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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.


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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PureQuintessence Tue 15-Jan-13 08:46:52

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

Moominsarescary Tue 15-Jan-13 09:00:15

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?

PureQuintessence Tue 15-Jan-13 09:07:13

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.

PureQuintessence Tue 15-Jan-13 09:13:33

"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?

PureQuintessence Tue 15-Jan-13 09:14:32

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.

PureQuintessence Tue 15-Jan-13 09:18:30

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

quirrelquarrel Tue 15-Jan-13 09:19:06

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.

PureQuintessence Tue 15-Jan-13 09:20:01

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

quirrelquarrel Tue 15-Jan-13 09:23:36

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.

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