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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.


PureQuintessence Tue 15-Jan-13 09:26:21

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.

quirrelquarrel Tue 15-Jan-13 09:38:56

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.

badtasteflump Tue 15-Jan-13 10:25:34

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!

badtasteflump Tue 15-Jan-13 10:36:52

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.

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