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Help - how to deal with family pressure in a nice way?

(18 Posts)
Avalon Thu 13-Jan-05 21:55:46

Dh's family are organising a get-together in the summmer. They have decided on meeting in a hall (for 2-3 hours) so all the family can arrive and then moving to a local pub for a buffet meal. There is nothing to do/play with (other than each other) at either location and, knowing my kids, they will be bored senseless in a very short while.

I have said as much to my mil and fil (as has dh) and they just don't seem to believe us. We are coming under pressure from several different parts of his family. Neither of us want to go under these circumstances and dh is particularly keen not to upset his family.

What do you think? Are we being unreasonable? From my point of view, if we go under these circumstances I won't be able to relax and enjoy the time.

KatieMac Thu 13-Jan-05 21:58:07

Can you arrange for a bouncy castle/entertainer at the hall....or even a kids disco?

Or take things like twister/music tapes/CD's and do all the action songs (or are the other kids then wrong age?)

Avalon Thu 13-Jan-05 22:19:39

Good ideas KatieMac but no-one else sees the need/wants to have anything special for the kids. I can't seem to open their eyes to this.

secur Thu 13-Jan-05 22:22:56

Message withdrawn

KatieMac Thu 13-Jan-05 22:24:25

Say you would like to provide it as a treat - and hopefully (if you comment carefully about the price) the other parents will cough up some cash towards it.

What is the age range of the children?

Do you need any more suggestions?

weightwatchingwaterwitch Thu 13-Jan-05 22:31:53

How old are your kids Avalon? Will there be other children there? I'd go I think but take stuff for the children to play with.

Avalon Thu 13-Jan-05 22:34:19

My kids will be 11, 9 and 6 by then. The 11 year old will love the socialising but the 9 and 6 year olds are rarely still. The other kids range from babies, through todders to 11, 14 and 18.

We could probably afford an entertainer. Like the idea of the PS (don't have one though).

My greater fear is the pub. I don't know about your kids but mine are bored while they're waiting for food, eat it rather quickly and then want something to do. We always take them to pubs where there's children's stuff - pirate ship or swings and slides.

This particular pub has a concrete 'beer garden' with absolutely no toys either inside or out. The no smoking area (which is where I presume we'd sit) is very close to the kitchen and I'm worried about the kids running about, upsetting people, running into people with drinks etc. I'm making them sound like terrors, when they're not at all - just full of energy!

Avalon Thu 13-Jan-05 22:58:58


weightwatchingwaterwitch Thu 13-Jan-05 23:01:55

I think I'd go and take some children's stuff then, it doesn't sound that awful to me. Board games? Can you wear them out a bit playing running races or something outside before the food?

secur Thu 13-Jan-05 23:05:17

Message withdrawn

moondog Thu 13-Jan-05 23:10:49

What about enlisting one of the older kids/teenagers to play Redcoat? Maybe even slip 'em a tenner for doing it.
Don't mean to sound rude, but in our family we would expect children of this age to be able to sit and join in or at least play quietly while the adults relax. Surely learning how to behave appropriately in such settings is a fundamental life lesson?

Avalon Thu 13-Jan-05 23:27:22

I'd love a bouncy castle in the hall - but it's upstairs so no can do. Bouncy castle at the pub would be good, but nowhere to put it, pub only has massive carpark and concrete beer garden. There's nowhere for race games, unfortunately.

You don't sound rude moondog. I must stress kids are not badly behaved and would be ok eating but my fundamental point is - what are they supposed to play with if nothing is provided? I think this is what's really bugging me when the family say - oh, they'll be all right - in their blase way.

Obviously I will be arming myself with a box full of things to take to the pub and an entertainer for the hall.

Thanks for the suggestions.

lalaa Thu 13-Jan-05 23:29:25

am feeling particularly antagonistic towards particular elements of my family regarding family pressure so my advice is do what you want and don't go if you won't enjoy it.

moondog Thu 13-Jan-05 23:31:50

Yes Avalon, know what you mean. Glad offence wasn't taken. Went to a family Christening the other day-someone had wisely brought along games, trikes and dance CDs for the kids. Place had a dance floor so everyone enjoyed watching the kids run about (joined by a few brave aunties and uncles) in safety while the adults got stuck in to the booze and food!)
Hope it goes ok-people want to see other family members' kids remember. The time to really worry is when they invite you but not the offspring!

Avalon Thu 13-Jan-05 23:53:24

Oops, meant to say thanks everyone for all suggestions. Just learnt how to do italics - does it show?

secur Thu 13-Jan-05 23:58:27

Message withdrawn

mummytojames Fri 14-Jan-05 00:03:43

avalon i can sympathise big time i went to my sil wedding with a 14 month old ds it was a sit down do with a sit down reception then they wonderd why he wouldnt smile for the camera ummmm he was bored stupid hes not a sit still kind of child just like yours very active which realy is the way i like it
how about taking a football they all seem in the right price range and the could play out in the beer garden

tigermoth Fri 14-Jan-05 01:09:29

definitely think you should stash away a car boot full of emergency stuff to keep your chlidren occupied. You don't have to take any of it in with you. If the children are happy chatting to adults, you can leave them be. I'd imagine your six year old especially will need some toys if the gathering stretches out over hour and hours.

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