Author Topic: adult dinners with 12 and 15 year old?  (Read 3111 times)

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BittyB

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adult dinners with 12 and 15 year old?
« on: July 28, 2007, 09:26:15 AM »
Do I need to entertain children that old (12 and 15 years old) when we have dinner with their parents?  Entertain as in taking into account that they may get bored during a lengthier sit-down dinner, not turning on the TV, stuff like that.  I do not expect my nieces to sit through a "boring" dinner, but they are 6, 6 and 2.  The only kids I know this age that I regularly interact with are these 2, and they are pretty well behaved and nice kids.

zoidberg

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Re: adult dinners with 12 and 15 year old?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2007, 09:57:57 AM »
Well, I don't know about the children in question, but when I was twelve I had no problems sitting down to a lengthy adult dinner. When we visited relatives I was always the youngest child and I didn't mind having a nice dinner and talking for a long time. I didn't get bored, but if I did, I would have had a book with me that I could read quietly while the adults had their talks.

So i don't think you should have to do anything special for the kids, but then it does depend on the actual children visiting.

cicero

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Re: adult dinners with 12 and 15 year old?
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2007, 11:12:30 AM »
I'm not sure what you mean - when you are a guest at their house or when they are guests at your house?

12 and 15 YOs should generally be able to sit thru a meal but it depends on each child and also depends on how the parents deal with this. If it's in MY house and the meal is going on and the kids seem bored, I might offer them to read a book or magazine or watch a dvd in another room. if I am a guest at someone's house then I would try to include the kids in the conversation (of course, with some 15 YOs that is near to impossible because it's hard to converse thru their one-syllable  grunts, but I do try).

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BittyB

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Re: adult dinners with 12 and 15 year old?
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2007, 12:22:08 PM »
I'm not sure what you mean - when you are a guest at their house or when they are guests at your house?

When they are guests at my house.  I think the real concern is that I don't know at what age one should expect a child to be able to interact on an adult level.  I want them to enjoy their visits, too.

cicero

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Re: adult dinners with 12 and 15 year old?
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2007, 12:42:05 PM »
I'm not sure what you mean - when you are a guest at their house or when they are guests at your house?

When they are guests at my house.  I think the real concern is that I don't know at what age one should expect a child to be able to interact on an adult level.  I want them to enjoy their visits, too.

at 12 and 15 children should be able to participate in an adult-level conversation, however it may just get boring for them after a while. that's why i usually have books/magazines/DVDs for kids/teens. but it's up to you and the parents if they allow them to leave the table.

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LissaR1

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Re: adult dinners with 12 and 15 year old?
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2007, 02:13:36 PM »
For me, it would depend on the conversation at hand.

I think it would be most unfair to expect a younger teen to sit through a discussion of a current popular R-rated movie, because the odds of them having seen it are assumed to be slim.  I'd also guess that they'd find a detailed discussion on politics boring (although I certainly know exceptions!).  However, they're certainly capable of joining into an adult level conversation.

What I would do is, during dinner, keep the conversation lighter and make an effort to engage the teenagers.  However, after dinner, I would give them the option of remaining with the party or reading/watching a movie, especially if the conversation was going to veer towards something they wouldn't be interested in.

Claire

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Re: adult dinners with 12 and 15 year old?
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2007, 06:47:15 PM »
I have an almost-12 year old and an almost-15 year old, so I'm certainly qualified to answer.  Also, the friends with whom we spend holidays have children of similar ages. All of the kids do, and are expected, to sit through a whole meal.  The older ones likes to hear and participate in the conversation (and we often talk about politics, sports (including things such as the steroid controversy surrounding Barry Bonds) and current events. If the meal is finished and we are just lingering at the table, the younger ones can ask be be excused, take their plates into the kitchen and then do something else.

FluteOfDoom

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Re: adult dinners with 12 and 15 year old?
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2007, 09:40:02 PM »
As a 16 YO, I think I might agree with LissaR the most. Of course, I'm perfectly capable of engaging in adult conversation, its just that often they talk about things that I'm not exactly familiar with (tax problems?) or people that I haven't met, and so I'm left sitting there eating, feeling a bit awkward. Family get-togethers with my mum's side can be quite awkward, as I get lumped in with the adults, but unsure of whether or not they really want me there, or care for my attempts at contribution - but at the same time, I'd rather not to and play with the 10, 8, 6, & 4 YOs.

Conversation that you know teen will be able to discuss would be great, and offering the option of doing something else would take the pressure off of the pre/teen, so they didn't feel "trapped" into staying and being bored.

Millicent63

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Re: adult dinners with 12 and 15 year old?
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2007, 11:21:50 PM »
I attended dinner parties from age 11 onward -- in the '70s when more formal behavior was expected -- it was no problem, we were raised to be interactive conversationalists and quite enjoyed it.  Not all kids do, however, so I'd definitely have an escape hatch in the form of a den or TV room.  Perhaps enlisting the children to help you would engage them more in the social ritual? 

blarg314

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Re: adult dinners with 12 and 15 year old?
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2007, 03:30:58 AM »

At 12 and 15 they should be able to sit through the dinner politely, but it would be nice to have an option for afterwards if they are bored. If they adults go into the living room and discuss tax law, they will probably be happy to go into another room and watch a DVD.

It depends on the kid, too. Some 15 year olds would be perfectly happy being considered one of the adults, others would much prefer a TV.

RoseRose

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Re: adult dinners with 12 and 15 year old?
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2007, 05:27:51 PM »
At 12 and 15, they should be able to sit through dinner if included in conversation without a problem.  After dinner, when just sitting around chatting depends on the teens and the subject of conversation.  If it's something they're interested in and included in, then they're, or at least the 15 year old, are probably good for as long as the adults.  If it's something they're NOT interested in, they have less patience than an adult for sitting through conversation they are not interested in.  Some 15 year olds will be able to, and will want to, so they're considered one of the adults (That was me... my brother preferred being "one of the kids" since the "kids" were my friends).  The 12 year old... will probably get bored.  Depending on the kid, they may be able to sit patiently, but it would be nice to have an option in case they want to leave.  Doesn't have to be a TV, though, just maybe books in a genre they like.



Alida

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Re: adult dinners with 12 and 15 year old?
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2007, 05:29:43 PM »
Do I need to entertain children that old (12 and 15 years old) when we have dinner with their parents?  Entertain as in taking into account that they may get bored during a lengthier sit-down dinner, not turning on the TV, stuff like that.  I do not expect my nieces to sit through a "boring" dinner, but they are 6, 6 and 2.  The only kids I know this age that I regularly interact with are these 2, and they are pretty well behaved and nice kids.

12 and 15 are far from being small children to be entertained.  They should be, IMO, capable of not only sitting through a long meal, but contributing to the conversation in a meaningful way.

Brentwood

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Re: adult dinners with 12 and 15 year old?
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2007, 11:23:11 PM »

If they adults go into the living room and discuss tax law, they will probably be happy to go into another room and watch a DVD.

 

I'm 41, and if the adults start to discuss tax law, I'd rather watch a movie too! ;)

nolechica

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Re: adult dinners with 12 and 15 year old?
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2007, 12:33:22 AM »
At 12 and 15, my sister and me were capable of sitting through a formal dinner, but were generally cut loose when post-dessert rambling conversation started (finances, science, politics).

Lisbeth

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Re: adult dinners with 12 and 15 year old?
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2007, 06:21:33 PM »
Do I need to entertain children that old (12 and 15 years old) when we have dinner with their parents?  Entertain as in taking into account that they may get bored during a lengthier sit-down dinner, not turning on the TV, stuff like that.  I do not expect my nieces to sit through a "boring" dinner, but they are 6, 6 and 2.  The only kids I know this age that I regularly interact with are these 2, and they are pretty well behaved and nice kids.

12 and 15 are far from being small children to be entertained.  They should be, IMO, capable of not only sitting through a long meal, but contributing to the conversation in a meaningful way.

I don't see how 12 and 15 year olds can be expected to do so when the topics of conversation are "adult" topics-meaning ones that kids that age wouldn't have exposure to.

As a 12 year old, I didn't have exposure to things like my parents' work-related matters, tax laws, politics, and so on.  I would have been intensely bored waiting for the adults to be willing to talk about other things I knew about.  A kid who has been brought up with "Children should be seen but not heard" parenting (I was not) would have an even harder time.
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