a wall and there was seating for 8 people on each.

My brother had done the seating plan. My DD who is 20 was sat with her 5 year and two 7 year old cousins. Two of the younger children are my brothers and he was sat on a completely different table to them.

My DD never said anything at the time, but in the car home I think she felt humiliated at being placed on the childrens table and she didn't really enjoy herself. I love my nieces and nephew but at that age it's not exactly stimulating conversation.

It also wasn't a set menu so it was ultimately left to my DD to help them chose what to eat - she doesn't have a clue about what their eating habits are and what they like or dislike and to also watch over them whilst they ate.

(They are all fantastic children, but when they are together can get a little silly and over excited as most children do)

She was thankfully sat with her other cousin who is 14 but those immediately next to her and in front of her with the youngest in the family.

I was impressed with her as she never complained about it until we were in the car leaving. She is 20 and therefore not a child and in my opinion shouldn't have been made to sit at the childrens table either.


beckhamz Mon 14-Jan-13 19:17:49

Yanbu. Why didn't you say anything?

Greythorne Mon 14-Jan-13 19:17:55


Andro Mon 14-Jan-13 19:18:48

Absolutely not!

AmberLeaf Mon 14-Jan-13 19:19:21


Think I would have said something immediately though.

Bobyan Mon 14-Jan-13 19:19:34

At 20 I would have expected her to have raised the issue herself

Renatica Mon 14-Jan-13 19:20:17

YANBU, your poor DD!

ReluctantMother Mon 14-Jan-13 19:20:48

Nbu but if I was here would have moved.

Andro Mon 14-Jan-13 19:21:14

Bobyan - she probably didn't want to cause a scene.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 14-Jan-13 19:23:51

YANBU, and your brother and his wife are twats for thinking that they could use her as free childcare while they enjoyed their meal.

kissmyshineymetalass Mon 14-Jan-13 19:24:02

Do you think your brother put her there so she could look after his children rather than him looking after them himself?

MoetEtPantsOn Mon 14-Jan-13 19:24:37

I think it's fantastic that she didn't raise it as an issue. Very gracious of her.

I do think it was unreasonable but it must have been tricky. If she wasn't there the 14 year old would have had a rubbish time. And possibly so on down. Your brother should have been a frequent visitor to the table too IMO

I'm a bit biased because I recently flew from Australia to Europe for such an event and was also placed at the kids table. I am 37.

snowybrrr Mon 14-Jan-13 19:25:57

Need to know more about the seating plan before I can comment,Were all teh 7 other people on her table children? And were there no children on any other tables?

pictish Mon 14-Jan-13 19:27:22

Yanbu - 20 is not a child.

simplesusan Mon 14-Jan-13 19:28:35

However expect several posters to disagree with you as it seems lots of posters think it fine to palm off their children with nephews/nieces.

BoneyBackJefferson Mon 14-Jan-13 19:29:55

So she was free baby sitting.

She should have a word with your brother.

The problem is that they have done this once and will do it again.

If someone doesn't complain (assuming that there will be another large family get together) she should ask to see the seating plan.

500DaysofAutumn Mon 14-Jan-13 19:30:07

She didn't say anything because it was her Grandma's 80th and she even had friends over from Austria for her birthday and I think she would rather just have got on with it.

I did say I don't think DD wants to be sat with the children which was ignored.

Kiriwawa Mon 14-Jan-13 19:30:57

I generally find children and their parents who have 'adult' expectations of them hugely irritating (my cousin does it with her 10 year old - insists she sits with the adults and then monitors our language) but your DD isn't a child, she's an adult.

I also think she was very gracious. If your brother's children need parenting, then the parents should do it (or pay for someone else to supervise them)

500DaysofAutumn Mon 14-Jan-13 19:32:24

There were two adults on the table too but they were sat opposite each other right at the other end of the table to DD (they were also obviously annoyed at being placed there) - but they are a couple so had each other iyswim?

All the rest were children ages 5 to 14.

derekthehamster Mon 14-Jan-13 19:34:05

I was always on the children's table until I had some children of my own to replace me!

NotMyBigFatFault Mon 14-Jan-13 19:35:40

Uh, I had this at my wedding except the "grown up" on the child's table was actually the mother of the 3 children; she had wanted her sister to have them so she could have a good time! They were 2, 6 and 8 at the time!!! But, YANBU OP

GrendelsMum Mon 14-Jan-13 19:43:25

Oh golly! I think that was very good of your DD to think of her grandma's feelings and to look after the kids. shame it was probably not a huge amount of fun for her.

McNewPants2013 Mon 14-Jan-13 19:45:22

There were two adults on the table too but they were sat opposite each other right at the other end of the table to DD (they were also obviously annoyed at being placed there) - but they are a couple so had each other iyswim?

no so much a children table then

mrsjay Mon 14-Jan-13 19:47:22

yanbu my dd is nearly 20 she was have been embarrassed to sit at the kids table

BettySuarez Mon 14-Jan-13 19:49:27

Why can't people sit with their own bloody children???

floweryblue Mon 14-Jan-13 20:02:22

Since Sis had her DS (Sis is single mother), all family gatherings have had me on one side of him, her on the other.

I anticipate that in the future, I will continue to supervise him while she has more and more freedom to socialise. But, and it is a very big BUT, Sis asks me if that's OK every time plus I don't like 'social' meals, so I actually prefer having something to do.

You should be very proud of your DD for not complaining at the time and YANBU for feeling she got lumbered with providing free child care.

chinam Mon 14-Jan-13 20:13:16

So basically your brother wanted someone to look after his kids while he got to sit with the grown ups. Cheeky git.

FelicityWasSanta Mon 14-Jan-13 20:28:59

Yanbu at all.

This and the other thread about 'teenagers and chairs' make me SO glad that I come from a family which never segregated kids, in that situation we would have sat mixed in with the adults. IMO a huge part of the joy of families is mixed generations. Sticking all the 'children' together, is always going to result in situations like this. Ridiculous and exclusive.

Remotecontrolduck Mon 14-Jan-13 21:40:10

I've never understood this 'children's table' thing, why don't people look after their own kids? I went to many weddings etc as a child and never sat at a different table?!

Your 20 year old is neither a child, nor a babysitter. No one over 12 really should be sat at a 'children's table' (well, no one should in my opinin but accept others might feel differently). They can sit quitely or join in the conversation.

The other thread is mortifying. 17 years old and sent to sit with the kids, goodness.

thebody Mon 14-Jan-13 22:03:55

You should have said something.. My Dcs are 23 and 21 and i would have laughed, told the parents to look after their own kids and moved their chairs...

Why does there need to be a children's table at all?!

500DaysofAutumn Mon 14-Jan-13 22:09:38

I already said that I said something thebody but it was ignored, I didn't realise that DD felt quite so humiliated and she's 20 and will say when she has a problem.

But also neither would want to cause a scene when we're there for my mum.

Trills Mon 14-Jan-13 22:11:40

She was very polite.

And she is not at all unreasonable to not want to sit with and supervise children without having been asked.

thebody Mon 14-Jan-13 22:12:31

Sorry op didn't catch that. Your poor dd what a bloody cheek.

apostropheuse Mon 14-Jan-13 22:14:58

So it was a table for eight people.

There were three adults, a fourteen year old and four children at it.

I really don't see the problem there to be honest.

It's not exactly a children's table, it's fairly mixed.

zipzap Mon 14-Jan-13 22:18:37

Are you going to bring it up with your brother now that you've realised it was an issue for your dd - and you by the sound of it?

I know you tried during the event and they conveniently ignored you but definitely think it is worth telling your brother off yourself for taking advantage of the good nature of your dd and her graciousness at not wanting to upset her gran's 80th by taking advantage of her for free child watching.

I would also make sure that next time there is a big family do that you don't let your dbro do the table plan - or warn him in advance that absolutely your dd will not be sitting with the children; and that even if he puts her there, you will be moving her into his / his wife's seat and they can look after their own offspring!

Startail Mon 14-Jan-13 22:34:11

At Christmas parties etc, I joined the adults from about 8, certainly from 10. I was the eldest at the children bored me witless.

carabos Mon 14-Jan-13 22:39:42

YANBU. At Xmas at BiL's house he and SiL had to add an extra table at the short end of the main table to accommodate everyone. This was the designated children's table. Except that the "children" who were seated at it were 20, 17, 15, 5 and 3. Guess what - the teens were there as entertainment for the littlies.

^"There were three adults, a fourteen year old and four children at it.

I really don't see the problem there to be honest"^

The fact that none of the parents of the children were among the adults maybe? They need to mind their own little ones, not palm them off on anyone who happens to be seated nearby hmm

Well done to your DD for being so gracious after being dropped in it OP, she has at least acted like a responsible adult, even if your brother didn't.

OkayHazel Tue 15-Jan-13 00:26:54

I'm 20, and had that happened to me, I'd have ordered myself a bottle of red wine, drank it all and not given a shit about what the kids order. Ice cream for a main? FINE!
Just watch them stick me with the kids again.
But then again, there are no children younger than me in my family, and I fear I'm quite petty.

ComposHat Tue 15-Jan-13 00:30:41

YABU well done her for not making a scene as I would probably have done at her age.

ComposHat Tue 15-Jan-13 00:31:18

sorry YANBU clearly not BU.

500DaysofAutumn Tue 15-Jan-13 00:48:08

Every other table was full of adults (apart from a 6mo who was obviously sat with his mum)

It was kind of obvious that my brother had placed people on his table that he likes. I know you're not going to be a seating plan and place yourself next to someone you dislike but you surely should take other people into account too.

SantasENormaSnob Tue 15-Jan-13 07:23:03

Yanbu at all.

And as it wasn't children only at the table it should've been the parents on there, not your dd and the other couple.

I would be furious to be lumbered with other kids at a meal out.

Grumpla Tue 15-Jan-13 07:27:06

Haha @ Hazel, I think that would certainly have been an effective way to avoid a repeat wink

Groovee Tue 15-Jan-13 07:34:06

I'd organise another meal and do a seating plan where your brother is left in charge of the kids.

AThingInYourLife Tue 15-Jan-13 07:50:28

I don't think the 14 year old should have been on a "kids' table" either.

The only reason to have a children's table at all is at big gatherings so the kids get to hang out together.

There weren't enough children to make that worthwhile, so the children should have been interspersed.

And no matter where they were their parents were still responsible for them unless they arranged in advance (and paid) for one of their nieces or nephews to babysit.

Your brother is incredibly rude to have arranged the seating so that he had the best time.

Whatever about putting your adult daughter with her child cousins - how insulting to the other couple to be so obviously stuck on the end.

Just make sure he never does the seating plan again, the mannerless oik.

firesidechat Tue 15-Jan-13 07:52:48

Why can't people sit with their own bloody children???


Whenever we have family events the ages are all mixed up. Children are part of the family, not a separate species after all. Good for the children's social skills too.

My grown up daughter loves children, but she would be a bit fed up at this.

Jelly15 Tue 15-Jan-13 08:02:35

As someone else said you must be proud of your daughter for not saying anything to cause an atmosphere at her grandmothers party but I would tell my brother to look after his own kids next time.

MrsMelons Tue 15-Jan-13 08:10:01

I do find it strange that they had a childrens table and that people didn't sit in families. I would have said something on her behalf TBH as she isn't a child and it was unfair.

Childrens tables are fine if say the children are of similar age and need no adult help with eating/choosing menus.

Well done to your DD for being so polite, I think you should have been more forceful about where she sat but understand its so hard as you wouldn't want to cause a scene on your mums special birthday.

I don't think I would be able to not say something to him after the event to make sure he knows how out of order he was! Maybe next time you can organise the tables together to avoid him doing something like this.

TotallyBS Tue 15-Jan-13 08:19:18

Whenever we have a family get together at my parents the adult table consist of my parents, their 'children' and their partners. And the children table consist of the grand children which range from 10 to 30 in age. Now that the older ones have DPs they sit at the children table as well.

Us old foggies talk about politics, old family friends and what they are up to now. The children table is the 'fun' table where they chat about pop music, movies, celebrity gossip etc.

My older neices and nephew welcome the opportunity to spend time with their younger cousins, to chat about school, boys/girls that they like smile , what subjects they like.

So this children table thing works for us. However, that is us.

From the sounds of it, it was a matter of logistics at your dinner in which case YABU. I am of course assuming that there were no vacant seats at the adult table and that there were no 'child' younger than your DD at the adult table.

Ok your DD didn't have much fun but if there were no space for your DD at the adults table then it isn't unreasonable to put her with the kids.

However, if the couple were family friends then it would be unreasonable for them to be seated with other people's kids. I mean, if I get invited to a dinner I certainly don't expect to be seated at the children table.

SantasENormaSnob Tue 15-Jan-13 08:29:12

There would've been space at the adult table had the brother sat with his own kids.

Even if not, a 20 year old shouldnt be sat on the kids table. That's completely unfair. The kids could've sat amongst the adults, hence no need for a second class citizens kids table at all.

happynewmind Tue 15-Jan-13 08:38:45

Yanbu, im also thinking she was put there to supervise the children so he didnt have to.

Who arranged the meal? The seats? Who made this possible for your mum?

I take it you were not part of the planning process, and your brother had taken this gargantuan task on, since you were not consulted about the seating plan in advance? Had you not even taken an interest and asked?

I think you and your dd need to get over it and take it as a real jigsaw puzzle to get the seating right, and not a slight.

Your dd was on the table with a 14 year old and another adult couple, in addition to the children.

I had to place my 17 year old niece together with my 10 and 7 year olds, and another 9 year old at a recent Christmas thingy with family. She has not mentioned it. She was all smiles and good company with the young ones, and as soon as she had eaten, she moved a chair over to the main table and joined in.

I cant believe a 20 year old woman sulked over seating arrangements at her grandmas 80th. hmm

Adversecamber Tue 15-Jan-13 08:55:47

I find it incredibly odd there was a table for children at all. I have never been to any family kind of event where this is the case.

Chopchopbusybusy Tue 15-Jan-13 08:58:43

She didn't sulk though did she? She sat through it in order to not make a fuss at her grandmother's birthday party.
At my mum's 80th party the children were a big part of her day. She would have thought the idea of a seperate table for children very odd. TBH so do I. I know in this case it wasn't entirely children but I think in this case the children would have been beter sitting with their parents.

She didn't sulk though did she.

And why did your 17 year old niece have to sit with your children? Why didn't you sit with them.

We don't have this problem, the dc's just sit amongst everyone else

SantasENormaSnob Tue 15-Jan-13 09:05:13

Why did you sit the 17 year old with them quint?

Why not just sit the youngers amongst the adults or sit with them yourself?

I did not sit with them because I was hosting. I was arranging all the food, the drinks, the coffees, and as such could not also sit with the children. I needed to ensure everybody had what they needed, and I was darting in and out between the kitchen and the big table.

I think the people who have taken on organizing, cannot suddenly relinquish all duties they have to the guest of honour and all other guests.

My children did not need looking after either, and 17 year old niece was not expected to help them. But she would not fit seated at the big table, not with a plate setting, and there was nobody else I could put on the small table.

Arranging big dinners, suppers, cake parties, for lots of people can be really tricky. Especially if you have to work around existing furniture and rooms. How wonderful if one had ones own big banqueting hall and could put everybody around one big table! Would solve all the problems.

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 15-Jan-13 09:07:20

Just want to say, OP, your DD has behaved very graciously. She is more grown-up than your brother! Next time seat him at the children's table. wink

AThingInYourLife Tue 15-Jan-13 09:11:38

LOL @ children's tables being for "second class citizens" grin

If you're a kid going to a meal with your cousins, the children's table is the top table.

It's hella more fun than sitting with your parents and aunts and uncles making tedious adult small talk.

But in this case there weren't enough children to justify one, since half the people at the table were not children.

If the children were to be seated together, they should have been near their parents and not just dumped on the youngest and least favoured members of the family so the host could maximise his own fun.

WiseKneeHair Tue 15-Jan-13 09:12:52

I'm another who doesn't understand the concept of a childrens table.
At my DFs 80th, people just sat where they wanted. Children, adults and teenagers all mixed up together.

Mine, as one of the youngest there was my 3 yo, maybe I should have palmed him off on 17 and 19 yo DNs grin

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 15-Jan-13 09:13:11

Quint - booking a meal at a restaurant isn't a gargantuan task. Quite different if you are hosting something at home.

Plus, the children being talked about here are very young and clearly needed supervision.

"so the host could maximise his own fun." hmm

I wish organizing big family events were as fun for the host as the guest.....
Bloody hard work it is!

Chopchopbusybusy Tue 15-Jan-13 09:13:42

Quint. The OP has explained they went out for lunch. Booking a table is hardly a gargantuan task!
If your DCs didn't need looking after at your family Christmas meal then why couldn't they sit next to you?

I think I missed the one word "out" in the op.

I stand corrected.

SantasENormaSnob Tue 15-Jan-13 09:16:56

That depends on the ages athing.

IMO a children's table only works if they are of similar ages and fully independent.

Otherwise it's just glorified babysitting for the older ones.

Oh and I said second class citizens as it wasnt just children on the table in the op, it was a 20yo and some random couple too.

It was a bigger event with aunts and uncles. And at home. Limited seating options. If they sat with me, then I would have 4 other adults together at one table, and my wheelchair bound 86 year old dad would have to chose which relatives he sat with. But as this was more like a smorgasbord cold cuts supper with cake, people were moving around a lot anyway.

The children were much happier sitting together at one smaller table suitable for 4 than squashed in with boring aunts talking about hospitals and operations. My niece seemed to prefer her own seat as long as she was eating. grin

Jins Tue 15-Jan-13 09:18:54

My 18yo now avoids family get togethers as much as he can as he has been lumped in with the younger ones for years. He plays the 'important revision for a test' card and I can't challenge it to be honest even though I know his capacity to cope with the under tens is limited to about an hour and only in places where he can move freely grin

He's older by 3 years than the next cousin and he's 14 years older than the youngest. The 15yo is starting to struggle as well.

Older teenagers are not children. A 20 year old is most definitely not a child. If you have a mix of ages like this then a table plan should seat in family groups ideally

At age 20 I would be amazed that she cared about something like that. Wouldn't have been surprised if the 14 year old had felt embarrassed, but you mature and get past that.....I was put on the kiddy table at 11 and minded awfully, all my other cousins (i.e. 12 and up!) had their own table and teased me mercilessly, and the next time I didn't mind so's obvious that she's 20, not a kid, it's just for ease and convenience.

At our family house my cousins and I (21-16) still get put with the babies if there's not enough room at the big table- why would we care?
Total non issue IMO OP.....sorry.

Well, our "kiddy table" consisted of a 7, 9, 10 and 17 year old, so not small kiddies.

Jins Tue 15-Jan-13 09:23:28

There is a world of difference between 7,9,10 year olds and an older teenager. Your niece is clearly better able to cope than my son! grin

By kids I mean anywhere from 3-11......and the "babies" in question are under 10 grin

SantasENormaSnob Tue 15-Jan-13 09:23:42

If its a non issue and you don't care, why not sit with your own kids?

How's it fair expecting others to sit with/supervise them?

I have the most and youngest dc in my family. I wouldn't dream of expecting others to look after them at a meal. They sit with dh and I. Why should my younger brothers or cousins look after them confused

TotallyBS Tue 15-Jan-13 09:25:07

500Days - if this was something you feel strongly about why didn't you (and DP) simply swap with the couple at the children's table? Problem solved.

Like I said in my original post, with us the children's table is the 'fun' table and my grown up neices would rather be on that table with their young cousins than with us oldsters. It's a bit sad that others consider it as the B list table.

My niece only see her cousins a few times per year, and she and my 10 year old are very close. I have this fab picture of her as a 7 year old giving him a bottle when he was just 3 months old (mixed feeding) She took him to see The Hobit over Christmas, just the two of them. A real treat for him. grin

If she had to suffer my two sons on a more regular basis, I suspect her tolerance would drop to the basement!

JenaiMorris Tue 15-Jan-13 09:28:27

Children's tables can work very well. I find it more relaxing (as does ds) when I'm unable to see any lapses in table manners grin

But that's when they're all closish in age, or at least there are enough of them in each age group. I wouldn't expect him at 12 to sit with a bunch of littlies, although he might actually offer to because he enjoys looking after small children.

AThingInYourLife Tue 15-Jan-13 09:31:11

Oh, it was definitely a second class citizens table in this case, Santa (still holding on to that Christmas name? wink ), because obviously putting adults on the kids' table spoils it for the kids.

I agree that they do need to be of a similar age, but not necessarily independent as long as their parents are supervising from a distance.

I would say 3 or 4 to around 10 is fine. Maybe even 11 or 12 depending on the ages of the youngest.

Teens should either have their own table or be seated with adults. No fair to put them with the kids as a default babysitter.

Young adults should be invited to sit with adults. If one adult needs to be stuck with the children it should be a parent.

If you can't manage it that way, then don't put the children together.

TotallyBS Tue 15-Jan-13 09:31:33

What is the point of a get together if everyone is seated in family groups? You end up talking to the people you speak to at dinner at home. Where is the fun in that?

AThingInYourLife Tue 15-Jan-13 09:34:47

I was wondering that too, Totally.

Jins Tue 15-Jan-13 09:38:36

It sounds like everyone has better get togethers than us sad

Ours are done out of duty and involve an undignified scuffle to avoid sitting next to MIL who will list deaths and diseases since our last meeting.

But teens are children, it's not like they're two different species. And in a family you can rely on people to pull together a bit.

AppearingDignified Tue 15-Jan-13 09:49:45

We regularly have two or three other families over for Sunday lunch. The adults go on one table (with any little babies) and the kids go on another. They like it, we like it. The eldest is 9 and the youngest on the children's table is around 2.

In this case I think the OP is BU:

It was an 80th, there weren't many children, the children's table was half adults anyway and they are her cousins, takes a village etc. At a 21st, i'm sure it would all be seated very differently etc. It was only a birthday lunch for heaven's sake.

Grapesoda Tue 15-Jan-13 10:01:23

I agree with quIrrel and appearing dignified.
Ime those adolescents who graciously manage these situations are the ones who've grown up to be the more confident, considerate and socially skilled in relation to those teens who were treated "like adults" earlier on and not expected to muck in a bit.
I also dislike the frequent references to ppl being "stuck with" the kids. It sounds demeaning to the younger children IMO. I can see why op's dd might have felt a bit left out and that's a shame but I wonder how many over 50s she's be wanting to hang out with at her 21st birthday.

AThingInYourLife Tue 15-Jan-13 10:04:26

"But teens are children"

No, they really aren't.

They are becoming adults and should be recognised for that by their families.

Adults aren't a different species from children either.

A village raising a child recognises that it matters more to an adolescent to have their burgeoning adulthood recognised than it does to an older adult to sit with the kids for once.

Grapesoda Tue 15-Jan-13 10:09:39

Blimey. I think it's best overall if people sit where they're bloody told to and not make such an effing fuss tbh.

Jins Tue 15-Jan-13 10:12:23

In any case a 20yo is neither a teen nor an adolescent.

AThingInYourLife Tue 15-Jan-13 10:17:03

A 20 year old is a young adult. They should be welcomed to the adult table by their elders, not forced to babysit their cousins.

It's easy to see why some families never spend any time together.

TotallyBS Tue 15-Jan-13 10:20:10

OP: Why do you keep going on about it being the children table. There was a couple, your 20yr old, the 14 yr old and 3 kids.

The grown ups out numbered the kids.

And on a table that small, how can the couple be "at the other end of the table" Its an 8 seater table. How big can it be?

The more I get into this thread the more I think it's much to do about nothing.

You could have swapped seats with the couple to be with your DD but you didn't so why are you complaining that your brother didn't sit with his.

You DD was on a table with a 14 yr old and a couple so she wasn't exactly dumped onto a table full of kids.

These kids are her cousins. It does not bode well for future relations between them if spending a lunch with them is such a big deal.

Grapesoda Tue 15-Jan-13 10:21:30

But there were other adults at the table.
Or is that bit of the op not true?

Grapesoda Tue 15-Jan-13 10:22:12

Sorry, x posted.

I don't get the 'childrens table' thing. Why can't families just sit together? Then parents are responsible for their own children and can't just get selective deafness the more pissed they get. Children are people too and I find when they are allowed to join in with the adults they llenjoy it and are usually lovely - they don't need to be partitioned off confused

AThingInYourLife Tue 15-Jan-13 10:28:44

This crappy host put all the children on a table away from their parents (him) and with the other young members of the family and stuck another adult couple on too.

That is appalling seat planning.

If you aren't having a children's table, the children should not be all sitting together and they should be near their parents.

DamnBamboo Tue 15-Jan-13 10:30:35

gargantuan task of telling people where to sit in a restaurant?


Ok then!

Why does anyone ever need to do a seating plan anyway? We didn't even do one for our wedding, so to me the idea of a seating plan for a meal out is a bit confused. I really wouldn't give a monkeys where people choose to sit - let everyone just sit where they want to FFS!

Hullygully Tue 15-Jan-13 10:41:41

I agree badtaste, the only people who like seating plans are the ones drawing them up and pleasing themselves...

JenaiMorris Tue 15-Jan-13 10:45:22

IME the children tend to gravitate towards each other at our family things, and sit toegther regardless. They like each other's company.

They like grown ups' company too, but given a choice like to spend the bulk of their time toegther.

AppearingDignified Tue 15-Jan-13 10:47:04

Except, we didn't do a seating plan for a wedding party for my ILs friends (we had eloped --to try to avoid doing a party for IL's friends--) and it was a disaster. No-one knew where to sit and they sat in family groups, no-one wanted to 'impose on us' so we had a space either end of the table we were on. My MIL was very confused, and it retrospect, she had been right. Sometimes, it takes the pressure off guests about what the right thing to do, by giving them specific places to park their bums.

TotallyBS Tue 15-Jan-13 10:54:19

To all those going shock at the idea of a children's table, you must be a lot more cool than us. I mean, my kids love being on the kids table, far away from talk about the state of the NHS, the rising cost of the average shop and miscellaneous work chat

AThingInYourLife Tue 15-Jan-13 10:54:24

I quite like seating plans.

It appeals to my obedient swot side to sit where I'm told.

DeWe Tue 15-Jan-13 11:01:17

At my grandparent's Golden Wedding anniversary, I chose to sit at the children's table. It was much more fun than sitting with the grown ups. I was 20, my cousins were 2, 4, 7 and 9. We had a great time together, and I think the conversation of that age is very stimulating-you never know what they're going to say next.
I pitied my dsis who had to sit on the adult table because there wasn't enough room for her too.

It's certainly more than possible that the brother didn't do it maliciously. perhaps his dc asked to sit with their cousin, or he thought they would like to be together.

If it had been my dc bothered about being on the children's table, then I'd offer to swap with them.

Jins Tue 15-Jan-13 11:03:41

I'm banned from the kids table now since the burping competition I invented sad

TotallyBS Tue 15-Jan-13 11:04:14

DeWe - nice to see that others regard the children table as the 'fun' table smile

Yanbu - she was being used as child care, parents should sit next to their own kids.

MrsMelons Tue 15-Jan-13 12:36:28

I would have been embarrassed to be on the kids table at 20. I was nearly married at that age and was buying a house.

I do agree the children's table is fun but for children. I think she should have been asked first as she is an adult and fine if she was ok with it.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Tue 15-Jan-13 13:07:45

A kids table is fun. The OP's DD wasn't sat there for the fun option it would appear, she was used as a free babysitter though as she was choosing food options for the other children, the parents of those children should've been supervising their own children's choices not side-stepping the care to someone else.

I think that the fact that it wasn't a childrens' table as such, is irrelevant, to be honest. What is relevant is that 500DaysofAutumn's dd was seated with someone else's children, and ended up having to look after them, whilst the parents were seated elsewhere.

When the boys were little, we took them to some similar occasions - wedding receptions etc - and we always sat with them and looked after them ourselves. I wouldn't have expected someone else - especially someone who didn't know them well - to look after them.

The OP's brother should have asked her dd in advance if she was willing to sit with his children and look after them - but fwiw, because he just took it for granted that she wouldn't mind, I think her dd should submit an invoice to her brother for her babysitting services!

TotallyBS Tue 15-Jan-13 13:52:52

The OP could have swapped seats with the couple and sat with her DD but she didn't. Isn't it a bit silly for others to condemn the brother for choosing the adult table?

I can't speak for others, but I am not condemning the brother for choosing the adult table. What I am condemning him for is for leaving his children to be looked after by other guests (it is irrelevant whether it was the OP's dd, or the Op and her dd or anyone else)!

He seated himself (and his dp, I assume) at a different table to his young children, so other guests hadto look after them. He didn't ask if the OP's dd minded looking after his children - he just did what suited him. That was presumptuous and unacceptable, IMO.

Whoknowswhocares Tue 15-Jan-13 16:11:20

Why does everyone have to sit in the same place for the whole 3 courses? Isn't it better to switch after each course to circulate, spread the childminding and make sure everyone gets a chance to mingle?

BoneyBackJefferson Tue 15-Jan-13 18:38:52

As an aside to the discussion about the DB getting free child care, Who was paying for the meal?

Its bad enough that the DB abandoned his children to the Op's DD but its even worse if the DD is paying for her own meal.

Jollyb Tue 15-Jan-13 18:49:03

We had this at a friend's wedding - ended up on a table with the young cousins. Wasn't best amused. Will be payback time at our wedding . . . wink

fraggle500 Tue 15-Jan-13 19:21:59

Gosh, I really admire your daughters dignity in her handling of the situation. Something similar happened to me when I was 21 and engaged to my then fiancé . Big family meal and my mother put me on the children's table and my fiancé with the "grown ups" !!!
I didn't act very grown up to my shame........and still feel foolish and embarrassed many years on. :-(

foreverondiet Tue 15-Jan-13 20:00:35

It's hard; when I was 18 I went to a family wedding - I hadn't wanted to go but my parents insisted. When I got there I found I was on the kids tables and the next oldest cousin was about 12 with most being very little. It was awful. You should have said something, totally not fair at that age.

RuleBritannia Tue 15-Jan-13 20:30:16

Am I out of date? Why were all the smaller children not sitting with their own parents? That would have spread the ages around. With the grandmother being 80, was there a pecking order of who sat where? For instance, all the grandmother's own children sat close to her, then the next generation a bit further away and so on?

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