Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: Pippen on October 12, 2012, 05:54:46 PM

Title: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: Pippen on October 12, 2012, 05:54:46 PM
The thread on inviting all the children in the class had me thinking about the flipside of the issue where a child is made to attend something they really don't want to just to 'be polite.'

Now this is an extreme example but 25 years later I still feel like I can recall every painful second of this awful experience. I went to boarding school so we didn't have birthday parties as such to attend. During the school holidays your friends would be scattered all over the country. If you had some that lived nearby you might do something but it was pretty much a non event. "That girl" in our year was extremely social awkward and actually pretty unpleasant to be around. She had a number of personal habits that were pretty unappealing and while she wasn't shunned or bullied she was not someone you would choose to spend time with. Being around her was very difficult and draining.

Anyway she decided she wanted to invite the entire year group (50 girls)  to a birthday event in her home town for a week. Yes. A whole week. Not only did she hand out invites at school her Mother also sent them to the parents at home. Naturally everyone including myself declined as they had no desire to spend a week in this girls home. I however was forced to go by my Mother who considered it rude not to. Now she knew what this girl was like and what I would be in for and thought I was being unkind in not wanting to attend. Her reasoning being "How would you feel if you invited a lot of people to your birthday and everyone declined?" She felt sorry for this girl when I had told her the story and that no one was going and I was offered up as some kind of sacrificial lamb.

It was horrendous. A week in the home of someone you do not like trying to be a polite guest. There was nothing to do. Nothing. Her parents were very strange and I was desperately unhappy. It was a good 7 hours by bus from my home and there was no hope of escape.

Not so much an etiquette issue, but would you or have you ever made your children participate in an event or activity they really want no involvement in just to be polite or to spare someones feelings?

Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: NyaChan on October 12, 2012, 06:13:20 PM
In your case, I think your mom's opinion that it is horrible to have a party that no one will go to is true but misplaced in that situation.  Asking a bunch of kids who are spread out around the country, and already don't get to stay at home year round due to school to give up a week of their break with their families to celebrate your birthday is unreasonable and SS.  I suspect that she did this in an attempt to make friends with this grand celebration. 

My parents force me to go to all sorts of parties and events whether I'm at home or not - they claim that I would upset the hosts if I didn't come when they know I'm home, and if I'm at school, they say I'll upset the hosts for not making the effort to come.  If the event is close to school, they say that since they've already told the host that I am in that town, it would hurt their feelings if I didn't go.  Nevermind if I already have something to do or don't know the host.  Nevermind that my parents host things all the time when people's kids who are my age don't come and they don't get upset or hurt about it  ::)
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: Iris on October 12, 2012, 06:36:53 PM
How awful! I DO make sure my kids understand that there are social obligations and that sometimes it is kind to make a small sacrifice for the comfort of others. Your mother went WAY over the top here though, imo. I personally wouldn't spend a week with an unpleasant person just so they didn't feel bad so I don't think it reasonable to expect my child to either.

I think sometimes adults romanticise the 'kid with no friends' and forget that sometimes they have no friends simply because they're just not very nice.
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: CaffeineKatie on October 12, 2012, 06:47:11 PM
I can see forcing children to attend a brief event (2 hours or less) and be polite to everyone whether they really want to do it or not, since it is actually a useful skill to develop.  HOWEVER, a week??? That's beyond unreasonable. 
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: gramma dishes on October 12, 2012, 06:52:03 PM
 :o  Maybe I shouldn't even admit this, but even if the whole class of girls was planning to attend, I would never never never send my child seven hours away to a home I'd never seen with parents I'd never met for even one day, much less a whole week.  To me that would be scary. 
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: Pippen on October 12, 2012, 07:09:29 PM
I can see forcing children to attend a brief event (2 hours or less) and be polite to everyone whether they really want to do it or not, since it is actually a useful skill to develop.  HOWEVER, a week??? That's beyond unreasonable.

I know. I don't know how they ever thought a week would ever work. How many 13 year old girls can you have in your house for a week? Also the town they lived in was some tiny backwater with absolutely nothing to do so it held no appeal whatsoever even if she had been the most popular girl in school, but as I said they were a strange family.

As an aside, many years later (I think I must have been about 27) she tracked me down at work via mutual acquaintances through her sister and basically stood in our showroom pretty much demanding she be allowed to come and stay with me at my flat as she was in a bad relationship and had all sorts of other problems. I was in no position to help her and she got really angry saying her family had 'taken me in' for a week. It was hugely embarrassing as my boss had to ask her to leave as she created a real scene.

Gramma Dishes: Her dad made me very uncomfortable. Nothing you could put your finger on but just not a nice man.
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: Asharah on October 12, 2012, 08:39:00 PM
As an aside, many years later (I think I must have been about 27) she tracked me down at work via mutual acquaintances through her sister and basically stood in our showroom pretty much demanding she be allowed to come and stay with me at my flat as she was in a bad relationship and had all sorts of other problems. I was in no position to help her and she got really angry saying her family had 'taken me in' for a week. It was hugely embarrassing as my boss had to ask her to leave as she created a real scene.
I would have forgiven you if you had told her you were forced to go and was miserable the whole time.
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: Danika on October 12, 2012, 09:05:51 PM
:o  Maybe I shouldn't even admit this, but even if the whole class of girls was planning to attend, I would never never never send my child seven hours away to a home I'd never seen with parents I'd never met for even one day, much less a whole week.  To me that would be scary.

Poddity POD POD!!!
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: CaffeineKatie on October 12, 2012, 09:09:30 PM
WOW that update was a jaw-dropper!
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: Pippen on October 12, 2012, 09:14:05 PM
As an aside, many years later (I think I must have been about 27) she tracked me down at work via mutual acquaintances through her sister and basically stood in our showroom pretty much demanding she be allowed to come and stay with me at my flat as she was in a bad relationship and had all sorts of other problems. I was in no position to help her and she got really angry saying her family had 'taken me in' for a week. It was hugely embarrassing as my boss had to ask her to leave as she created a real scene.
I would have forgiven you if you had told her you were forced to go and was miserable the whole time.

Despite her challenging behaviors everyone at school always tried to be as nice to her as they could. She had a number of issues which weren't her fault and we all saw that but she would fire up at any perceived slight and she could actually be fairly physically aggressive and she had no notion of boundaries at all. To her it would be the most normal thing in the world to rock up to someone she had not seen in 10 years workplace and demand they help her. I was mortified when she walked in the door thinking 'Oh good grief. What is this about?" I was very firm saying she certainly could not come and stay with me and I owed her nothing before she flipped out. In her mind because I was the only one at her birthday years ago she thought we were good friends and was just working an angle.
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: Pippen on October 12, 2012, 09:33:10 PM
:o  Maybe I shouldn't even admit this, but even if the whole class of girls was planning to attend, I would never never never send my child seven hours away to a home I'd never seen with parents I'd never met for even one day, much less a whole week.  To me that would be scary.

Poddity POD POD!!!

Then I won't tell you the story of how my ex BF's parents gave him to a childless couple they had just met in a campground so they could go around the Greek islands for a couple of weeks. He was 3 at the time. It was the 70's.
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: gramma dishes on October 12, 2012, 09:34:07 PM

...    I was very firm saying she certainly could not come and stay with me and I owed her nothing ...

Good for you!  For that you get an Etiquette Hell Shiny Spine Award!   ;D
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: Danika on October 12, 2012, 09:36:28 PM
:o  Maybe I shouldn't even admit this, but even if the whole class of girls was planning to attend, I would never never never send my child seven hours away to a home I'd never seen with parents I'd never met for even one day, much less a whole week.  To me that would be scary.

Poddity POD POD!!!

Then I won't tell you the story of how my ex BF's parents gave him to a childless couple they had just met in a campground so they could go around the Greek islands for a couple of weeks. He was 3 at the time. It was the 70's.
:o
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: gramma dishes on October 12, 2012, 09:37:12 PM

...  Then I won't tell you the story of how my ex BF's parents gave him to a childless couple they had just met in a campground so they could go around the Greek islands for a couple of weeks. He was 3 at the time. It was the 70's.   ...

Oh My Deity!!  Good grief!  How horrifying.  I'm amazed they got him back!  (They did get him back, didn't they?)
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: Iris on October 12, 2012, 09:40:29 PM

...  Then I won't tell you the story of how my ex BF's parents gave him to a childless couple they had just met in a campground so they could go around the Greek islands for a couple of weeks. He was 3 at the time. It was the 70's.   ...

Oh My Deity!!  Good grief!  How horrifying.  I'm amazed they got him back!  (They did get him back, didn't they?)

I was 3 in the '70s and my mother would have died a thousand deaths before she entrusted her children to a random stranger. Definitely not a '70s thing.

I don't know it they *deserved* him back.
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: Pippen on October 12, 2012, 09:43:29 PM
:o  Maybe I shouldn't even admit this, but even if the whole class of girls was planning to attend, I would never never never send my child seven hours away to a home I'd never seen with parents I'd never met for even one day, much less a whole week.  To me that would be scary.

Poddity POD POD!!!

Then I won't tell you the story of how my ex BF's parents gave him to a childless couple they had just met in a campground so they could go around the Greek islands for a couple of weeks. He was 3 at the time. It was the 70's.
:o

His Mum was telling me about their adventures Combi Vanning through Europe and he was there at the time. He was completely unaware of this event and was a bit brassed off. As you can imagine. Along the lines of "You gave me to complete strangers for 2 weeks?!" Her reasoning was well they seemed very nice and couldn't have children of their own and we didn't think you would cope well with all the ferry rides and you are here now, but maybe it was a silly thing to do."
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: gramma dishes on October 12, 2012, 09:43:50 PM
Yes, my children were all three in the seventies too.  I can't even imagine leaving any of them with strangers under any circumstances.  I was cautious about even regular babysitters who lived in the neighborhood and had superb recommendations -- and we were only leaving for a couple of hours!!
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: gramma dishes on October 12, 2012, 09:51:42 PM

...   His Mum was telling me about their adventures Combi Vanning through Europe and he was there at the time. He was completely unaware of this event and was a bit brassed off. As you can imagine. Along the lines of "You gave me to complete strangers for 2 weeks?!" Her reasoning was well they seemed very nice and couldn't have children of their own and we didn't think you would cope well with all the ferry rides and you are here now, but maybe it was a silly thing to do." ...

That's astonishing!
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: Pippen on October 12, 2012, 10:04:43 PM

...   His Mum was telling me about their adventures Combi Vanning through Europe and he was there at the time. He was completely unaware of this event and was a bit brassed off. As you can imagine. Along the lines of "You gave me to complete strangers for 2 weeks?!" Her reasoning was well they seemed very nice and couldn't have children of their own and we didn't think you would cope well with all the ferry rides and you are here now, but maybe it was a silly thing to do." ...

That's astonishing!

I know. I was shocked. It would never have occurred to me that would in anyway be appropriate but then she was funny ideas about all sorts of things. I am less and less surprised at the idiotic things people do with their kids. Recently some moron brought a dinghy of the internet and decided to take his 5 kids out in it despite it being the middle of winter in the evening, none of them having life jackets or knowing how to swim or him having any experience in boats whatsoever. You can guess how that ended. Or the idiot who took his 4 year old daughter out on a kayak down the river after a week of torrential rain at dusk and got swept out to sea. He was wearing a wetsuit. The daughter was wearing gumboots that would have filled with water and dragged her to the bottom in seconds.
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: TheaterDiva1 on October 12, 2012, 11:34:36 PM
Recently some moron brought a dinghy of the internet and decided to take his 5 kids out in it despite it being the middle of winter in the evening, none of them having life jackets or knowing how to swim or him having any experience in boats whatsoever. You can guess how that ended. Or the idiot who took his 4 year old daughter out on a kayak down the river after a week of torrential rain at dusk and got swept out to sea. He was wearing a wetsuit. The daughter was wearing gumboots that would have filled with water and dragged her to the bottom in seconds.

At the risk of thread-jacking - WHAT HAPPENED?!?
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: Pippen on October 12, 2012, 11:54:03 PM
Recently some moron brought a dinghy of the internet and decided to take his 5 kids out in it despite it being the middle of winter in the evening, none of them having life jackets or knowing how to swim or him having any experience in boats whatsoever. You can guess how that ended. Or the idiot who took his 4 year old daughter out on a kayak down the river after a week of torrential rain at dusk and got swept out to sea. He was wearing a wetsuit. The daughter was wearing gumboots that would have filled with water and dragged her to the bottom in seconds.

At the risk of thread-jacking - WHAT HAPPENED?!?

The father and a 7 year old drowned and one of the people who jumped into rescue them nearly did as well. Fisherman on the shore had to rescue the little girl on the kayak as she was getting washed out to sea.
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: jedikaiti on October 13, 2012, 12:00:29 AM
How awful! I DO make sure my kids understand that there are social obligations and that sometimes it is kind to make a small sacrifice for the comfort of others. Your mother went WAY over the top here though, imo. I personally wouldn't spend a week with an unpleasant person just so they didn't feel bad so I don't think it reasonable to expect my child to either.

I think sometimes adults romanticise the 'kid with no friends' and forget that sometimes they have no friends simply because they're just not very nice.

I don't necessarily want to go stay at someone's home for a whole week even if I DO like them!
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: violinp on October 13, 2012, 01:52:51 AM
How awful! I DO make sure my kids understand that there are social obligations and that sometimes it is kind to make a small sacrifice for the comfort of others. Your mother went WAY over the top here though, imo. I personally wouldn't spend a week with an unpleasant person just so they didn't feel bad so I don't think it reasonable to expect my child to either.

I think sometimes adults romanticise the 'kid with no friends' and forget that sometimes they have no friends simply because they're just not very nice.

I don't necessarily want to go stay at someone's home for a whole week even if I DO like them!

POD. That would be smothering.
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: JenJay on October 13, 2012, 09:45:04 AM
:o  Maybe I shouldn't even admit this, but even if the whole class of girls was planning to attend, I would never never never send my child seven hours away to a home I'd never seen with parents I'd never met for even one day, much less a whole week.  To me that would be scary.

Me either!
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: siamesecat2965 on October 13, 2012, 11:21:25 AM
I don't think its right for parents to force kids to go to parties etc they don't want to.  I as a very shy, self-conscious child, and I think my mom felt bad as I didn't have a lot of friends, etc.  Honestly, I'd rather stick my nose in a book than interact with hoards of kids, but I think she felt I was somehow missing out.

So she tried to get me involved in activities etc. to bring me out of my shell, but I can't say I really enjoyed any of them all that much.  Also, my mom had a second cousin who was her age; they were literally 3 weeks apart in age.  Both only children, so kind of like sisters, even though they didn't see each other that often.

My mom had me, and my aunt (as we called her) had 3, one close to my age.  My mom always tried to get me to be friendly with my cousin, etc. even though she really was NOT a nice person.  selfish, rude, entitled ,etc.  But I think mom wanted us to be as close as she was with her mom.  So I spent some time with them, but was miserable a lot of it.

FF to adulthood.  My aunt has since passed away, and I am very close to her oldest daughter, who is only 3 years older than me, but as kids, it was a big difference so we weren't close at all.  she has told my mom stories about her sister etc. and my mom finally gets why I never wanted to spend time with her, or was close to her. And she said "why didn't you tell me?" Um I did, but you didn't see it.  She  feels bad, but I told her its in the past, no lasting scars, so not a big deal.  But sometimes kids know more than the adults think they do!
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on October 13, 2012, 11:40:17 AM
I was once invited to the birthday party of a girl who lived down the street from us and we all had fun at the party, I wasn't made to feel unwanted at all.   

Well I can't remember if it was a week or a month later, but another friend told me that the only reason birthday girl invited me was because her mom made her.  I was hurt at the time, though with time I realized the friend probably was jealous of me hanging out with the other girl.  She also told me once that the only reason birthday girl ever came over to my house was to see my baby brother.   I said "Well, he is cute!" I wasn't meaning to be witty, I just didn't know what else to say to that.
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: cicero on October 13, 2012, 12:53:16 PM
I think *in general* that in most cases we need to make our children attend events that they don't want to. I think that it is part of teaching children to be compassionate to others, to be kind, to reciprocate. We teach them how to be empathic of others. and many times - when kids actually go to the event, they end up having a good time. and if they don't really have a great time? so they learn that sometimes you do things because it's the right thing to do.

there are cases where I wouldn't force a kid - such as the example in the OP. there is no way I would send my child in those circumstances. or if a bully who i knew was bullying my kid invited him to a b-day party, i wouldn't force my child to go. of if my child was extremely shy and panicky - i wouldn't force them to go to a huge birthday party (But i might strongly encourage them to go to  a smaler event)

DS is 26 , has asperger's and is still at home, battling some social issues. I no longer force him to go to events but I do encourage him. there are events that he knows (without my saying anything) that he has to attend, and there are others that i will encourage him to go to and offer an out ("if you really don't feel comfortable you can leave after one hour"; "it's just down the block - i would appreciate if you came and said hello to your cousins and take one photo for granpa, you can leave after that")

Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: BB-VA on October 13, 2012, 01:05:16 PM
:o  Maybe I shouldn't even admit this, but even if the whole class of girls was planning to attend, I would never never never send my child seven hours away to a home I'd never seen with parents I'd never met for even one day, much less a whole week.  To me that would be scary.

Poddity POD POD!!!

Then I won't tell you the story of how my ex BF's parents gave him to a childless couple they had just met in a campground so they could go around the Greek islands for a couple of weeks. He was 3 at the time. It was the 70's.

Wow!!  I thought it was bad that my in-laws "loaned" my husband out at a tourist attraction in the late '50's. 

It was a historical attraction, and they were asked if they could "borrow" him for a couple of hours to be part if a re-enactment display.  He was about 1 or 2, and basically sat on a blanket in the yard of a house for a while.   MIL and FIL checked from time to time to be sure he was ok.

NOT exactly the same as  2 weeks in a campground.  Yeesh!!!
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: Emmy on October 13, 2012, 01:37:26 PM
I think *in general* that in most cases we need to make our children attend events that they don't want to. I think that it is part of teaching children to be compassionate to others, to be kind, to reciprocate. We teach them how to be empathic of others. and many times - when kids actually go to the event, they end up having a good time. and if they don't really have a great time? so they learn that sometimes you do things because it's the right thing to do.

there are cases where I wouldn't force a kid - such as the example in the OP. there is no way I would send my child in those circumstances. or if a bully who i knew was bullying my kid invited him to a b-day party, i wouldn't force my child to go. of if my child was extremely shy and panicky - i wouldn't force them to go to a huge birthday party (But i might strongly encourage them to go to  a smaler event)

I'm with cicero on this.  I think the OP's case was extreme.  If the girl lived close by and the party was 2 hours, I wouldn't think that would be a big problem. 
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: Pippen on October 13, 2012, 02:03:20 PM
I think *in general* that in most cases we need to make our children attend events that they don't want to. I think that it is part of teaching children to be compassionate to others, to be kind, to reciprocate. We teach them how to be empathic of others. and many times - when kids actually go to the event, they end up having a good time. and if they don't really have a great time? so they learn that sometimes you do things because it's the right thing to do.

there are cases where I wouldn't force a kid - such as the example in the OP. there is no way I would send my child in those circumstances. or if a bully who i knew was bullying my kid invited him to a b-day party, i wouldn't force my child to go. of if my child was extremely shy and panicky - i wouldn't force them to go to a huge birthday party (But i might strongly encourage them to go to  a smaler event)

I'm with cicero on this.  I think the OP's case was extreme.  If the girl lived close by and the party was 2 hours, I wouldn't think that would be a big problem.

I think we all had to go to things we didn't want to when we were kids mainly adults events that we would find a bit boring but you sat there quietly waiting for the time to pass or found some way of keeping yourself amused and out of trouble. I think it comes down to the level of engagement that is required from the child. So something they may be averse to but has a short duration and doesn't require them to be 'on', too bad you are going. Dealing with people they may not want to is part of learning social skills and managing situations.
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on October 16, 2012, 05:38:21 AM
My middle son has a tendency of saying "I don't want to do that! It's going to be so boooooring!!" But when I've made him attend some things he's come out saying "Oh that was so much fun!"  ::)

Now, that said, I wouldn't send him to something like the example in the OP, but depending on the circumstances, I might.
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: Daquiri40 on October 16, 2012, 08:02:44 AM
I'm with many others, I cannot spending a week at anyone's house that I did like! 

I was a shy kid too.  My mom didn't make me go anywhere I didn't want to as she was shy also.  I don't know if it was the best for me or not, but stay at someone's house for a week?  She wasn't that cruel!
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: JonGirl on October 16, 2012, 06:11:11 PM


If I had to go to a party for a kid that was horrible to me, especially for a week, I'd act up so bad that they'd beg my parents to come and get me after 1 day.  >:D
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: FauxFoodist on October 16, 2012, 07:27:47 PM
another friend told me that the only reason birthday girl invited me was because her mom made her.  I was hurt at the time, though with time I realized the friend probably was jealous of me hanging out with the other girl.  She also told me once that the only reason birthday girl ever came over to my house was to see my baby brother.   I said "Well, he is cute!" I wasn't meaning to be witty, I just didn't know what else to say to that.

And this girl grew up to be my Evil Coworker who, for the first 2.5 years of my current employment, tortured and bullied me as much as she could get away with.  She one day told me that HER area's assistant director didn't like me at all and was only pretending to be nice to me when he says hi.  I thought it was the most ludicrous bizarre thing I ever heard and, really, rather random.  When he came in later that morning, I kiddingly said (in front of her), "So, Evil Coworker said you're only pretending to be nice to me and don't like me at all" (really, he'd always been friendly towards me and still is).  He said that wasn't true, and she said nothing.  To this day, she's still a jealous evil excuse for a human being.  I've figured out that, other than her husband, daughter and extended family, I don't believe she really has any friends.
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: gramma dishes on October 16, 2012, 08:33:37 PM
...   I've figured out that, other than her husband, daughter and extended family, I don't believe she really has any friends.

Are you sure there really are a husband and a daughter, much less an extended family?  She seems to have a propensity for making things up.
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: FauxFoodist on October 17, 2012, 01:52:30 PM
...   I've figured out that, other than her husband, daughter and extended family, I don't believe she really has any friends.

Are you sure there really are a husband and a daughter, much less an extended family?  She seems to have a propensity for making things up.

Of that, I'm certain (met the husband, talked to the daughter and extended family on the phone when they'd call).  Not sure why her family likes her, but I guess she saves her evil part for me...
Title: Re: S/O Making children attend parties they don't want to go to
Post by: MissRose on October 24, 2012, 07:42:57 AM
Children should learn there are events they have to go to even if they may not wish to so they grow up understanding there are times & events we have to be at.  I don't recall going to many events growing up for non family members, I went to a lot more things for various family members & holidays that I did not have a good time at but I dealt with it & moved on.