DD's friends staying over mealtimes when not eating with us

(196 Posts)
fessmess Fri 12-Jun-15 15:44:46

Just want to check what you guys think of this. My dd (15) thinks it's perfectly fine for friends who aren't staying for dinner (either we don't have enough or they're having dinner at home) to sit in our lounge or even at the table with us whilst we eat. Now, to me this is the height of bad manners and this would NEVER have happened when I was a kid. My dd says "nowadays people don't worry about this."

Am I alone in this? To clarify I am not about to change my rules and non-dinner guests will have to leave.

badRoly Fri 12-Jun-15 15:47:40

I think I'm with you - I've always asked dc1's friends (my only teen so far) if they want tea and made it clear they are very welcome to eat with us or leave...

But we're only just into teens and by the time I have 4 shock I suspect I might have eased off a bit due to the shear volume of food I'd need to prepare confused

TheRealMaryMillington Fri 12-Jun-15 15:48:38

Height of bad manners? Not sure about that.

I think its a bit odd to have someone at the table who isn't eating with you. Depending how often it is I would stretch it with bread/more pasta if poss.

But for practicalities sake midweek/non fancy/occasion dinner, if the kids are planning to hang out together afterwards it wouldn't especially disturb me.

ChilliMum Fri 12-Jun-15 15:51:02

My friends often waited at my house while we ate although my mum always offered food. My friends mum used to turf us out and ask us to return in an hour. To be honest I thought that was much ruder. Unsurprisingly we more often than not went to my house.

queentroutoftrouts Fri 12-Jun-15 15:52:46

I don't see the problem however if you have a guest and you don't offer them food then I see that as more the height of rudeness tbh.

Jackie0 Fri 12-Jun-15 15:53:35

I'm totally agree with you op.
It is the height of bad manners and it wouldn't happened in my house growing up either.

fessmess Fri 12-Jun-15 15:55:14

I am starting to think it's come from my upbringing. Only people eating stayed in the house over mealtimes. Obviously there are exceptions but in the main it absolutely pisses me off they think it's ok to just sit there. Sometimes it's not convenient to feed others and I was raised to think of it as extremely rude to stay in someone's house over dinner.

I have to say my dd is very headstrong and is being particularly difficult at the moment but she refuses to see her friends out. We had a big chat about it last night after it had happened for the third time. It is something I feel very strongly about.

fiftyandfat Fri 12-Jun-15 15:55:43

I think it is really important to make your teen's friends welcome - unless they are really awful, that is.
Personally I would invite them to join us and offer them a drink at least, if they didn't want to eat.
It gives you an opportunity to get to know them and know who your DC are spending time with.
OTOH I do think it is a little bit ill mannered to overstay one's welcome - but it is a bit of a generational thing.

fessmess Fri 12-Jun-15 15:57:45

I don't feel I am being rude to these people as I am polite, make sure they are welcome another night, or ask them to stay if I can stretch. I certainly don't shout "OUT NOW!" like some demented character from Eastenders.

MrsBennetsEldest Fri 12-Jun-15 15:58:17

I offer food, if it's not wanted for whatever reason friends are still welcome to stay and chat, have a drink whilst we eat. It wouldn't enter my mind to ask someone to leave, to me that's very bad manners.

MirandaGoshawk Fri 12-Jun-15 16:02:01

I have learnt not to stress about things like this. Park them in front of the telly in the front room, or give them a drink at the table while you're eating. I would rather they were with us and chatting in a relaxed way than my dch were having to shove their friends out the door. It's only for half an hour at most.

usualsuspect333 Fri 12-Jun-15 16:05:05

I'd never ask my teenagers friends to leave just because we were eating.

fessmess Fri 12-Jun-15 16:05:12

This is very surprising, so far it looks like I am in the minority. I have never considered that non-eating guests would stay if not eating!! Maybe it's generational, I am pushing 50, or maybe it's just the way I was brought up.

A little while ago I asked two of my dd's friends to leave and THEY REFUSED! Sat there for nearly an hour and my dd refused to eat if they had to go. Needless to say me and dd had a big chat afterwards and there were consequences for her for being so rude to me. I still can't get over the fact that these two girls sat in my house for an hour after I asked them to leave. I have to point out that part of the reason I wanted them to go was my dd had homework to do.

My dd's friends don't have "dinnertime" the mum cooks, plates up, and they all microwave at their convenience. I suppose if you live like that you have no understanding of family mealtimes.

GlitzAndGigglesx Fri 12-Jun-15 16:06:04

I was never asked to leave someone's house nor did my own parents. Food was always offered or you could watch TV or whatever. I don't see what's bad mannered about it

usualsuspect333 Fri 12-Jun-15 16:06:47

There people are your DDS friends. You would do well to treat them as such.

fiftyandfat Fri 12-Jun-15 16:08:37

There is a mantra on mumsnet:
"pick your battles".

Especially with teenagers.

usualsuspect333 Fri 12-Jun-15 16:09:28

I'm over 50. It's not generational.

GemmeFatale Fri 12-Jun-15 16:10:22

I think it's bad manners for them not to offer to leave. So, the correct conversation goes:

Bob, I'll be searching up in ten minutes/at 7.30. Will you be joining us for supper/dinner/tea?
No thank you Mrs Mess, my mum/dad/puppy is cooking for me. I'll be leaving in five minutes/at 7.15

As that isn't happening, your daughter needs to arrange for her guests to be seen out at an appropriate moment before food is served. If she can't be trusted to do that without a fuss, then she can't have guests or go out near meal times.

It probably is an upbringing thing. I can't imagine my mam's face if I'd have tried this on as a kid.

fessmess Fri 12-Jun-15 16:10:59

But I don't feel I am ill-treating these girls I just politely ask them to go, as my dd usually refuses to do it as she doesn't agree with it.

If I called round at a friends for coffee, say at 11am, and then she started to get bread out for sarnies I would get my coat and go. Unless of course I was invited to stay. Wouldn't anyone else do the same?

Tinkerisdead Fri 12-Jun-15 16:11:59

Im with you OP, my mum would always offer food or come back later when we've eaten. And if someone was eating absolutely I'd leave, even as a teenager I used to say "oh your about to have your tea, call for me later" and leave.

I would offer food but if they werent staying yes, I'd expect someone to politely excuse themselves. I'm wondering if I'll dare challenge teens wheb our turn comes(oldest is 6).

Hullygully Fri 12-Jun-15 16:13:10

I'm over 50. I make dinner for anyone that's there and wants it. You can always come up with something. And I remember my mother cutting pies in half and sticking a fish finger on the side. No one ever went without. That's wot manners is.

And if they don't want to eat but want to hang about, absolutely fine. Who cares? Why on earth would you care??

IHaveBrilloHair Fri 12-Jun-15 16:13:23

Doesn't bother me, they can have some if theres enough, or something else like crisps or snacks and a drink.
Dd eats in her room if she has friends over.
Not a battle worth fighting.

PomeralLights Fri 12-Jun-15 16:15:17

I'm 30 and I've never heard of it being bad manners to not eat while others are eating - although if invited to sit at the table with a drink it would be bad manners not to.

Am sure I declined food at friends houses before because mum was cooking later, and sat while they ate...parents seemed to think it was a good way to encourage conversation in a 'we're people too!' way.

Tinkerisdead Fri 12-Jun-15 16:17:03

I find it intrusive. Your either part of the meal or you excuse yourself. Surely its bad form sat there watching your hosts eat if you've refused the meal?

merrymouse Fri 12-Jun-15 16:17:04

It depends - do you want them to go home? Are they annoying?

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