Author Topic: Seated at the kids' table  (Read 4180 times)

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apple

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Re: Seated at the kids' table
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2012, 04:02:56 PM »
I would think it was a bit thoughtless, but probably not an intentional slight.

For years after we married, DH and I were seated at the kids' table at Thanksgiving at his parents' house. Eventually other kids came along, and we finally got promoted to the adult table. I never objected to the arrangements. There was plenty of time to visit with the other adults before and after the meal.

Your situation is a bit different, in that you were the only adult chosen to sit at the kids' table. Still, I would let this go. Next time, it can be DH's turn!

O'Dell

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Re: Seated at the kids' table
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2012, 04:15:13 PM »

I consider it rude to invite more people than you can accomodate, and IMO a part of accomodating is to -not- have one of your guests isolated from the rest due to lack of seating.

I agree. The hosts could have done what my family did which was to seat the kids that need supervision at the table (or coffee table) with an adult or 2 and the rest eat buffet style. That might have meant that you'd be sequestered from the main gathering for a bit, but IME people wander in and out of the kitchen and stop by to chat a bit with the kids/parents. It also means that there is no lingering at the dinner table after eating so you get back into the main party pretty quickly.
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Roses

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Re: Seated at the kids' table
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2012, 11:04:01 PM »
I think it was rude.  They way our family does it; is that if the kids are small and need assistance, then the "kids table" includes those children's parents.  They get to help their kids and have other adults to talk to. 

BarensMom

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Re: Seated at the kids' table
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2012, 11:30:26 AM »
Never mind the assumption that OP could watch her daughter and, by extension, the other children - the hostess thought it was okay to split up a married couple.  Did the hostess think that DH was good enough to sit at the adult's table and the not-good-enough in-law could sit at the kid's table?  If presented with the same scenario, I would take offense and leave.

Judah

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Re: Seated at the kids' table
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2012, 01:01:05 PM »
Never mind the assumption that OP could watch her daughter and, by extension, the other children - the hostess thought it was okay to split up a married couple.  Did the hostess think that DH was good enough to sit at the adult's table and the not-good-enough in-law could sit at the kid's table?  If presented with the same scenario, I would take offense and leave.

Splitting up couples at dinner parties is actually pretty common and is not an etiquette sin.

 I wouldn't go so far as to call this hostess rude,, but I would have handled it differently.  I would have had the kids sitting with their parents and had some of each at each table, or let people decide for themselves where to sit.
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lowspark

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Re: Seated at the kids' table
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2012, 01:08:42 PM »
Never mind the assumption that OP could watch her daughter and, by extension, the other children - the hostess thought it was okay to split up a married couple.  Did the hostess think that DH was good enough to sit at the adult's table and the not-good-enough in-law could sit at the kid's table?  If presented with the same scenario, I would take offense and leave.

Splitting up couples at dinner parties is actually pretty common and is not an etiquette sin.

 I wouldn't go so far as to call this hostess rude,, but I would have handled it differently.  I would have had the kids sitting with their parents and had some of each at each table, or let people decide for themselves where to sit.

I agree -- but that sort of implies that all the couples were split up. If that's the case, then it's definitely not against etiquette and probably just means the host wanted the guests to mix with everyone more.

But I'm guessing that this was a case of one couple getting separated and being made to feel like she was not part of the adult group at the dinner.

Judah

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Re: Seated at the kids' table
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2012, 01:14:23 PM »
Never mind the assumption that OP could watch her daughter and, by extension, the other children - the hostess thought it was okay to split up a married couple.  Did the hostess think that DH was good enough to sit at the adult's table and the not-good-enough in-law could sit at the kid's table?  If presented with the same scenario, I would take offense and leave.

Splitting up couples at dinner parties is actually pretty common and is not an etiquette sin.

 I wouldn't go so far as to call this hostess rude,, but I would have handled it differently.  I would have had the kids sitting with their parents and had some of each at each table, or let people decide for themselves where to sit.

I agree -- but that sort of implies that all the couples were split up. If that's the case, then it's definitely not against etiquette and probably just means the host wanted the guests to mix with everyone more.

But I'm guessing that this was a case of one couple getting separated and being made to feel like she was not part of the adult group at the dinner.

I was responding specifically to BarensMom's assertion that it's not okay to split up a married couple.  In this particular case, I'd be willing to bet that the hostess simply thought it would be natural for the mom to sit with her kid with out all the in-law-as-second-class-family-member stuff.
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WhiteTigerCub

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Re: Seated at the kids' table
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2012, 01:25:33 PM »
Given the description of the "high" table, I think it perfectly reasonable to assume that the smaller and lower table be given to the kids in attendance. It may have been more difficult for the children to sit at the higher table.

Also, MIL did offer to sit there in place of OP yet she declined, so it was not as if she was 'not allowed' to sit at the table with her husband. 

Arizona

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Re: Seated at the kids' table
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2012, 01:27:11 PM »
Given the description of the "high" table, I think it perfectly reasonable to assume that the smaller and lower table be given to the kids in attendance. It may have been more difficult for the children to sit at the higher table.

Also, MIL did offer to sit there in place of OP yet she declined, so it was not as if she was 'not allowed' to sit at the table with her husband. 

Yeah, but how awkward.  If she'd taken her up on her "offer" she'd have looked petty. 

WhiteTigerCub

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Re: Seated at the kids' table
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2012, 01:36:35 PM »
Given the description of the "high" table, I think it perfectly reasonable to assume that the smaller and lower table be given to the kids in attendance. It may have been more difficult for the children to sit at the higher table.

Also, MIL did offer to sit there in place of OP yet she declined, so it was not as if she was 'not allowed' to sit at the table with her husband. 

Yeah, but how awkward.  If she'd taken her up on her "offer" she'd have looked petty.

MIL could have seen the situation as an opportunity to spend some quality time with her grandkids.

Arizona

Belle

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Re: Seated at the kids' table
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2012, 01:58:06 PM »
Having a really high table and a low table was not the best design, but if that had been my house I would have seated either you or your husband at the low table, too. I don't have kids, and my assumption would be that a two-year-old needs a parent relatively nearby at mealtime, and that wouldn't be possible if you were both at the high table. I had Thanksgiving with a two-year-old this year, and had his parents not been right next to him most of the meal would have ended up on the walls. (He was far more interested in playing than in eating!)

So, the host was perhaps a little clueless with the set-up of the party (i.e., one really high table that coudn't accommodate kids and one low table), but I can easily understand why she would place a parent of the 2 year old at the children's table.

Quick edit to add that my assumption about the 2-year-old needing a parent isn't necessarily correct, but until this thread I wouldn't have given a second thought to it - I would have thought, "Why, OF COURSE a small child needs a parent." You learn something new everyday!
« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 02:00:52 PM by Belle »

gramma dishes

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Re: Seated at the kids' table
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2012, 02:08:40 PM »
We have two tables and each seats six (comfortably).   Problem is one is in the dining room and the other is in the kitchen.  Last Christmas was the first time we had all three children and their spouses and their children at the same time.  That made a total of 8 adults and 5 children.  Thirteen. 

What we did was put all the brothers and sisters (our adult children) and spouses in the dining room together since they so rarely all get to see one another.    My husband and I sat at the other table with all 5 children.  (One fortunately still uses a high chair, so that provided enough seats.)  That gave the "old" cousins an opportunity to spend time with the "little" cousins and gave Grandpa and I an opportunity to have fun concentrating all our attention on the kids.

I don't think the hosts in the OP were actually rude.  I think they just didn't stop to think that it wouldn't be fun for one adult to be all alone at the table with kids. 

Next year, speak up!  ;)

SisJackson

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Re: Seated at the kids' table
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2012, 02:14:50 PM »
I would give the hosting stepbrother more of a pass if the other two kids weren't his.  As a childless person, if I had a counter-height or bar-height table hosting elementary school kids or younger, I would definitely put them all at the lower table just for safety purposes.  I would have also made the same assumption mentioned by PPs, that of course a toddler would require close supervision by a parent.

The thing is, though, that the owner of the table has the two older kids, and presumably they are permitted to sit at it.  In his place, I would have put the two older kids at the high table, and then moved two adults to the low one - I might even have moved two couples to the low table, and had the toddler sit on an extra chair at the corner between her parents, if that would work.

I love the look of a counter-height table, and have been looking to replace my farmhouse table with one, but this thread is making me rethink that idea, since there are issues that hadn't even occurred to me that might come up!
« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 08:34:47 PM by SisJackson »

Bexx27

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Re: Seated at the kids' table
« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2012, 07:23:32 PM »
Given the description of the "high" table, I think it perfectly reasonable to assume that the smaller and lower table be given to the kids in attendance. It may have been more difficult for the children to sit at the higher table.

Also, MIL did offer to sit there in place of OP yet she declined, so it was not as if she was 'not allowed' to sit at the table with her husband. 

Yeah, but how awkward.  If she'd taken her up on her "offer" she'd have looked petty.

MIL could have seen the situation as an opportunity to spend some quality time with her grandkids.

The offer was somewhat reluctant, not enthusiastic.
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penelope2017

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Re: Seated at the kids' table
« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2012, 08:32:03 PM »
OP, what would your alternative seating have been? I have a 2.5 year old and I absolutely need to sit with her to eat. Do you think another adult should have sat with her?

Given that the tables were a foot apart, and I'm sure you could have mingled in the room, I don't think the hosts were rude. If your child was clearly old enough to feed his/herself, that's another story.

You say your husband's family doesn't get to see each other a lot, I don't see the point in putting your husband at the kids table too. I guess I just don't. If you're feeding your little one or assisting anyway, you're probably tied up with that. It's easy to read this as rude but perhaps look at it as practical.

If your kids table was in another room, as my IL's have every Xmas Eve, then I'd say 100% rude if they seated you there. I voluntarily sit at the kids table with my little ones and am usually the only adult there. Even better, they close the door between rooms to keep the noise down. But that's sort of what I figure is what happens when you have small children, until they can tend to themselves. Two table heights next to each other is hardly exclusionary.