Do children belong at adult parties?

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Do children belong at adult parties?

Do Children Belong at Adult Parties? | Raising Kvell

Now, some bacchanalias?namely ones that begin at 9 p.m. and promise to go until ?whenever??are obviously for adults only. But, others?for instance, those held in the daytime or even late afternoon?are a bit more vague regarding the exclusivity of the guest list.

When in doubt, I always ask the host, ?Is it okay to bring the kids?? If the hosts say no, I never, ever bring them. (As we determined earlier, I have no problem leaving my kids [ages 14, 10, and 6] home alone.)

If the host says yes, of course, I say thank you, and bring them. And if the host says, ?Yes, buuuut? we won?t have anything fun for them to do and I don?t know if they?ll like the food I?m serving,? I bring them anyway.

Sure, my life?and theirs?would be made much easier if I only took my kids to events that featured bouncy houses, ball pits, and foods that don?t require a knife and fork (or at least where everyone looks the other way when you use your shirt as a napkin). They wouldn?t be forced to suffer the torture that is not having their pleasure prioritized over all others, and I could enjoy myself amongst other grown-ups without also keeping one eye peeled for who is doing what to whom, where, why, now (and cracking the time-space continuum in order to intercept it).

But my kids won?t be kids forever. In fact, I daresay they are going to spend (God willing) a much larger portion of their existence as adults than as children. They are going to need to learn how to function in the adult social world. And what better time for them to sharpen those skills than while their inevitable mistakes are still considered cute and forgivable, instead of grounds for firing and/or dumping?

By introducing my kids into the adult sphere without making undue accommodations for them (or, worse, asking others to make those accommodations), I am hoping to help them figure out what kinds of adults they want to be. I want them to watch and learn and grow and emulate (and judge and reject, as the case may be).

The article is a lot longer but I quoted the main discussion points above. What are your thoughts on this? Does your perspective change if viewing it as a host versus as a guest?

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Depends on the context. A party were there is lots of drinking (more than just cocktails), and adult behavior is not for kids. Other parties it would be best to ask the host.

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I definitely think its good for kids to be exposed to other environments besides those specifically designed for children. I think its important to teach them how to behave in any setting, what is considered proper etiquette and what is not.

Do kids belong at adult parties? If the adult says yes they are welcome, then sure! I think if they say yes and you can tell they don't really mean it, its a bit obnoxious to bring them anyway...even if they should have just been up front and said no. And if they say no kids...no biggie. No kids it is.

But you know there are a lot of places where kids can get the proper exposure to how the real world works as an adults, so if they never go to an adult party, i'm pretty sure they can still learn the skills they need.

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I'm pretty much the same as the author. If you're throwing a party at a time when I would normally be spending my time with them, then I'm probably going to bring them with me unless you say no. It's just so sad that our society has gotten to a point where kids aren't expected to be anywhere unless there's crayons & video games to entertain them and cheese pizza on the table. Those things aren't important. It's important for kids to learn how to behave among adults when they aren't the center of attention, and how to behave even when they're bored for periods of time.

And I feel the same way as the host. Unless it's a birthday party for one of my kids, I'm not going to set up activities or make "kid food" but kids are always welcome in my house for any party I'm throwing for any occasion.

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"KimPossible" wrote:

I definitely think its good for kids to be exposed to other environments besides those specifically designed for children. I think its important to teach them how to behave in any setting, what is considered proper etiquette and what is not.

Do kids belong at adult parties? If the adult says yes they are welcome, then sure! I think if they say yes and you can tell they don't really mean it, its a bit obnoxious to bring them anyway...even if they should have just been up front and said no. And if they say no kids...no biggie. No kids it is.

But you know there are a lot of places where kids can get the proper exposure to how the real world works as an adults, so if they never go to an adult party, i'm pretty sure they can still learn the skills they need.

I agree with this. Although I will also sometimes find a sitter for the kids even for parties where the host says they will be welcome, just so that I can have an evening out to socialize with other adults without having to be responsible for the kiddos. I like my adult time too.

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I think it depends on the situation. I am on the board of directors for our condo association and we have a Christmas brunch at a fancy restaurant. Spouses are included and Robbie was invited if I thought he could handle the situation as they know he has Aspergers. He went and all the adults were impressed with his behaviour. Had this been a dinner instead of brunch I would have left him at home with a sitter.

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"Spacers" wrote:

It's just so sad that our society has gotten to a point where kids aren't expected to be anywhere unless there's crayons & video games to entertain them and cheese pizza on the table.

I think it would be lame for anyone to be lamenting this over the fact that someone didn't want to invite kids to a particular party. Just because they aren't invited everywhere that is adult like, doesn't mean they are invited nowhere that is adult like

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What kind of people does this lady associate with where the only 'kid' parties involve bouncy castles, ball pits and finger foods? We dont even do those things for birthday parties around here.

I really just dont see this as an issue though...but maybe that is just where I live? Most social events we go to the kids are welcome at, and there are usually a few others their as well. It has always been that way. We cant afford a baby sitter too often, so unless it is a big, fancy catered party, if you want DH and I both there, the kids will be too. But I guess it most often barbeques, and grey cup parties with our friends, so perhaps thats not the kind of parties being talked about here?

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"KimPossible" wrote:

I think it would be lame for anyone to be lamenting this over the fact that someone didn't want to invite kids to a particular party. Just because they aren't invited everywhere that is adult like, doesn't mean they are invited nowhere that is adult like

This reminds me; what do you all think of kid-free weddings? I personally said kids welcome at my wedding, but I am also on board with kids free - whatever the bride and groom want is fine with me. But this is a huge sticking point in DH's family. Drama-rama! One cousin had a "no kids" wedding, and one her their aunts got upset because her grandchildren weren't invited. Then with 2 or 3 years, that same aunt's daughter got married and....you guessed it, had a no kids wedding.....Which if I recall caused even more drama because someone else was offended that their kids or grandkids weren't invited....

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Haha, good point Kyla. To me, a kid friendly party is just a party where other kids are there too, so they can entertain themselves. It definitely does not involve bouncy castles. Usually when we go to my MIL's house for the big religious celebrations (which are most of the "parties" she throws) she makes sure to invite a couple of families with kids so that the kids have someone to play with. Then they get banished to the basement, where she has a fooseball table and some really cool blocks from when DH was a kid and whatnot. It is literally the perfect set up.

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Also, i think its fine to cater to children and have something for them to do, even though i understand the value of knowing to deal with boring situations.

Like when we casually get together at my mother-in-laws house....the kids do very kid like things together and the grown ups do grown up things. And we very often put a movie on for entertainment for the kids.

And its amazing and fun to see the kids transform as they age. Emma is no longer as interested in doing the kid things and likes hanging out with the grown ups more.

I mean when it comes to parties, typically the grown ups don't stay at a party if they are bored to death...so it seems a little silly to me to ensure thats where kids learn to deal with boredom.

Great places for kids to learn about boredom:
Long car rides
Waiting in long lines
Sitting at the DMV with mom or dad
Sitting in a doctors office
Running errands

Places where adults actually could be bored too but just deal with it. You know...real life situations.

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I agree Kim, I don't feel like there is such a huge dearth of situations where my kids will be bored that I have to engineer situations for them to be bored by. LOL Back to my MIL's parties, I think it's great to see the kids playing together and making their own kid fun. I would be disappointed and weirded out if they all just sat near us and acted bored instead of stampeeding down to the basement and playing "gymnastics" and setting up "haunted houses" and the other kooky stuff they do when they get together.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

This reminds me; what do you all think of kid-free weddings? I personally said kids welcome at my wedding, but I am also on board with kids free - whatever the bride and groom want is fine with me. But this is a huge sticking point in DH's family. Drama-rama! One cousin had a "no kids" wedding, and one her their aunts got upset because her grandchildren weren't invited. Then with 2 or 3 years, that same aunt's daughter got married and....you guessed it, had a no kids wedding.....Which if I recall caused even more drama because someone else was offended that their kids or grandkids weren't invited....

I'm totally fine with kids free weddings. Really, i don't think there is anything wrong with wanting certain things to be child free in your life. My kids did not get to go to their cousins wedding two weeks ago..because they are kids. I'm pretty sure they will pull through...and still be well adjusted adults to boot!

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

This reminds me; what do you all think of kid-free weddings? I personally said kids welcome at my wedding, but I am also on board with kids free - whatever the bride and groom want is fine with me. But this is a huge sticking point in DH's family. Drama-rama! One cousin had a "no kids" wedding, and one her their aunts got upset because her grandchildren weren't invited. Then with 2 or 3 years, that same aunt's daughter got married and....you guessed it, had a no kids wedding.....Which if I recall caused even more drama because someone else was offended that their kids or grandkids weren't invited....

Lol! Why is it always the grandparents that get upset? My cousin had a kid free wedding, and my mom was super upset my kids couldnt come. It was in a different city and I couldnt figure out a sitter situation I was comfortable with so we didnt go at all, but it was my mom that was upset about it, not me! She almost didnt go herself, which I told her was dumb and just to let it go.

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Alissa, your MIL parties are giving me flashbacks to my Grandmothers house at christmas Smile My cousins and I used to make up dances and weird routines in the basement, and then come up and perform them for the adults. It was tons of fun! Some of my best memories.

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It seems so easy to me, just ask the hostess. We went to a party friday night, kids were invited. The hostess didnt have anything
"set up" for the kids but they definitely had fun, played upstairs and every now and then came down to see what we were doing. My six year old DD did say one time, "You adults are soooo boring" My 11 year old saw the hostesses beautiful piano and asked if she could play some Christmas music it was a blast

I do have to say though that I was shocked that parents were letting thier kids grab food and run around while eating. My kids took their plates to a table set by the fire place and sat down to eat. One time my 3 year old ran to the table and grabbed a cookie and then was heading upstairs, I gave him the look and he got that "oh **** she saw me look" and sat down on my lap to eat

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

This reminds me; what do you all think of kid-free weddings? I personally said kids welcome at my wedding, but I am also on board with kids free - whatever the bride and groom want is fine with me. But this is a huge sticking point in DH's family. Drama-rama! One cousin had a "no kids" wedding, and one her their aunts got upset because her grandchildren weren't invited. Then with 2 or 3 years, that same aunt's daughter got married and....you guessed it, had a no kids wedding.....Which if I recall caused even more drama because someone else was offended that their kids or grandkids weren't invited....

I feel like just did this not too long ago?

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Here's one that kind of drives me nuts. We went to my sons Christmas concert yesterday. Its about an hour long, so nothing too ridiculous in length. Everyone is sitting down listening to the concert but as always, there are some younger or older siblings that have been given persmission (i assume) to run around or hang out with their friends or whatever.

There was a group of kids playing cards underneath the bleachers, stuff like that.

Now I don't think this is the end of the world or the kids are terrible or the parents are terrible, because they were being quiet and were not in the way but why not make your kids sit down and actually watch the concert if they are there? Like doing something fun at a party, that makes sense to me, that's what we all do, so the kids want to do it too. But at a performance, we do not all ignore a show and play games or just do what we please. It would be considered rude to do that.

Oh and these are middle school kids!

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"KimPossible" wrote:

Here's one that kind of drives me nuts. We went to my sons Christmas concert yesterday. Its about an hour long, so nothing too ridiculous in length. Everyone is sitting down listening to the concert but as always, there are some younger or older siblings that have been given persmission (i assume) to run around or hang out with their friends or whatever.

There was a group of kids playing cards underneath the bleachers, stuff like that.

Now I don't think this is the end of the world or the kids are terrible or the parents are terrible, because they were being quiet and were not in the way but why not make your kids sit down and actually watch the concert if they are there? Like doing something fun at a party, that makes sense to me, that's what we all do, so the kids want to do it too. But at a performance, we do not all ignore a show and play games or just do what we please. It would be considered rude to do that.

Oh and these are middle school kids!

I totally agree with this. We dont have our concert until next week and I totally expect our little one to sit through it. He has actually requested to come. I am still debating weather or not to bring the baby. He makes a really good excuse to leave after DD performs if we are getting bored (yes, I know that makes me a bad person), and he really likes music, but it would be nice to be able to watch DD without trying to wrangle him.

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"KimPossible" wrote:

Here's one that kind of drives me nuts. We went to my sons Christmas concert yesterday. Its about an hour long, so nothing too ridiculous in length. Everyone is sitting down listening to the concert but as always, there are some younger or older siblings that have been given persmission (i assume) to run around or hang out with their friends or whatever.

There was a group of kids playing cards underneath the bleachers, stuff like that.

Now I don't think this is the end of the world or the kids are terrible or the parents are terrible, because they were being quiet and were not in the way but why not make your kids sit down and actually watch the concert if they are there? Like doing something fun at a party, that makes sense to me, that's what we all do, so the kids want to do it too. But at a performance, we do not all ignore a show and play games or just do what we please. It would be considered rude to do that.

Oh and these are middle school kids!

ITA with this. When we go to anything my kids are doing my kids are expected to support their sibling. And they are expected to sit and show respect by listening. If it going to be long then I find a sitter so they can stay home. My older girls christmas concert is being performed with the high school music program this year and is expected to be 2 hours so I will be leaving the 2 littles home

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"ftmom" wrote:

I really just dont see this as an issue though...but maybe that is just where I live? Most social events we go to the kids are welcome at, and there are usually a few others their as well. It has always been that way. We cant afford a baby sitter too often, so unless it is a big, fancy catered party, if you want DH and I both there, the kids will be too. But I guess it most often barbeques, and grey cup parties with our friends, so perhaps thats not the kind of parties being talked about here?

I have a feeling this is an urban problem because many of us don't have backyards to spill into or playrooms for the kids to entertain themselves or even a bedroom that can hold a dozen kids playing away from the grownups. So parties tend to be either kid-centric or adults-only, and there doesn't seem to be any in-between. And I think that's sad. The world these kids are seeing is either they are being catered-to, or excluded, and that's not the way the real world works.

And ITA with what Kim said about concerts. Our school has a "songfest" every year and it always amazes me how many of the kindergarten families leave after their kids have sung. Really? Your kid can't handle sitting still for another 45 minutes to listen to all the other classes who have been practicing just as much? This is a good opportunity to start training them!

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"Spacers" wrote:

And ITA with what Kim said about concerts. Our school has a "songfest" every year and it always amazes me how many of the kindergarten families leave after their kids have sung. Really? Your kid can't handle sitting still for another 45 minutes to listen to all the other classes who have been practicing just as much? This is a good opportunity to start training them!

I agree. However I will admit that when Robbie was in Kindergarten Sean left at the intermission because I had surgery that morning and he was concerned about how I was doing but he left at a time there was a break. Last year we sat in front of people who were rudely commenting on every class except the one they were there to see, and they were loud enough that you can hear them on my video.

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I guess I'm not sure what you're training them for....training them to sit still when they're bored?

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I guess I'm not sure what you're training them for....training them to sit still when they're bored?

Yeah, and also to find at least some kind of enjoyment in things they might not normally want to be doing, kwim? At the Songfest tonight, the 4yo next to me was playing a game on his mom's phone, the 4yo behind me was playing a game on an ipad, and the 4yo in front of me was playing on the floor with a doll. My son sat on my lap and listened, because that's what I told him he was expected to do. He enjoyed a lot of the songs, was clapping along & got into singing some of them. The other kids were oblivious to what was going on. I just don't think that "If you get bored you can play a game" is a good expectation to set. Why not set the expectation that they might find something enjoyable?

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Maybe those kids have other issues going on?

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Or the kids have been dragged to other programs during the week and they are tired of sitting and listening to anything? My 3 year old has been to 4 performances this week. He did great at the first 2, the 3rd he was less interested and then yesterday he had to sit through a 20 minute performance at the mall and he was not happy about it. He kept saying "I am done with listening to songs" He did it, sat on my MIL's lap for the whole time but he kept saying "are we done yet"

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Right.

I don't think the answer is shoving electronics in your kids' faces, but I also think that there's not huge value to training them how to tolerate boredom. If it's a concert and they're there, then yes, you pay attention, but last year when Nathaniel's class was performing at a school concert along with other classes, and Juliet, then 5, got really restless, I let her go run around with her friend who was there. I didn't see any particular reason to make her sit and be bored.

Ideally, we get the kids to enjoy these things, but if they're really not, and they gave it a go, I don't see any value in having them stay put. I don't hand over my iPhone, but I get that they're kids and that it's hard to pay attention. If they're bored silly I take them out.

I try to minimize my OWN exposure to boring situations, so I do the same for my kids. Life is short. Do what you have to do, but if you don't have to do it, run for the hills, that's my motto. Smile

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I think there is tons of value in learning to tolerate boredom. There are a lot of boring things in life. Sure you can minimize exposure to boredom, but you can't avoid it completely.

I think its appropriate for kids at a certain age to pay attention like everyone else does. If its really long and they've done a good job but are obviously getting restless then I think its reasonable to do something about it. But IMO that involves removing the child from the room where the performance is going on. Not letting them run around, or play games or whatever else.

And I think it should be a good effort at paying attention before giving up on it. It goes back to the constant stimulation thing. Kids need to learn how to adjust to situations without the constant stimulation of their preference.

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I don't disagree that kids need to adjust to situations and not need constant stimulation. But I guess if I know something's going to be boring for them, I don't tend to make them do it unless it's unavoidable because it's a family thing, or feelings could get hurt, whatever.

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I don't disagree that kids need to adjust to situations and not need constant stimulation. But I guess if I know something's going to be boring for them, I don't tend to make them do it unless it's unavoidable because it's a family thing, or feelings could get hurt, whatever.

As in you don't take them at all? Sure I agree with that...like I said in an earlier post, these opportunities present themselves, you don't have to go around purposely setting them up.

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"KimPossible" wrote:

As in you don't take them at all? Sure I agree with that...like I said in an earlier post, these opportunities present themselves, you don't have to go around purposely setting them up.

I wouldn't take them to something if I thought they'd be bored and wouldn't gain anything from it other than learning how to tolerate boredom, maybe that's what I mean. Unless it was something we all just had to bite the bullet and do.

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Boredom is good for children, says Oxford professor, because it encourages creativity | Mail Online

I allow Jace to get bored, lol.

I also feel like it's good to ask the party host if it's ok for a child to attend.

I don't want kids at my wedding unless it's Jace and family.

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That article is more about overscheduling them vs. letting them have time at home to amuse themselves...not about being bored, per se, but about having down time.