Author Topic: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?  (Read 23606 times)

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Christabeldreams

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Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« on: February 21, 2013, 06:37:39 PM »
So, last Saturday  I went out to lunch with some friends, one of whom brought her 12 year old with her (the child was invited too, rather than simply leave her at home alone) It was a separate checks event. We order, child orders an appetizer with her meal, probably because she was hungry, having come from swim practice. The appetizer arrives before our food, and while the girl is in mid bite of a cheese stick, the mother picks up the plate, holds it aloft and says, “Anyone want some of (name)’s cheese sticks?” One person accepted, and I declined, because something about the situation set off my hinky meter, the girl did look surprised and a little hurt. Was it right to go off?

Yvaine

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2013, 06:40:59 PM »
Yes. You were right. Mom may have been within her legal rights, since she was paying, but she was unkind to her child. It doesn't sound like this was agreed on beforehand or anything, hence the surprised look.

Twik

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2013, 06:47:59 PM »
Yes, this is very rude, and invasive of a child's basic boundaries. Both the mother, and the person who accepted it, are in the wrong.
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Sharnita

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2013, 06:56:39 PM »
Actually, I thinkit depends on the rules established in that family.  In my family apps would be shared and if we wee allowed to order them it would be with the understanding that others might partake as well.  You thought she seemed surprised but it doesn't seem clear whether thhis is an established practice in their family or not.

Christabeldreams

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2013, 07:00:06 PM »
Actually, I thinkit depends on the rules established in that family.  In my family apps would be shared and if we wee allowed to order them it would be with the understanding that others might partake as well.  You thought she seemed surprised but it doesn't seem clear whether thhis is an established practice in their family or not.

That's a very good point, however, I've eaten with this family several times and this is the first time this has happened, if that helps.

Yvaine

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2013, 07:04:43 PM »
Actually, I thinkit depends on the rules established in that family.  In my family apps would be shared and if we wee allowed to order them it would be with the understanding that others might partake as well.  You thought she seemed surprised but it doesn't seem clear whether thhis is an established practice in their family or not.

Maybe--but especially given the look of surprise, I as an outsider to the family would err on the side of not eating the kid's food, as the OP did. If it is a rule that she share, she can share with her mom, but I wouldn't want to participate just in case it isn't okay with her. Especially since I remember how hungry I always was at that age, and how hungry swimming has always made me.

Sharnita

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2013, 07:11:54 PM »
I defnitely think it is fine to opt out, I just wouldn't try to evaluate the parents' decisions. 

Yvaine

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2013, 07:14:49 PM »
I defnitely think it is fine to opt out, I just wouldn't try to evaluate the parents' decisions.

I might well evaluate it in my head, if I thought the parent was being unkind. That's my right. I wouldn't say anything except "no thank you." But everyone privately evaluates things all the time.

rose red

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2013, 07:18:07 PM »
It's rude.  If someone order an appetizer or soup or dessert with their meal, it's theirs.  Even the mother asked if anyone want (name's) cheese sticks, so she acknowledge it's the daughters.

Like others, I would simply decline but I would feel a bit uncomfortable about what she did.

m2kbug

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2013, 07:24:40 PM »
Since mother offered to share, I don't think it would have been a problem to accept.  I don't think it was crossing boundaries on the child's food.  This wasn't her meal.  Her meal was coming.  If you helped yourself without the offer, that would have been rude.  Since she offered, yum! (I wouldn't help myself to a second one, though) 

I'm also thinking a little about eating in front of others who don't have their food yet.   We've sat and waited for everyone to be served before digging in on a few occasions.  Perhaps the mother wanted to share for this reason.  Certainly I would offer to share my appetizer if I was digging in everyone else is waiting.  Usually people decline, but I don't want to be munching away without at least offering. 

Thipu1

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2013, 07:27:17 PM »
I agree.  It's rude of the mom.

  A 12 year-old isn't a baby.  If she orders something she wants to eat, chances are good that she'll eat it especially after something as strenuous as swim practice. 

At that age, parents have to be careful and not treat a child as if she were a baby. Offering her food to others is not proper. 

Sharnita

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2013, 07:27:39 PM »
Another option if you felt really uncomfortable might have been to order another app and shared it with everyone, including the girl.

Yvaine

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2013, 07:29:50 PM »
Since mother offered to share, I don't think it would have been a problem to accept.  I don't think it was crossing boundaries on the child's food.  This wasn't her meal.  Her meal was coming.  If you helped yourself without the offer, that would have been rude.  Since she offered, yum! (I wouldn't help myself to a second one, though) 

Is this only because she's a minor? I don't think every appetizer is automatically "for the table" unless something is actually said. There's no way I'd feel entitled to a friend's appetizer if it looked like she was ordering it as a complement to her meal rather than as a shared dish, and that would extend to a friend's kid too.

I'm also thinking a little about eating in front of others who don't have their food yet.   We've sat and waited for everyone to be served before digging in on a few occasions.  Perhaps the mother wanted to share for this reason.  Certainly I would offer to share my appetizer if I was digging in everyone else is waiting.  Usually people decline, but I don't want to be munching away without at least offering.

The adults could have ordered appetizers too, if they wanted to eat at appetizer-time. We don't even know for sure that they didn't. I've rarely been to a restaurant meal where somebody didn't have food at a random time when other people didn't have food, like if someone ordered soup or a salad and nobody else did, or if someone's food just took longer or got messed up. There's often a perfunctory offer to wait followed by a "no, go ahead," but not always.

ETA: I wonder if mom thinks it's polite to offer your appetizer to everyone and wanted to model that for the kid--but she should have modeled with her own dang food, IMO.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 07:31:45 PM by Yvaine »

Sharnita

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2013, 07:32:21 PM »
Yvaine, it wouldn't be because she was a minor for me - it would be because she was family and that might be the policy of the family.  I could see spouses doing this, as well.

*inviteseller

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2013, 07:43:43 PM »
I would never do that to my children.  Although they will usually offer up to share, that is their choice.  To pick another persons plate up, whether it is a child or not and start offering their food to others shows a lack of respect for their feelings (and appetite).  And if there was an issue about eating in front of others, the mother shouldn't have let her order an appetizer, but I assume everyone made up their mind to not have one, so to me, that gives tacit approval for whoever ordered to go ahead and eat.