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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.

lougle Sat 12-Jan-13 23:06:10

It isn't about age, it's about generation. People of an older generation should be given priority. So, the person who is 30 should not have to give up their seat for someone who is 36, but it would be usual to give up your seat for an Aunt, Uncle, Grandmother, Parent, etc.

What exactly are wrong about the terms 'respect' and 'manners'? If more parents continued to expect respect and manners from children, rather than making them think they are equals, we wouldn't have the mess we do.

FelicityWasSanta Sat 12-Jan-13 23:08:44

I would go mad if I thought I was not permitted to go to the bar or pay the bill.

I am shock that people still feel like this. Don't you feel so infantilised?

I feel like a lady when my DH does nice things for me sure- things I find difficult like lifting really heavy things, or things I just don't like eg, taking the bins out. And in return I do nice things for him- some of them are traditionally feminine jobs (like most of the cooking).... But if I felt I actually couldn't do something as unladylike as take the bin out I'd be affronted, just as he would be if I didn't 'let' him cook...

OP I think you are right- it's not OK to force a 17 year old out of a seat for an able bodied 40 year old who just doesn't want to sit in the other room. I think the solution is to break up the formality of all the grown ups sitting in one room - now there are so many grown ups.

DamnBamboo Sat 12-Jan-13 23:08:45

My children don't have to respect anybody simply because they're older! I will make sure they always know that.

Don't confuse resepct and manners, or indeed courtesy. They are not the same.

My children are very much equal to any other adult I know, why would I let them think anything else, or teach them anything else?

Booyhoo Sat 12-Jan-13 23:08:58

ok so why does an older generation deserve a seat over the next one down?

there is nothing wrong with the terms respect and manners. what i am wanting to know is why this has anything to do with respect or manners? why is it respectful to expect a seat from someone because you grew up 15 year ahead of them?

TidyDancer Sat 12-Jan-13 23:09:06

There's nothing wrong with respect or manners, lougle.

Substitute the words in mine and others posts to fit generation rather than age. I'm still not seeing a convincing argument as to why the younger generation/age should be afforded less respect and be shown less manners. I actually don't believe there is one tbh.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 12-Jan-13 23:09:29

I was raised to give up my seat for elderly,disabled people and pregnant women.

Not sure on what planet it is common courtesy for a 15 year old to have to stand for an able bodied 45 year old?


I'm 24,can I tell younger people to get up and give me a seat because that's "respecting their elders"? Because I am after all,older?

Some utterly bizarre views about "being ladylike" being bandied about as well. Suppose that would be a generational thing though.

TheSecondComing Sat 12-Jan-13 23:09:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Andro Sat 12-Jan-13 23:10:06

Laugh all you like, it is the way he was brought up.

Quite honestly, given the behaviours displayed by the OH's of some people on here I think I'm very lucky.

What I do when he's not there is another matter entirely - something he has no issue with.

SantasENormaSnob Sat 12-Jan-13 23:10:23

I wouldn't have wanted to sit with the younger kids at 15 or 17.

Booyhoo Sat 12-Jan-13 23:10:49

" If more parents continued to expect respect and manners from children, rather than making them think they are equals, we wouldn't have the mess we do. "

sorry do you think children are a lower class of citizen? am i misunderstanding you here?

DamnBamboo Sat 12-Jan-13 23:15:18

The kids are hardly sparkling company

Wow! Just wow.

This was never, ever about sitting on the floor. For the love of sweet jesus, why do people keep saying this.

And you haven't answered my earlier question about how a young person gets to move up to the 'old persons' room either.

The food remark is often because people who think children are lesser beings, often just think them worthy of the same food. It has cropped up on here over the last couple of days again.

landofsoapandglory Sat 12-Jan-13 23:15:48

If someone much older needed a seat, eg over 65, my teens wouldn't need to be asked to give them theirs. However, if we were at a family gathering at my parent's house, I would not expect them to give up their seat for my sister, she treats them like shit, is very rude to them and does not deserve respect.

In my book respect is something you earn, not something you are given as a right, just because you happen to be older than someone else.

DamnBamboo Sat 12-Jan-13 23:16:03

I'm not laughing at him andro more your notion of being treated like a lady!

Viviennemary Sat 12-Jan-13 23:17:43

You live by your rules and I'll live by mine. I never order my own drinks if DH is there. Why should I. There again that's me. If you want to then you do it. And I don't take out the bins in the rain if DH is available to do it. But if you do then OK. Am I a strong independent woman. When it suits me. grin And when it doesn't suit me I'm not.

GwendolineMaryLacey Sat 12-Jan-13 23:18:00

I didn't get an answer to that one either DB. I envisage the text... "Charlotte, did you hear about Great Aunt Ida? Sad but guess that means you're in the dining room!"

Very odd.

TheSecondComing Sat 12-Jan-13 23:18:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GwendolineMaryLacey Sat 12-Jan-13 23:19:28

Why shouldn't you? Does he order for you in restaurants too?

MidniteScribbler Sat 12-Jan-13 23:19:52

It sounds like having functions at your mothers house is no longer feasible and it's time to change the system. She can still cook, but perhaps meet at a park or another home which is larger. Alternatively, a few folding chairs could be purchased to allow everyone a seat.

I think it's a pretty huge failing as a host not to have adequate seating for all your guests to be able to participate in the gathering.

As for giving up seats, I do think it depends on how they are interacting. If they're sitting talking and involved in the conversation, then they get to stay. If they are hunched over a mobile phone or game system or with anything stuck in their ears (other than a hearing aid), then they should go sit elsewhere. This applies to anyone of any age.

Andro Sat 12-Jan-13 23:19:53

FelicityWasSanta I don't feel infantilised in the slightest. It's not that he doesn't think I can do do those things, he just sees it as his role in public. Yes it's old fashioned, but there is also something very relaxing about leaving him to take care of it (whatever 'it' might be) when we're out together.

Don't get me wrong, there's no way I'd tolerate anyone trying to tell me I'm less competent because I'm female, or telling I can't ever do something because I'm female. If I forced the issue with DH he'd give in, I just don't see what either of us would gain...

TheSecondComing Sat 12-Jan-13 23:22:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Andro Sat 12-Jan-13 23:23:39

GwendolineMaryLacey - no. He wouldn't even try it, I still have a better understanding of my food allergies than he does and he knows it.

Booyhoo Sat 12-Jan-13 23:24:18

i think midnite was talking to OP TSC

TheSecondComing Sat 12-Jan-13 23:25:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheSecondComing Sat 12-Jan-13 23:26:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Booyhoo Sat 12-Jan-13 23:27:42

couldn't the adults also chat in one of the bedrooms? i'm sure the teen could also do what they're doing in the bathroom or the garden or the back hall. i dont really understand your logic TBH.

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