Author Topic: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?  (Read 23379 times)

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WillyNilly

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #75 on: February 22, 2013, 10:40:27 AM »
I'm not sure how big 'appetisers' are in America that there'd be enough to share with the table; here, a starter is very small. But I think the child was rude to order one if nobody else did. Her mother probably did this out of embarrassment that her daughter was eating in front of everyone else who didn't have their food yet.

Appetizers in the US are generally big enough to constitute a full, if somewhat small meal.  Something like cheese sticks would typically be 5-8 sticks (cheese, breaded then fried), 2-3 inches long x as fat as an adult finger, served with a small bowl of dipping sauce like marinara.

Yvaine

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #76 on: February 22, 2013, 10:40:37 AM »
I'm not sure how big 'appetisers' are in America that there'd be enough to share with the table; here, a starter is very small. But I think the child was rude to order one if nobody else did. Her mother probably did this out of embarrassment that her daughter was eating in front of everyone else who didn't have their food yet.

It depends on the restaurant, and in some cases on the genre of restaurant. A lot of "pub and grill" type places have apps that are enormous--most people are going to share or else have it as their meal. Other places have smaller nibbles that you can eat and then still have an appetite for your dinner. Or in some cases there's really only enough for two people, but not four or five.

OP here, and I'd like to point out that the girl had permission to order an appetizer. That was part of why I found the mother's actions so confusing.

With this confirmation, I'm even more sure of my position. This wasn't rulebreaking by the daughter--it was the mom either appropriating her kid's food or not being clear enough if she meant "you can order it to share."

WillyNilly

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #77 on: February 22, 2013, 10:49:48 AM »
When I was 12 I would have gotten in BIG trouble for ordering an app when no one else did.  And I don't even want to think of what kind of hell I'd have to pay if I tried to make that app all for me.  I wouldn't be scolded in front of others, it'd be later in private, but hot dang, just no.  So yeah if I went ahead and ordered a to be shared dish - as apps were/are always shared dishes in my family - on my parent's dime without prior approval it would be offered to everyone else at the table without hesitation or question.

Yes, but would that be the case after you finished an activity/practice that involved burning a lot of calories?

The 12yo is a swimmer. Swimmers burn a lot of calories and Mom should have understood that her dietary needs are going to be a little different than the average child's. If she was embarrassed or uncomfortable that her child was eating when no one else at the table was eating, she could have ordered a second plate or maybe ASKED her child if it was OK to share her food.

But approaching it this was, whisking the food away from the child when she was mid-bite and holding it aloft like some sort of cheese trophy to lord over the table tribe was rude.  She played Lady Bountiful while her child could have gone without (had other people at the table chosen to eat more of the app).  And that's not OK.

I know it's important for kids to understand that they are living off their parents good will and resources.  But to me, behaving in this way communicates to the daughter, "You have no rights. I will without hesitation run over your boundaries and ignore your comfort/wellbeing to make other people happy." And that is not a good formula for a close trusting relationship with your adolescent.

Regardless of swim practice, ordering an app, especially just for me, without explicit prior permission would not fly.  And if I did push the boundary and do it anyway, it still would certainly not be solely for me as apps in casual restaurants are always shared.

If I was truly famished I could have spoken up and gotten a salad to go along with my meal, or more likely I would be told to first eat my meal, then if I was still hungry afterwards, then I would get something affordable and healthy like some fruit and or yogurt from a grocery store.  But ultra high fat, super inflated-priced cheese sticks just for me?  And before my proper meal?  No it wouldn't happen and quite frankly I agree with those rules set forth by my parents and would have the same with my own child if the case ever came up.

This was not, IMO, as someone up-thread called it, "a gift" from her mother.  This was something the girl tried to take.  She wasn't offered it by her mom, it wasn't ordered for her.  And no one else was ordering apps for themselves.  This is something the kid went ahead and did on her own without her mother saying she could, and without social cues from the table to do so. I cannot see how that even remotely qualifies as "a gift".  And at 12 the kid should know the family rules without having to be reminded each and every time.  If there is a rule, and she broke it, she can suffer the consequences.  And really it was a rather minor consequence anyway - she took something without permission and then didn't get to keep all of it.

OP here, and I'd like to point out that the girl had permission to order an appetizer. That was part of why I found the mother's actions so confusing.

Permission to order it explicitly for herself?
Because it would still stand if the family rule is "appetizers are shared" then the girl asking if she could order them might translate to "can I order cheese sticks [for the table]?" in that family.  If that's what the mom always taught her, then that's what the mom is going to hear.

When I go out to eat with my DH he often asks "hey mind if I order [an appetizer]?" or "should I order [an appetizer]?"  He doesn't need my permission.  He's asking because its understood that if he orders it, he expects I'll eat at least some it and he's trying to gauge how much food to have brought out for our meal. Its just an absolute understanding that appetizers are shared to the point where it wouldn't occur to him to order just for himself (or if I ordered an appetizer that I wouldn't be sharing).


(This assumes a casual restaurant, in a fancy place where everyone gets 3 or 4 courses as the standard and things aren't sized or presented to be shared, we wouldn't expect to share... but that's not really the kind of restaurant that serves cheese sticks.)

rose red

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #78 on: February 22, 2013, 10:51:03 AM »
I don't think it's rude for one person to order an app for themselves as long as they are doing separate checks.  Again, I feel it's like soup, salad, dessert, coffee, an extra side.  If you can eat it and pay for it, go for it.  If I'm paying for my child, I may tell her yes or no, but won't offer it up to others if I said yes.

wolfie

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #79 on: February 22, 2013, 10:51:37 AM »
I'm not sure how big 'appetisers' are in America that there'd be enough to share with the table; here, a starter is very small. But I think the child was rude to order one if nobody else did. Her mother probably did this out of embarrassment that her daughter was eating in front of everyone else who didn't have their food yet.

I really don't see eating an appetizer when no one else ordered one as "eating in front of people who don't have food yet". I feel like that rule is per course. So you shouldn't eat your appetizer until all appetizer are there, but it is okay to eat it now and not wait until the entree is there if not everyone ate an appetizer. If someone is only ordering dessert does that mean you can't eat your meal until their dessert is there because otherwise you are eating in front of people who don't have food yet?

I guess I am in a different camp from the majority of people on this thread. When I was growing up we were never required to share appetizers so would be very surprised that people at the table expected to share with mine. If they wanted one they should have ordered their own.

Yvaine

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #80 on: February 22, 2013, 10:56:08 AM »
(This assumes a casual restaurant, in a fancy place where everyone gets 3 or 4 courses as the standard and things aren't sized or presented to be shared, we wouldn't expect to share... but that's not really the kind of restaurant that serves cheese sticks.)

It doesn't really have to be fancy for the app to be small, though. The casual Thai place I ate at a few nights ago has small apps. There's just about enough for two people to each have some of the app and then eat a full dinner afterward. And that's just the example on the top of my head.

I've generally seen larger servings at cheese-stick-type places, but I wouldn't want to presume my area is representative of all restaurants everywhere, and besides, I think it's getting off topic to critique the girl's caloric intake. I mean, it's not like I'm obligated to hand over half my dinner to my dining companion if I order something that's more calories than the USDA recommends for my weight and activity level.  ;D Manners and nutrition are two different things.

(And I am sure the caloric needs of a competitive swimmer are far greater than my own anyway.)


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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #81 on: February 22, 2013, 11:05:36 AM »
When I was 12 I would have gotten in BIG trouble for ordering an app when no one else did.  And I don't even want to think of what kind of hell I'd have to pay if I tried to make that app all for me.  I wouldn't be scolded in front of others, it'd be later in private, but hot dang, just no.  So yeah if I went ahead and ordered a to be shared dish - as apps were/are always shared dishes in my family - on my parent's dime without prior approval it would be offered to everyone else at the table without hesitation or question.

Yes, but would that be the case after you finished an activity/practice that involved burning a lot of calories?

The 12yo is a swimmer. Swimmers burn a lot of calories and Mom should have understood that her dietary needs are going to be a little different than the average child's. If she was embarrassed or uncomfortable that her child was eating when no one else at the table was eating, she could have ordered a second plate or maybe ASKED her child if it was OK to share her food.

But approaching it this was, whisking the food away from the child when she was mid-bite and holding it aloft like some sort of cheese trophy to lord over the table tribe was rude.  She played Lady Bountiful while her child could have gone without (had other people at the table chosen to eat more of the app).  And that's not OK.

I know it's important for kids to understand that they are living off their parents good will and resources.  But to me, behaving in this way communicates to the daughter, "You have no rights. I will without hesitation run over your boundaries and ignore your comfort/wellbeing to make other people happy." And that is not a good formula for a close trusting relationship with your adolescent.

Regardless of swim practice, ordering an app, especially just for me, without explicit prior permission would not fly.  And if I did push the boundary and do it anyway, it still would certainly not be solely for me as apps in casual restaurants are always shared.

If I was truly famished I could have spoken up and gotten a salad to go along with my meal, or more likely I would be told to first eat my meal, then if I was still hungry afterwards, then I would get something affordable and healthy like some fruit and or yogurt from a grocery store.  But ultra high fat, super inflated-priced cheese sticks just for me?  And before my proper meal?  No it wouldn't happen and quite frankly I agree with those rules set forth by my parents and would have the same with my own child if the case ever came up.

This was not, IMO, as someone up-thread called it, "a gift" from her mother.  This was something the girl tried to take.  She wasn't offered it by her mom, it wasn't ordered for her.  And no one else was ordering apps for themselves.  This is something the kid went ahead and did on her own without her mother saying she could, and without social cues from the table to do so. I cannot see how that even remotely qualifies as "a gift".  And at 12 the kid should know the family rules without having to be reminded each and every time.  If there is a rule, and she broke it, she can suffer the consequences.  And really it was a rather minor consequence anyway - she took something without permission and then didn't get to keep all of it. 

I don't get from the OP that this girl was trying to 'take' anything.  If she was not allowed to order or have an appetizer, then Mom could have spoken up then and told her no.  She allowed her to order food then took the plate, without a word to the daughter and tried to pass it to others.  And I find that disrespectful.  When waitstaff comes to get drink orders to get you started, they will ask if anyone is having an appetizer.  Why should anyone at the table be punished for ordering because they were hungry and the others weren't by having their food taken and passed around.  I don't care how big or small an appetizer is, if you order one, IMO it is yours to eat or share.  If the mom knows, say daughter will eat an appetizer and not her meal thus wasting food, then the mother tells the daughter beforehand what the expectations of the meal and ordering will be...not just arbitrarily offering the food she obviously had permission to order for herself to others.  I have had meals out with friends and family and some will order apps and some won't, some people will share, some won't and I don't consider the non sharers of the food they ordered to be rude.  It is theirs, they decided what to eat, and I don't care if it is a child or an adult, it is rude to take others food unless you have been offered by the person who is eating it.

TootsNYC

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #82 on: February 22, 2013, 11:08:07 AM »
I don't think it's rude for one person to order an app for themselves as long as they are doing separate checks.  Again, I feel it's like soup, salad, dessert, coffee, an extra side.  If you can eat it and pay for it, go for it.  If I'm paying for my child, I may tell her yes or no, but won't offer it up to others if I said yes.

The "not eating what others eat" doesn't apply in a restaurant. Everybody else COULD have ordered an appetizer--they didn't want to. But they DID have the chance. They were offered the chance. You are not bound by  "social cues" of the others at the table when you are ordering and paying your own way.

That's like saying "there's chocolate cake on the table but no one else takes a slice. You do--therefore you are rude."

The only other time "rude to order more" applies is if someone is treating you. (it's not about separate checks; it's about whether you cover the entire cost of your own meal, which you can do w/ a shared check and a little math.) But if you want to spend a ton of money on appetizers and the lobster, and they want to eat a grilled cheese, you can go ahead and splurge. They had the OPPORTUNITY to order more / expensive food. Their choice doesn't bind you somehow.

And I agree w/ wolfie--you aren't required to refrain from eating your appetizer because other people don't have their entree.

Here in NYC, a cheese-stick appetizer is 5 to 6 cheese sticks. Regardless of how many people are at the table.

And in my experience (of shared and not-shared appetizers), the shared appetizers have ALWAYS been negotiated at the time of ordering.

Yvaine

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #83 on: February 22, 2013, 11:10:59 AM »
I don't think it's rude for one person to order an app for themselves as long as they are doing separate checks.  Again, I feel it's like soup, salad, dessert, coffee, an extra side.  If you can eat it and pay for it, go for it.  If I'm paying for my child, I may tell her yes or no, but won't offer it up to others if I said yes.

The "not eating what others eat" doesn't apply in a restaurant. Everybody else COULD have ordered an appetizer--they didn't want to. But they DID have the chance. They were offered the chance. You are not bound by  "social cues" of the others at the table when you are ordering and paying your own way.

That's like saying "there's chocolate cake on the table but no one else takes a slice. You do--therefore you are rude."

The only other time "rude to order more" applies is if someone is treating you. (it's not about separate checks; it's about whether you cover the entire cost of your own meal, which you can do w/ a shared check and a little math.) But if you want to spend a ton of money on appetizers and the lobster, and they want to eat a grilled cheese, you can go ahead and splurge. They had the OPPORTUNITY to order more / expensive food. Their choice doesn't bind you somehow.

And I agree w/ wolfie--you aren't required to refrain from eating your appetizer because other people don't have their entree.

Here in NYC, a cheese-stick appetizer is 5 to 6 cheese sticks. Regardless of how many people are at the table.

And in my experience (of shared and not-shared appetizers), the shared appetizers have ALWAYS been negotiated at the time of ordering.

This. And while the kid was being "treated" (as far as we know. I suppose it's even possible she had her own money, like some of what people are discussing in the deli thread), according to the update, she was specifically given permission to order an appetizer along with her meal, so she was not going against the terms her mom originally set.

Judah

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #84 on: February 22, 2013, 11:19:50 AM »
Nope, it is not "OK" for a mother to take her child's food away without asking permission first. This isn't a matter of parental authority - it is general politeness.

Let's say you were eating with a married couple. The wife orders an appetizer, and when it arrives, as she starts to take a mouthful, her husband grabs the plate and asks, "Does anyone want some of my wife's appetizers?" Would you not think, at a minimum, he is being rude to her, in not at least asking, "Hey, can we share those?"

If the family tradition is to share appetizers, it does not spare the mother from the minimal common courtesy to her child to ask, "Hey, can we have some?" Basic politeness requires you to ask such a question, even if the expected answer is "yes, of course".

We have an "appetizers are to be shared family", so your scenario above would be fine with me. No, more than fine; it would be expected. My kids are always welcome to order an appetizer if they want one, but they know it's for the whole table. There would not need to be a discussion because that's the way we've always done it.

I don't think that we can know, without knowing if child in question comes from an "apps are to be shared" family, if the mom was rude or not. Nor do I think we should try to read anything into her facial expression.
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wolfie

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #85 on: February 22, 2013, 11:28:31 AM »
Nope, it is not "OK" for a mother to take her child's food away without asking permission first. This isn't a matter of parental authority - it is general politeness.

Let's say you were eating with a married couple. The wife orders an appetizer, and when it arrives, as she starts to take a mouthful, her husband grabs the plate and asks, "Does anyone want some of my wife's appetizers?" Would you not think, at a minimum, he is being rude to her, in not at least asking, "Hey, can we share those?"

If the family tradition is to share appetizers, it does not spare the mother from the minimal common courtesy to her child to ask, "Hey, can we have some?" Basic politeness requires you to ask such a question, even if the expected answer is "yes, of course".

We have an "appetizers are to be shared family", so your scenario above would be fine with me. No, more than fine; it would be expected. My kids are always welcome to order an appetizer if they want one, but they know it's for the whole table. There would not need to be a discussion because that's the way we've always done it.

I don't think that we can know, without knowing if child in question comes from an "apps are to be shared" family, if the mom was rude or not. Nor do I think we should try to read anything into her facial expression.

In that situation I would expect the wife to pick up her plate and ask if anyone wants some of her appetizer. If her husband did it I would be making some uncharitable assumptions about him.

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #86 on: February 22, 2013, 11:29:26 AM »
Nope, it is not "OK" for a mother to take her child's food away without asking permission first. This isn't a matter of parental authority - it is general politeness.

Let's say you were eating with a married couple. The wife orders an appetizer, and when it arrives, as she starts to take a mouthful, her husband grabs the plate and asks, "Does anyone want some of my wife's appetizers?" Would you not think, at a minimum, he is being rude to her, in not at least asking, "Hey, can we share those?"

If the family tradition is to share appetizers, it does not spare the mother from the minimal common courtesy to her child to ask, "Hey, can we have some?" Basic politeness requires you to ask such a question, even if the expected answer is "yes, of course".

We have an "appetizers are to be shared family", so your scenario above would be fine with me. No, more than fine; it would be expected. My kids are always welcome to order an appetizer if they want one, but they know it's for the whole table. There would not need to be a discussion because that's the way we've always done it.

I don't think that we can know, without knowing if child in question comes from an "apps are to be shared" family, if the mom was rude or not. Nor do I think we should try to read anything into her facial expression.

In that situation I would expect the wife to pick up her plate and ask if anyone wants some of her appetizer. If her husband did it I would be making some uncharitable assumptions about him.

Same.
 
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Judah

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #87 on: February 22, 2013, 11:32:25 AM »
Nope, it is not "OK" for a mother to take her child's food away without asking permission first. This isn't a matter of parental authority - it is general politeness.

Let's say you were eating with a married couple. The wife orders an appetizer, and when it arrives, as she starts to take a mouthful, her husband grabs the plate and asks, "Does anyone want some of my wife's appetizers?" Would you not think, at a minimum, he is being rude to her, in not at least asking, "Hey, can we share those?"

If the family tradition is to share appetizers, it does not spare the mother from the minimal common courtesy to her child to ask, "Hey, can we have some?" Basic politeness requires you to ask such a question, even if the expected answer is "yes, of course".

We have an "appetizers are to be shared family", so your scenario above would be fine with me. No, more than fine; it would be expected. My kids are always welcome to order an appetizer if they want one, but they know it's for the whole table. There would not need to be a discussion because that's the way we've always done it.

I don't think that we can know, without knowing if child in question comes from an "apps are to be shared" family, if the mom was rude or not. Nor do I think we should try to read anything into her facial expression.

In that situation I would expect the wife to pick up her plate and ask if anyone wants some of her appetizer. If her husband did it I would be making some uncharitable assumptions about him.

You will think what you will, but he would not be rude. Not in my family, and not in many others.  If this were my husband and I, I would be the rude one for forgetting to offer the app to the others at the table.
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WillyNilly

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #88 on: February 22, 2013, 11:39:10 AM »
...If she was not allowed to order or have an appetizer, then Mom could have spoken up then and told her no....If the mom knows, say daughter will eat an appetizer and not her meal thus wasting food, then the mother tells the daughter beforehand what the expectations of the meal and ordering will be...not just arbitrarily offering the food she obviously had permission to order for herself to others...

A lot of posters keep bringing up that the mom should have said something beforehand.

Its the child's mother.  Surely they have had hundreds of thousands of conversations about food prior to this outing.  The mother very well could be operating under the impression that her daughter is old enough and smart enough to not need to be told one million and one times that she needs to share, that having been told so at every meal prior to this was sufficient prior warning of what the family's expectations are.

Not to pick on you inviteseller, as many have posted similar thoughts, but as an example didn't you just last week post a thread about your 17 year old daughter and her guest ordering their own food knowing full well you were cooking them dinner?  And when you asked your daughter about it - because you expected she should have known better from all your years of raising her - she basically shrugged and said she thought it wouldn't be a big deal?  You, in that thread, very clearly expressed that you didn't think your daughter should have had to been expressly told of the meal expectations in your family for that evening, as you felt the little you did say about it being taco night should have been clear enough based on the norms of your household for her to know what was expected. You expected your daughter to just know, without it being spelled out for her.

Without knowing what the expectations in that family are regarding appetizers, I don't think any of us can say the mother was rude. As many posters have pointed out, they come from families where sharing appetizers would be an unspoken expectation.

And considering its the OP's friend, and there didn't seem to be any other indications of lack of manners, I think we should assume the mom wasn't being rude, she was simply re-enforcing a family norm.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 11:43:37 AM by WillyNilly »

rose red

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #89 on: February 22, 2013, 11:44:35 AM »
The fact is we don't know this family's norm.  We can't assume the mother is rude, but we also can't assume the same about the daughter because maybe she never had to share before and she never got that talk for the millionth time.