Author Topic: Historical etiquette question - excluding children from desserts  (Read 7315 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

gramma dishes

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7908
Re: Historical etiquette question - excluding children from desserts
« Reply #30 on: May 28, 2013, 11:23:01 AM »
Our dining room table can only seat six comfortably.

Our kitchen table can also seat six comfortably, or seven slightly less so.

Our version of the "children's table" is that the Moms and Dads eat together in the dining room and the kids eat (the same exact food) in the kitchen, but Grandma and Grandpa (us) eat with the kids!! 

The five all boy cousins enjoy being together.  The older ones "help" the younger ones and the grandparents get to concentrate on the kids.  It's great and everyone in all three age groups looks forward to it.

rose red

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7471
Re: Historical etiquette question - excluding children from desserts
« Reply #31 on: May 28, 2013, 11:58:49 AM »
As a child, I loved the children's table. I would sit with all my cousins and we would have a ball, while the adults sat and "talked" (how boring). At the same time, no one was barred from any of the tables (my fun loving aunt would often sit with us or move to our table after the meal) and any child who wanted could sit with the adults (and behave! No interrupting, state your opinions nicely and hear what others respond).

The only problem with children's table is when people are forced to sit there, even when they have outgrown it.

This is my family's experience too.  No teenager or 20-something is forced to sit with 5 year olds unless they want to (and they often do!).  Children and teens often don't want to sit with the "adults" either, but are welcome if they need their parents for whatever reason. 

My family have 3 or 4 tables to mingle in, but usually drift into our own generation.  Food is the same for all the tables or we eat from a buffet.  There is no such thing as "children's food" in my family.

ladyknight1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6788
  • Operating the logic hammer since 1987.
Re: Historical etiquette question - excluding children from desserts
« Reply #32 on: May 28, 2013, 12:00:54 PM »
The biggest problem is that I would be made the automatic babysitter, so would have to keep my very young cousins in line. Playing with them was great, but not getting to relax and enjoy a holiday meal for six years made me realize that we were not treated equally.

Mixed ages at different tables is great! That is what we do when we entertain.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 12:51:40 PM by ladyknight1 »

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6252
Re: Historical etiquette question - excluding children from desserts
« Reply #33 on: May 28, 2013, 12:47:14 PM »
As a child, I loved the children's table. I would sit with all my cousins and we would have a ball, while the adults sat and "talked" (how boring). At the same time, no one was barred from any of the tables (my fun loving aunt would often sit with us or move to our table after the meal) and any child who wanted could sit with the adults (and behave! No interrupting, state your opinions nicely and hear what others respond).

The only problem with children's table is when people are forced to sit there, even when they have outgrown it.

This is my family's experience too.  No teenager or 20-something is forced to sit with 5 year olds unless they want to (and they often do!).  Children and teens often don't want to sit with the "adults" either, but are welcome if they need their parents for whatever reason. 

My family have 3 or 4 tables to mingle in, but usually drift into our own generation.  Food is the same for all the tables or we eat from a buffet.  There is no such thing as "children's food" in my family.

This was common when I was young.  With my generation hosting, we never had enough kids of similar age at the same time to make a kid's table feasible. So it's always mixed.

One year when my kids were 6/8ish good friends of ours were joining our family for Thanksgiving. They also had 2 kids of similar ages and the 4 of them asked if they could set up a "kids table" since none of them had ever been sat at a kids table. And they did declare it a "kids only table". They refused to allow my 20 something nephew to join them and my 18 yr old nephew was allowed to have dessert with them but only after demonstrating that he could still suck a pea up through a straw.

Outdoor Girl

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 13471
Re: Historical etiquette question - excluding children from desserts
« Reply #34 on: May 28, 2013, 02:59:13 PM »
One year when my kids were 6/8ish good friends of ours were joining our family for Thanksgiving. They also had 2 kids of similar ages and the 4 of them asked if they could set up a "kids table" since none of them had ever been sat at a kids table. And they did declare it a "kids only table". They refused to allow my 20 something nephew to join them and my 18 yr old nephew was allowed to have dessert with them but only after demonstrating that he could still suck a pea up through a straw.

Now that's funny.   :D
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

JeseC

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 339
Re: Historical etiquette question - excluding children from desserts
« Reply #35 on: May 28, 2013, 10:33:53 PM »
The biggest problem is that I would be made the automatic babysitter, so would have to keep my very young cousins in line. Playing with them was great, but not getting to relax and enjoy a holiday meal for six years made me realize that we were not treated equally.

Mixed ages at different tables is great! That is what we do when we entertain.

Ditto.  I'm older than any of my cousins by 8 years.  The kids table often was more of a babysitting job than a fun time.

Of course, the adults never seemed to talk about anything other than raising kids, so I ended up trying to eat by myself a lot!

Nikko-chan

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2558
Re: Historical etiquette question - excluding children from desserts
« Reply #36 on: May 28, 2013, 10:59:30 PM »
To this day if there are a lot of kids in attendance I am usually made to sit at the children's table.

blue2000

  • It is never too late to be what you might have been
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6765
  • Two kitties - No waiting. And no sleeping either.
Re: Historical etiquette question - excluding children from desserts
« Reply #37 on: May 29, 2013, 07:12:40 AM »
We sat at the 'children's table' until we all (well, most of us) had kids of our own. Now it is more of a 'young family' and 'old/single people' division. I don't have kids, so I miss out on talking to my cousins sometimes. :(
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.

ladyknight1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6788
  • Operating the logic hammer since 1987.
Re: Historical etiquette question - excluding children from desserts
« Reply #38 on: May 29, 2013, 08:13:55 AM »
I am over 1000 miles away from my FOO, so we rarely get together. When we visit friends, we usually just have scattered tables around for people to sit where they like. I think that is a better solution.

Vall

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 746
Re: Historical etiquette question - excluding children from desserts
« Reply #39 on: May 29, 2013, 10:16:57 AM »
My dad was born in the early 30's so I called him and asked him about this subject.  In his community, it was common to feed children in a separate room (with cheaper food) when company was visiting.  In his home, it was done due to the size of the dining room table and the cost of food.  He says that people would always offer their best to guests (sometimes to make themselves look more well-off than they actually were, and sometimes for just good hospitality).  This meant that the guests and the hosts ate differently than the children.  The children would be fed but they might not have dessert or even a special meat dish.  Children ate at the kitchen table or weather permitting, outside.

My dad's family were considered to be poor (share croppers).  Dad said that children of more affluent families were more likely to eat the same foods as their parents because their parents had the money to do so but in poorer families it was more common for children to be fed something cheaper when company was visiting.

While dad was talking, it reminded me of my XH's family.  XH had 11 siblings but only 5 were still living at home.  When we married in the early 80's, we briefly lived with his family.  Yes, the parents ate separately from their children and they had different (more expensive) food than what was served to the children.  When company came over, they ate with the parents.  It was just the way things were.

*inviteseller

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1821
  • I am Queen Mommy
Re: Historical etiquette question - excluding children from desserts
« Reply #40 on: June 01, 2013, 06:16:06 PM »
I love watching old shows and movies from the 40's - 60's, and kids, other than breakfast, usually eat before their parents and are in bed or elsewhere when mom & dad have supper.  I don't know about quality of food, but the theme seems to be dad has worked hard all day and mom wants him to have a nice quiet dinner without the kids (and I have had those days  ::)
In my own family (I was born in 1966), we ate everything my dad did (and he was an adventurous cook), but when he remarried when I was 12 and 3 more kids were added to the house hold (to me & older sister), we all ate the same food, but my parents ate separate from us (same time tho) simply because the kitchen table and the dining room table just didn't have enough room for all of us to cram in at.  We actually didn't mind...us kids could get giggly and silly, parents could talk about their day and then we all spent most evenings together for a few hours where we interacted. 

Thipu1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6594
Re: Historical etiquette question - excluding children from desserts
« Reply #41 on: June 02, 2013, 10:42:32 AM »
Perhaps it was because I was an only child, but it was expected that I would eat with my parents and eat the same food.  It wasn't quite the same with friends.  One family would buy steak and then have what they called the 'tail' ground to make hamburger for the two children.  Theoretically, the whole family was eating the same meat but the equation wasn't exact.

The whole household being at the table at the same time was very important to my parents.  On occasion, my father had to work overtime and the timing of this was always iffy because it involved the unloading of a ship. 

  When that happened, my mother and I would have dinner at our normal time.  When Dad arrived home, he'd be served his meal and Mom and I would have a cup of tea at the table so he wouldn't be eating alone. 
 
I never encountered a children's table until I got married.  There weren't huge family meals for Christmas, Thanksgiving or Easter when I was a child in the 1950s.  We were a big family.  Each of
 my parents had four siblings.  All but two married and had children of their own. We all also lived within ten miles of each other. Because we were in constant contact, there was no need for catching up.   

The custom was for each household to have the Holiday dinner at home.  There was a flurry of phone
 calls in the morning and visits to my Grandparents for coffee and cake in the late afternoon. 

Only at events like Weddings or Funerals was the whole family in the same room at the same time. 

camlan

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8495
Re: Historical etiquette question - excluding children from desserts
« Reply #42 on: June 02, 2013, 11:40:12 AM »
I was born in 1960. Growing up, all us kids ate dinner with Mom and Dad every night, eating the same food.

At big family get-togethers, there was usually a kids' table, but mostly because Dad was one of 6 kids. My two grandparents, their six children and their children's six spouses pretty much filled up the dining room. So the kids would be put at folding tables on the front porch in good weather (with the windows to the dining room open so the parents could hear what was going on), and in the front hall in the winter.

We *loved* the kids' table. No parents to supervise us. A good chance to talk with our cousins that we didn't see very often. The older kids were not babysitters, but they did try to keep things under control so that a parent would not feel the need to come out and investigate what was going on and spoil all our fun.

The really small children, babies and those under maybe 3 or 4, ate with the parents.

We all had the same food, unless there was something that Grandma felt the kids would not like. So the adults might get spinach, but the kids would get green beans. Although if a kid had asked for spinach, I'm sure they would have gotten some.

But then, Grandma was very enlightened for her day. If you (a child) didn't eat your whole dinner, at home with your parents you would not get dessert. But Grandma felt that the milk and eggs in her homemade puddings and ice cream were nutritious, so if you didn't eat all your vegetables, then you *needed* that ice cream to help keep up your strength.

As we all got older and more and more babies were born and the older cousins started getting married, the table in the dining room was for those who needed to sit at a table to eat--moms with babies, aunts with arthritis, that sort of thing. The rest of us scattered over the first floor--some sitting on the stairs, some in the library, some in the kitchen, some outdoors if the weather was good. (There could easily be 65-75 people at a family gathering.) So there was no official movement from kids' table to grownups' table, as the entire system changed.


Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


gmatoy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1203
Re: Historical etiquette question - excluding children from desserts
« Reply #43 on: July 05, 2013, 09:26:22 PM »
During WWII, sugar was rationed and desserts often had to be carefully planned in order to have enough sugar to make the recipe. So, my mother says, that if you were trying to serve something special, children were often served last or not at all.

amandaelizabeth

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 769
    • Amanda's home based ece
Re: Historical etiquette question - excluding children from desserts
« Reply #44 on: July 05, 2013, 11:57:25 PM »
Child if the mid fifties here.  It was common among my family and friends that if you did not eat all of your main course - and that meant a helping of everything - then you were not allowed dessert.  Perhaps the advert meant that their desserts were so good children would clear their plates in order to get some.