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Do you ever have a kids' table at your big gatherings?

Posted by on Nov. 21, 2012 at 12:08 PM
  • 35 Replies

The Kids' Table: Why You Want One & How to Make It Work

Posted by Adriana Velez on November 21, 2012 

kids tableAmong my favorite childhood memories is the Kids' Table. I come from a big family (five kids) within an even bigger family (my dad has 13 brothers and sisters). The grownups were always only too happy to seat us all at a separate table so they could actually have a civilized conversation with each other. And that was just fine with us! The last thing we wanted to have was a civilized conversation.

Ordinarily I'm all for families all eating together around the same table, but there are certain occasions when a kids' table is called for. Here are my kids' table guidelines. 

1. More than one family. I only have one child and I'm not making him eat alone! But even in my childhood family of five kids, if it was just us, we all ate together. Bring in another couple with their kids, though, and I think everyone has a better time if we break it up into a kids' table and a grownups' table.

2. Kids are mature enough to eat alone. Obviously a kids' table isn't going to work for toddlers (although who hasn't fantasized about throwing the toddlers into a room with a bunch of goldfish crackers and just shutting the door?). Sometimes you'll need to do a combo -- independent, older kids at the kids' table with babies and toddlers at the grownups' table. How old is old enough? I think only a parent can decide that. 

3. Have a few rules. The kids' table shouldn't turn into Lord of the Flies. Make sure everyone has forks and napkins, respects everyone else's space and plates, and doesn't throw anything. There should be some actual eating taking place, not just silliness. No outright screaming or yelling.

4. But accept a little chaos. It should still be fun, though. Maybe your kid won't eat enough. Oh well. Maybe there will be a lot of laughing and silliness. Great! The happier those kids are, the more time and space you have to enjoy the company of your grownup dining companions.

5. Make it their own. If you have time, have the kids decorate the table their own way. Have them set the table and remind them to clear their dishes after dinner.

6. Space, man. The kids' table should be close enough so you can tell if anyone is choking or injuring another. But I think having some space between the tables is more enjoyable for everyone.

Do you ever have a kids' table at your big gatherings?

by on Nov. 21, 2012 at 12:08 PM
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Replies (1-10):
specialwingz
by Member on Nov. 21, 2012 at 12:09 PM

No.  The kids are at the table with the rest of the family.  They ARE family after all.  I never could stand people that set their kids off to themselves like they "didn't belong".

Kelly913
by on Nov. 21, 2012 at 12:18 PM

I can see your point, but do you send them to school every day?  If so, how is that any different or better? 

Quoting specialwingz:

No.  The kids are at the table with the rest of the family.  They ARE family after all.  I never could stand people that set their kids off to themselves like they "didn't belong".

 

Some Things Cookin' at my blog! 

specialwingz
by Member on Nov. 21, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Sending kids to school to learn is NOT the same thing as separating them from the family table at Thanksgiving.

Quoting Kelly913:

I can see your point, but do you send them to school every day?  If so, how is that any different or better? 

Quoting specialwingz:

No.  The kids are at the table with the rest of the family.  They ARE family after all.  I never could stand people that set their kids off to themselves like they "didn't belong".

 


Kelly913
by on Nov. 21, 2012 at 12:22 PM

The few times we've had the extended family at our house, space limitations required more than one table, so why not let the kids have their own and feel special?

However, having said that I should share my disdain for the whole idea when I was a kid.  Make sure the kids at the table are close in age.  All of my cousins were either 5+ years older or 4+ years younger.  I was mature for my age and would have preferred to talk with the adults, especially since I rarely ever saw these cousins and they saw each other all the time.  I was an outcast all the way around.  They loved having their own table though-it was just me not fitting in because of age and where we lived.

Kelly913
by on Nov. 21, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Why not? 

Quoting specialwingz:

Sending kids to school to learn is NOT the same thing as separating them from the family table at Thanksgiving.

Quoting Kelly913:

I can see your point, but do you send them to school every day?  If so, how is that any different or better? 

Quoting specialwingz:

No.  The kids are at the table with the rest of the family.  They ARE family after all.  I never could stand people that set their kids off to themselves like they "didn't belong".

 


 

Some Things Cookin' at my blog! 

jessicasmom1
by Platinum Member on Nov. 21, 2012 at 12:28 PM
1 mom liked this

yes we do when we go to my In laws only because there are 3 tables set up the kids, and 2 for adults around 30 people show up. The kids table is still near us so it is not for separation just merely having enough room for everyone to eat together.

michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Nov. 21, 2012 at 12:28 PM
1 mom liked this

We sure do!  We don't have a table big enough to fit everyone, so we have one or two separate tables in the next room.  Kids, big kids, or adults are welcome to go there.

jessicasmom1
by Platinum Member on Nov. 21, 2012 at 12:34 PM

ok maybe not even a kids table 3 tables are set up and placed , you as the adult pick where you want to sit  if your child needs you help to cut up food, or adult supervision then sure you can sit there with them.

August07Mom
by Tiesha on Nov. 21, 2012 at 12:39 PM
2 moms liked this

Yes there is usually a kids table, and all the kids love it.

meluvja
by on Nov. 21, 2012 at 1:59 PM
1 mom liked this

No.  We always ate together

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