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My kids have to eat at the dining table - but his can eat wherever they want

(23 Posts)
hateweekends Sat 08-Feb-14 19:56:08

So my kids (13 and 15) and forced to eat the vast majority of their meals at the dining table. This is a rule - dp and I eat here too.

Yet when his kids come on a weekend they eat wherever they want. DSS2 (16) takes his meals to his bedroom and DSS1 (18) sprawls out on the (brand new £2500) sofa with his. Tonight, DP even went to join him leaving me sat alone at the table (my kids are at their dads).

Is this one of those "choose your battles" scenarios or should I be pissed off?

zafira63 Sat 08-Feb-14 20:10:45

Later hun,
Your children are as important to you as his are to him!

I can't speak for you hun i can only say if some bloke was treating my kids like that there would be some serious changes going on in the house!!!

MsColour Sun 09-Feb-14 09:05:17

I don't think is one to agree to disagree on. i'm guessing your DC are pissed off about this. Family rules should apply to all members of the family.

Have you tried talking to him about it.

Could you come to a compromise e.g. usually eating at their table but having a family film night where you all eat in front of the TV?

mysteryfairy Sun 09-Feb-14 09:09:02

There might be an element of different ages at work. My 12 year old eats at the table but it's not so easy to get my 18 year old to. Sometimes he does but he's an "adult" and so gets to make his own decisions over food. He's a vegan so often eats separately which makes it less contentious.

hickorychicken Sun 09-Feb-14 09:14:49

I think if its a rule when they are not there it should be the same when they are.
Id just raise it lightly to themsmile

VodkaJelly Sun 09-Feb-14 12:09:01

If your dp only sticks to the rules when it is your DC but lets his do what they like then fuck that for a game of soldiers.

Let your DC eat in the living room or upstairs, after all its good enough for his kids. He can hardly complain can he?

ashtrayheart Sun 09-Feb-14 12:33:28

Some nights we make all of them sit at the table some nights we let them eat in their rooms. It depends on the type of food it is and what else is going on (eg bowl of pasta fine in room roast dinner definitely at table!)
I wouldn't have my dsd eat in her room and ds have to sit at the table it would have to be same for both.

ToBeSure Sun 09-Feb-14 14:07:58

Does your DP insist that your kids eat at the table or is it just you that enforces this rule?
If you are out do they all still eat at the table?

catsmother Sun 09-Feb-14 14:11:48

To my mind, "picking your battle" applies to minor annoyances ..... things that the SC do which may be irritating, but which aren't actually unfair or have much impact on anyone else .... I dunno, maybe something like them making a silly noise repeatedly, or them "forgetting" to turn off lights when they leave a room - that sort of thing. If your step situation is difficult anyway, then that's the sort of "small stuff" I'd perhaps let go while concentrating on the stuff that really matters.

However, house rules should surely apply to everyone - obviously, with allowances made for age when it comes to stuff like bedtimes or suitable TV viewing. Otherwise, you get this situation where the non resident kids are treated more like guests - for whom a certain amount of leeway and lenience is often allowed - rather than as members of the family who are supposed to live by the same rules and boundaries. No doubt your DP would be horrified - and probably angry - if you had the temerity to suggest his kids weren't part of the family ?? In that case, assuming that they are fully paid up members of the family they should be subject to the same expectations that your kids are. Why should his kids be treated with kid gloves and/or be allowed privileges that yours aren't ? Why are his kids deemed to be trusted with food away from the table if yours aren't ..... really can't see there being much difference in their ability to eat without a mess given the relatively close ages - it's not like yours are toddlers is it ......

And for your DP to leave you sat on your own is plain rude .....

Is this the only example of one rule for his and a different rule for yours ?

How does he explain him letting his do what they want while yours have to respect rules ?

Okay .... one of his is 18, but nonetheless it is still perfectly acceptable for the adults who are responsible for running the household to insist on food being eaten where they see fit.

ShesYourDaughter Sun 09-Feb-14 18:02:57

Age doesn't matter, you cook it they eat it where you put it. Unless you say otherwise.

Turning 18 gives a child even less entitlement to treat home as a hotel. As a responsible adult they should be more emotionally aware and a bit more considerate to those providing the roof over their heads and the food in their bellies!

Call me old fashioned....

MuttonCadet Sun 09-Feb-14 18:06:18

If you eat at the table, you eat at the table. It's a house rule (and it's a nice time to catch up as a family).

MostWicked Sun 09-Feb-14 18:10:36

The same rule should apply to everyone.
I wouldn't be pissed off, but I would talk to DH about it.

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 09-Feb-14 18:58:23

Is this your rule or his?

uc Mon 10-Feb-14 10:11:21

Hear hear Catsmother!

TypicaLibra Mon 10-Feb-14 22:18:49

Oh dear OP ... you've posted about him a few times before haven't you ... under a different name every time. You said months ago that his kids can use the sofa but yours can't. Can't believe you're still with this selfish waste of space.

hickorychicken Mon 10-Feb-14 22:23:38

Use the sofa??!

TamerB Mon 10-Feb-14 22:24:26

If you are cooking they eat it where you serve it! They sit at the table or they don't get the meal- whatever the age! Their choice.

TamerB Mon 10-Feb-14 22:27:26

Be tough. Tell them you are not a housekeeper and you are not running a restaurant and from tomorrow you will serve meals at the table. Those who want one are welcome to join in, not sitting at the table is fine but they will not be served a meal. Have a washing up rota too. The cook doesn't clear.

TypicaLibra Mon 10-Feb-14 22:50:42

Hickorychicken, I misremembered- they can use the sofa but not eat on it. Here's the sofa thread

TamerB Mon 10-Feb-14 22:54:20

DP is included in the rule- if he wants to sit elsewhere tell him he can shop for, and cook the meal.

princessalbert Tue 11-Feb-14 08:22:41

I agree with tamer and shesyourdaughter

I am aware that at DSS house meals are rarely eaten at the table. DSS1 takes his up to his room. He never eats with his DM and DB. They eat on the sofa watching tv.

In my/our house we eat most meals at the dining table. Very rarely will we eat in the lounge with the tv on.

He knows the different house, different rules applies. If he tried to take his meal up to his room here once I had served up it would be the last meal I ever cooked.

TamerB Tue 11-Feb-14 08:34:52

We always eat at the table- family and visitors are never given a choice. What they do at home is completely up to them,but in my house they are called to the table and there is no option of carrying the plate off. They can opt to do without if they don't want to break off what they are doing,but strangely enough they have always come for the meal!

LyndaCartersBigPants Tue 11-Feb-14 10:11:06

You need to reiterate house rules to SDCs and DP. If he insists that your DCs eat at the table then you should insist that it happens too. Your DP can't make decisions about everyone's behaviour and then not allow you to do the same - I haven't read the sofa thread but that sounds mad! I often turf my DCs off the sofa so that DP and I can sit in comfort, but I certainly wouldn't do it to allow the SDCs to sit down!

If you get on well with the SDCs could you mention to them that you enjoy having everyone round the table as it's a good chance to catch up and chat? See dinner time as a social thing, not just watching TV while shovelling food into their faces.

I make my DCs sit at the table for meals and snacks as I don't want crumbs everywhere. I have to remind them and the SDCs every time they have a snack to sit down with it, but the expectation is always that we ALL sit at the table to eat meals.

I also generally only allow water with dinner as I think squash with food is horrible and my oldest DC would want Coke every day if allowed. The SDCs don't understand why I have this rule (& DP always used to have squash with dinner too) but now they all realise that the rule at MY house is water only, so they accept it, even DP! When we're at their house they have what they like and my DCs can have squash if they want it.

It helps to feel like I have control over the situation to enforce these little rules. I understand about the 'pick your battles' thing, but if it's a battle I'd have with my own DCs I'll have it with DP & his DCs too.

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