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To ask your opinion? Re Children and seating.

(297 Posts)
MeganScarlett Sat 12-Jan-13 20:29:28

My mum lives by herself in a smallish flat, and for her birthday always has the family over for tea and cake. My mum has four children and each of them has between 2-3 children and now some of them have their own children. So although we're not a large family it can get quite crowded when everyone is there.

The tea and cakes is always served in the dining room which is where all the adults sit and the younger children usually play in the living room. The youngest are between 4-9.

My niece and nephew were sat at the dining room table, they are both aged 17 and 15 and were the first to arrive with my sister. When others started arriving it was made clear by some that they should give up their seats for the adults and be made to sit in the living room with the younger children. I'm in my early 20s and made to feel sometimes that I am not adult enough to be sat with the older adults.

Should they have given up their seats for the older adults?

I'm really of the opinion that they shouldn't have, but others in the family would clearly disagree.

HollyBerryBush Sat 12-Jan-13 21:41:29

They get seated where the host puts them - thats the best use of manners.

Children should know their place in the great scheme of things. I would be mightly pissed off and think I had failed miserably as a parent if any of my boys (17,16,12) didnt stand up and give a seat to an adult.

maddening Sat 12-Jan-13 21:55:04

I'd have everyone in the living room as you can sit on the floor easily - especially in a family gathering so no formalities. In the dining room you'd have to stand as sitting on the floor would be silly with the conversation at table height.

Either that or your mum invest in some folding chairs.

simplesusan Sat 12-Jan-13 21:57:52

I think the point is that the teenagers should be able to sit with the adults.
If there aren't enough seats in the dining room, then it should be the parents of the younger chidren who sit with the younger children!
I certainly wouldn't expect my teenagers to be with the young kids, unless they chose to be.

MeganScarlett Sat 12-Jan-13 22:00:01

Holly There is no assigned seating.

Would you give up your seat to an adult if they were older? Purely because they wanted to sit in that room?

maddening they use the dining room because there is only a small coffee table in the living room, there wouldn't be room for food and tea. Also even if my mum had a thousand folding chairs there really wouldn't be room in the actual room to place them there.

Booyhoo Sat 12-Jan-13 22:02:04

"I was always taught to respect you elders, end of. "

you see i think respect should be a feeling you have towards someone, not a command that means someone's age trumps yours in whatever it is they want that you have.

those who say 'respect your elders' in order to get a seat (or whatever) might aswell say "get off, i want that seat"

it's pretty much using your age to throw your weight about.

whereas if you asked someone "would you mind if i had your seat please?" they're probably likely to respect you for it and give you the seat instead of feel resentful and pushed around.

GwendolineMaryLacey Sat 12-Jan-13 22:05:37

No I wouldn't expect a 15 and 17 year old to be banished to the kids' room. And sorry, but this gathering of yours sounds like a crap system. What happens when all the kids become teenagers? Are they destined never to be able to progress to the grown up room? Let people sit wherever they drift into.

HollyBerryBush Sat 12-Jan-13 22:08:56

Would you give up your seat to an adult if they were older? Purely because they wanted to sit in that room?

I'm decrepit, but if someone was older then me, yes - see manners and courtesy cost nothing but people always want their 'rights' and are quite demanding with it; I'm quite old fashioned like that - however I expect a man to give me his seat if he is of my age grin but then, then as I said, there is natural order and I'll be buggered if I'm standing grin and I'll choose whether to accept it.

But then I still do really weird things like call people older than me sir and ma'am - manners and politeness get me what I want - rudeness and lack of manners never get people anything.

DamnBamboo Sat 12-Jan-13 22:11:10

Do you really expect a man to give you his seat holly just because you're a woman? please say it ain't so

SetFiretotheRain Sat 12-Jan-13 22:19:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Doilooklikeatourist Sat 12-Jan-13 22:20:37

It's difficult .
We have a big house , I know I'm lucky to have that , and all the "children" are in their teens and early 20s , and just wouldn't sit with us anyway .
I can only speak from my own experience .
I just wouldn't expect a teen to claim a seat , and then expect someone of their mothers age to stand .
I wouldn't want them to leave the room though .

TidyDancer Sat 12-Jan-13 22:21:24

That's how I read Holly's post, DamnBamboo. Could be wrong though.... (hope so)

OP, YANBU. Respect should not be dealt out on age basis. How respectful is it for an adult to remove those teenagers from their chairs just because they felt like sitting there? Not very.

Respect is not and should not be given automatically just because someone is older.

HollyBerryBush Sat 12-Jan-13 22:22:43

Well, I makea mental note if they don't - fortunately people I socialise with are as anarchaic as me. grin

I don't go to the bar either - I ask a bloke to go - so there!

lougle Sat 12-Jan-13 22:23:52

I'm 33 and have 3 children. I still offer my seat to an older relative if seats are short. It's just manners.

DamnBamboo Sat 12-Jan-13 22:24:50

What if a blokes doesn't give you his seat... what of it? What kind of a mental note do you make and what for.

This is most bizarre.

Do you mind if I ask how old you are holly?

DamnBamboo Sat 12-Jan-13 22:25:22


Read the thread. Seats aren't in short supply

TidyDancer Sat 12-Jan-13 22:27:54

Wow, Holly. Really? That's a vintage attitude you have there!

GoldPlatedNineDoors Sat 12-Jan-13 22:29:02

Why couldnt you all sit in the living room withpeople on sofas and floor.or bring dining chairs through?

DamnBamboo Sat 12-Jan-13 22:30:22

Personally, I would be bemused and a bit shocked if someone offered me a seat simply because I'm a woman. What good reason is there for doing this?

HollyBerryBush Sat 12-Jan-13 22:33:40

How old am I? too bloody old to be sitting on the floor whilst some lolloping teenager sits on a chair!

DamnBamboo Sat 12-Jan-13 22:36:36

grin Holly

Except that isn't the issue here since the OP has said there were plenty of chairs for everybody

HollyBerryBush Sat 12-Jan-13 22:40:35

Seriously now though - If I go out, I usually join Dh in the pub. I cant think of an occassion where I've joined a table of blokes and they haven't all stood up and offered me a seat - and that ranges from 70yos down to early 20 yos.

it is just ye olde worlde courtesy - I may or may not accept depending on whether I want to be bored with football talk join them or move over to another group.

But I never ever go to the bar though - I pay for drinks - but I simply will not go to the bar in mixed company - I refuse!

GetOrf Sat 12-Jan-13 22:41:21

God no. That is bloody strange.

I have just had a family bereavement, so for weeks loads of family members were at MIL's reasonably small house. There were never enough seats. But, if some children were sitting on the sofa none of the adults would have dreamed of asking them to stand. The younger children may have sat on adult laps, but teenagers, no. They stayed where they are. If you didn't have a seat on the sofas you sat on dining room chairs, or perched on the floor. How draconian and strangely old fashioned your older relatives sound OP.

Nothing to do with respecting your elders. I would much rather have a family where everyone was treated with respect, not just the adults, and thankfully I have one.

Booyhoo Sat 12-Jan-13 22:42:37

why holly? what is wrong with you that makes you unable to go the bar?

DamnBamboo Sat 12-Jan-13 22:44:22

Or remain standing when there are no available seats?

HollyBerryBush Sat 12-Jan-13 22:45:11

The bar, I'll tell you whats wrong with it - covered in feckin beer dribbles thats what - I'm not staining my sleeves in that and getting drippy wine glass bottoms!

>standards are to be maintained<

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