Author Topic: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?  (Read 21134 times)

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misha412

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #180 on: February 23, 2013, 04:39:55 PM »
Basically the 12 year old should be grateful for a meal and not expect that her meal is hers if the parent decides otherwise. This would include appetizers, entrees, sides, desserts, and drinks.

No. Children are entitled to be provided for by their parents. Food is not something that parents provide as an exercise in charity, any more than education, shelter or clothing. Judith Martin wrote an excellent article in which she said that there is something very wrong in expecting minor children to treat such things as presents on behalf of the parents, which the parents could withdraw at any moment.


Actually, I totally agree with you. I noticed some statements from others that implied the kid had no right over what she ordered because the mother was paying. That was the reason for my original statement. I do not understand the thinking that some have that a child should have no expectation of control over something a parent provides.

I think the mother was rude. However, I don't think it was a dominance thing since she gave the kid permission. I think it was her trying to be nice and share with others in the spur of the moment. She may not have been thinking about how her kid perceived it though.

ladyknight1

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #181 on: February 24, 2013, 12:19:45 AM »
As a mother of a teenager, I think the mother was rude. Whatever their family dynamic, to offer something you allow your child to order to the remainder of the people present is a bit mean.

The plate the child received sounds like a "small plate" kind of addition, rather than a classic appetizer. Small plates are becoming more popular, and are meant to be an addition to a meal, not really designed for sharing. As to appetizer sharing, as a family, we generally order one or two appetizers to share amongst three people. I would not assume an appetizer must be shared, as all of the people present were given the opportunity to order an appetizer when placing their order for a meal.

All you's are general.

TootsNYC

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #182 on: February 24, 2013, 03:13:52 PM »

Just because the daughter "has enough food to eat" doesn't mean that taking something away from her is automatically non-punitive. That makes no logical sense.

Ok, I see the disconnect. I don't see this as as something being taken away. It is being shared, not taken away completely.

But you know--that's what "sharing" is--there is very little true "sharing."

You don't share your cookies with someone else; you give some of your cookies to them, and then you don't have as many.

You can't truly "share" cheese sticks--you can only give some of them away (or, as this mom did, TAKE some of them away).

You don't even really "share" toys--you take turns with the dump truck, which means that while Joey is having his turn, *you aren't having one at all.*

I believe grownups should *stop* using the term "sharing." Because then they will understand exactly what they are asking their children to do.


citadelle

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #183 on: February 24, 2013, 03:21:08 PM »

Just because the daughter "has enough food to eat" doesn't mean that taking something away from her is automatically non-punitive. That makes no logical sense.

Ok, I see the disconnect. I don't see this as as something being taken away. It is being shared, not taken away completely.

But you know--that's what "sharing" is--there is very little true "sharing."

You don't share your cookies with someone else; you give some of your cookies to them, and then you don't have as many.

You can't truly "share" cheese sticks--you can only give some of them away (or, as this mom did, TAKE some of them away).

You don't even really "share" toys--you take turns with the dump truck, which means that while Joey is having his turn, *you aren't having one at all.*

I believe grownups should *stop* using the term "sharing." Because then they will understand exactly what they are asking their children to do.

All I can say is I disagree. There is nothing wrong with having less so that someone else can have some.

TootsNYC

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #184 on: February 24, 2013, 03:41:18 PM »
You are right--there is nothing wrong with having less so that other people can have more.
Nothing at all.

But it's not really "sharing"--it's "giving away" or "giving up."

And we should be accurate about it.


citadelle

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #185 on: February 24, 2013, 04:08:18 PM »
You are right--there is nothing wrong with having less so that other people can have more.
Nothing at all.

But it's not really "sharing"--it's "giving away" or "giving up."

And we should be accurate about it.
The definition of share includes "participating jointly" which seems equally accurate to me, and has a sense of altuism rather than loss. I prefer to use share, but you are of course free to use "give up"

baglady

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #186 on: February 24, 2013, 04:16:24 PM »
I don't think we can make a blanket assumption or rule as to whether it's appropriate to share appetizers, as there are so many differences in portion sizes and individual appetites as well as group dynamics. A half-dozen cheese sticks could be an appetizer for one (especially if that one is a hungry teen fresh from an athletic activity), or an app. for two, or part of an appetizer mix-and-match for 10.

The only time a parent should be offering around her child's appetizer is if the child has made it perfectly clear that s/he doesn't want any more. But that wasn't the case in the OP. Even if it were, a 12-year-old is capable of making the offer herself (perhaps with some prompting from mom).
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citadelle

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #187 on: February 24, 2013, 04:25:03 PM »
.

The only time a parent should be offering around her child's appetizer is if the child has made it perfectly clear that s/he doesn't want any more. But that wasn't the case in the OP. Even if it were, a 12-year-old is capable of making the offer herself (perhaps with some prompting from mom).
Or, I would add, if sharing was the clear intention of making the order in the first place, even if the suggestion for the order came from the child.

ladyknight1

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #188 on: February 24, 2013, 05:07:03 PM »
I think we all need to agree to disagree.

Softly Spoken

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #189 on: February 24, 2013, 05:15:54 PM »
You are right--there is nothing wrong with having less so that other people can have more.
Nothing at all.

But it's not really "sharing"--it's "giving away" or "giving up."

And we should be accurate about it.

Wait, if that's the case than what constitutes "sharing"? Wiki says that sharing is "the joint use of a resource or space," but it also says it is "the process of dividing and distributing." They also point out that sharing "disjoints the connection between usage and ownership of a product." I think the confusion comes from issues of ownership, the idea of borrowing instead of technically sharing, and what item or resource is actually being dealt with. You don't share an item like a dump truck or toy the same way you share food because food is a finite, single use resource.
To bring it back to the thread topic, the problem comes from the mom offering to divide the cheese sticks that the daughter felt belonged to her. Obviously since the daughter couldn't expect to get the cheese sticks back ::), her mother was effectively giving them away. The only problem is that not everyone feels they were hers to give. I personally don't feel they were. She could have asked her daughter if she wanted to share her appetizer with the others. I think most people say "share" when they really mean "give away," but that's semantics. I choose to say share instead of give because that designates resource distribution from gifting: I would not say to someone "Here is the birthday present I am sharing with you." Sharing may mean something belongs to nobody unless it belongs to everyone, or it may mean something belongs to somebody who is going to distribute it among everyone. It can also cover borrowing and lending and that's a whole 'nother ball of wax! :P
Sharing as a word suggests generosity. Imagine if someone asked "are you going to give that to me?" instead of "are you going to share that with me?". Which sounds more polite? If they asked the first way, you might think they wanted the whole thing, not just a share.
Dividing resources suggests that whoever is responsible also retains their amount - if you share things you usually keep some for yourself; if you give things out or away then the amount you keep can vary from your equal share, to less, to none.

I guess giving and sharing are not the same thing, but they are definitely interrelated and both are considered polite and generous.

As long as you are giving or sharing things that belong to you. ;)
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TootsNYC

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #190 on: February 24, 2013, 05:21:57 PM »
You are right--there is nothing wrong with having less so that other people can have more.
Nothing at all.

But it's not really "sharing"--it's "giving away" or "giving up."

And we should be accurate about it.
The definition of share includes "participating jointly" which seems equally accurate to me, and has a sense of altuism rather than loss. I prefer to use share, but you are of course free to use "give up"

If I have the appetizer first, and consider it to be mine, and I give you some, we are not "participating jointly." I am giving you some of my appetizer.

If we agree in advance to participate jointly in the consumption of the appetizer, I will argue that "share" is the right term. And perhaps I can say, "I would like to share my appetizer with you."

But many, many parents use "share" when issuing orders to their children, when they really mean "give some of yours to someone else." I think that's what was going on in this case.

And saying, "but that's semantics" is really a bad idea. Semantics matter.

And I think we should all use the word "share" a *great* deal less than we do now.


("are you going to share that with me" is just as rude as "are you going to give that to me"--and remember that the wording I would suggest is "would you give some of yours to her?" so your analogy is not right--you left out the very important "some of," which I carefully included in all my examples.)

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #191 on: February 24, 2013, 05:34:46 PM »
I think we all need to agree to disagree.

Then what's the purpose of *any* of this?
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gollymolly2

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #192 on: February 24, 2013, 05:59:49 PM »
Well the purpose is to talk about etiquette. We could discuss the etiquette of being offered food that you think the giver does not actually want to give up. We could discuss the etiquette of someone else giving away food you planned on eating. We could discuss the etiquette of family traditions when someone outside the family is involved.


Or we could argue about what share means.

catrunning

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #193 on: February 24, 2013, 06:43:16 PM »
If the child was the only person at the table ordering an appetizer, maybe her mother felt a bit uncomfortable about her child eating before anyone else was able to.   Everyone else would be sitting around waiting for their food while her child was already digging in.  I understand that all the other guests had the option of ordering their own appetizer, but still, it is often a bit awkward when only one person in the party is served a particular course and everyone else has to watch them eat it.

I was always taught never to start eating until all parties at the table had been served.  That rule obviously didn't address the fact that some people opt for more courses than others, and thus some people would have to start eating earlier than others.  But when my stepkids ordered appetizers - and they were almost always the only members of the dinner party who did so -  I usually asked the waiter to bring their appetizers out the same time as everyone else's first course.   That way, they wouldn't get into the habit of starting to eat before the rest of the party had been served.

The mom shouldn't have offered to give away her daughter's food without first asking her.   But still, I can see how she would have felt awkward about her daughter munching away in front of everyone else.   In some circles, that also is not good manners.           

Venus193

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Re: Rude to offer child’s appetizer to others?
« Reply #194 on: February 24, 2013, 06:52:26 PM »
If the child was the only person at the table ordering an appetizer, maybe her mother felt a bit uncomfortable about her child eating before anyone else was able to.   Everyone else would be sitting around waiting for their food while her child was already digging in.  I understand that all the other guests had the option of ordering their own appetizer, but still, it is often a bit awkward when only one person in the party is served a particular course and everyone else has to watch them eat it.

I was always taught never to start eating until all parties at the table had been served.  That rule obviously didn't address the fact that some people opt for more courses than others, and thus some people would have to start eating earlier than others.  But when my stepkids ordered appetizers - and they were almost always the only members of the dinner party who did so -  I usually asked the waiter to bring their appetizers out the same time as everyone else's first course.   That way, they wouldn't get into the habit of starting to eat before the rest of the party had been served.

The mom shouldn't have offered to give away her daughter's food without first asking her.   But still, I can see how she would have felt awkward about her daughter munching away in front of everyone else.   In some circles, that also is not good manners.         

The red is why I hate being the first person on the waiter's mind.  I hate looking like a pig in front of others.

The blue is another point.  I think it also should take other factors into consideration.  I was once with a party of eight in a place that specialized in prime rib.  By the time the entire table had been served the first two meals to exit the kitchen were cold.  That should not have to happen.