Gransnet forums


A quick bit of advice please!

(30 Posts)
Semiruralgirl Thu 26-Dec-19 17:58:16

I find Gransnet very helpful, and comforting- good to know there is lots of support out there.
Tomorrow, we are expecting my DH sons and their partners. I get on with them all ok. One son has 3 children, 14 thro’ to 11, another has a 2 and half year old, the other none yet. There will be 14 of us for lunch/tea etc. The 3 children are a bit of an ‘onslaught’, lively and a bit out of control. At meal times they don’t sit down but roam around, are on iPads/games etc. They graze....the parents say ‘sit down’ or that’s a ‘1’, ‘’2’ etc - but it doesn’t make much difference. They will then go through to the sitting room, which is a comfortable room, with a tv, but sometimes they go a bit wild, throwing g cushions around, and I think they should stay in the dining room while we are there - there is a tv there. I would like to contain all the children with us in the dining room while we are eating, and then get them to wash their hands afterwards so that they don’t leave greasy, jammy hands over everything. I know they will get bored while the adults are still eating, and get up, wander off etc. However if I say anything it will be me being a bit of a spoil sport, and I will start to feel really annoyed. DH won’t say anything, but look on benignly. Any tips please?

timetogo2016 Thu 26-Dec-19 18:01:51

It`s one day,i wouldn`t make a fuss tbh.
If you do say something they may ignore you anyway then the atmosphere could spoil the whole day.

inkcog Thu 26-Dec-19 18:07:07

Sorry OP, but I couldn't stand this scenario. I suggest , abandon the sit down meal. Each person comes along and chooses his/her food and eats as suit them best. The parents then divide up into those who will take kids out to a local park and those who will be on tidy up duty. Obviously, the older kids count as adults here.

craftyone Thu 26-Dec-19 18:12:56

jammy greasy chocolatey hands all up the staircase. Oh no not for me either. Inkcog has the right idea

mumofmadboys Thu 26-Dec-19 18:28:19

Could you put place names at the table and separate the children? Could you think of any games or quizzes you could all do at the table? Say to the children you would like everyone to stay at the table during the meal but once the adults are onto coffee they can go and play. Could you suggest a game after the meal eg divide into two teams ( girls v boys or differently divided). Each team is given half a packet of spaghetti and a bag of marshmallows. Between them they have to build a tower which will be judged on design and height. It is a lot of fun and all ages can join in. Each team works in a separate room and has 10 -15 minutes. Hope it goes well!

Desdemona Thu 26-Dec-19 18:30:38

Do buffet style meals, let the children play games, wander about - and wipe the fingerprints off after they have gone. Christmas is very short and a relaxed atmosphere is always better than a fraught one.

Starblaze Thu 26-Dec-19 18:40:47

I don't see anything wrong with asking them to wash their hands when they leave the table or asking them not to throw the cushions etc. Your home, your rules. Just do it respectfully and don't expect much from teens because, well they are teenagers.

Starblaze Thu 26-Dec-19 18:42:03

I get your annoyance, my older children would be offering to help tidy up afterwards but I do believe in raising adults who know how to look after themselves when they move out.

Urmstongran Thu 26-Dec-19 18:43:40

A couple of packs of wet wipes at the end of the table? Hide some of the cushions beforehand so not enough to fight with?

bingo12 Thu 26-Dec-19 18:47:00

Their parents should have taught the children to sit at a table; how to have ''table manners'' and eat a meal in a reasonably acceptable way when in company - if not, there is not much you can do about it when they come to yours for a special occasion. You could bribe them with presents if they behave - that's if they haven't had them already - and if you haven't stocked up on games etc - too late now, probably!

inkcog Thu 26-Dec-19 18:47:35

If they were at school, would this be permissible?

No, so why should your hospitality and home be misused?

You are willing to allow for some chaos and some seasonal madness. They should respect you.

CanadianGran Thu 26-Dec-19 18:53:24

All but the toddler should be able to sit properly while eating. And really, at 2 1/2 he should be able to as well. If the table is set, and dinner time is called, then we should all sit at the table to eat until excused to leave ( and no taking food with them).

Just don't give the option to take food anywhere other than the table. Especially if they are teens! Once they leave the table, take the plate to the kitchen for clean up.

Hetty58 Thu 26-Dec-19 18:56:08

It might be worth feeding the children first. Adults will be free to supervise - and enforce the washing of hands. Then, I'd put a film on for the kids and (hopefully) sit down to a leisurely, uninterrupted meal. If anyone plays up, I'd assign discipline to the appropriate parent. Good luck!

Cabbie21 Thu 26-Dec-19 19:05:12

What have you allowed in the past? A bit hard to change the rules now? Unless the older ones could be persuaded in the guise of being adults helping to supervise the little one?

Sorry but I can’t imagine how it has got to this point, Granny’s house, Granny’s rules should apply.

sodapop Thu 26-Dec-19 19:37:40

I agree with Cabbie your house your rules, no screens at the table etc.

As its just one day, I would go with the buffet idea and don't serve anything messy. Just finger foods. Good luck tchsmilewine

kittylester Thu 26-Dec-19 19:50:16

You want to 'contain' the children? They are not wild animals!! Its Christmas for goodness sake. They will not like to come if there are more rules than at home. Children make a mess - live with it.

Dont give everyone stress - just go with the flow.

notanan2 Thu 26-Dec-19 20:10:58

You could "go with it" and adopt a buffet style meal / gathering instead.

There are things that I know just do not work with my nieces and nephews, and trying to "parent" them could cause issues.
So I do what works for everyone when they come. It may not be how I would ideally do things, but makes for an overall nicer day if Im not "swimming against the tide" IYKWIM

Doodle Thu 26-Dec-19 22:13:20

Plasticine in a word - not playdoh. Pack each and a tray or hard surface each and get them to make some animals.
Works just as well with pipe cleaners.
Or balloons see who can keep it in the air the longest.
Any silly game you can think of.
I see no harm in saying they have to wash their hands as soon as they leave the table.

Barmeyoldbat Thu 26-Dec-19 22:18:38

Children eat first then lock outside in the garden and wave at them through the window grin Seriously I would do this.if I had the problem.

Yehbutnobut Thu 26-Dec-19 22:20:29

Too late for you I know but I set up a small temporary table in the living room and the children eat there. We close the door on them and let them get on with it. I suspect the dog gets their Brussel sprouts.

This year my 13-year old grandson opted to join the adults.

Yehbutnobut Thu 26-Dec-19 22:21:16

Barmeyoldbat like your style 👍🏽😅😂🤣

Barmeyoldbat Thu 26-Dec-19 22:24:14

Yehbut and the more the wine flows the less you care.

Harris27 Thu 26-Dec-19 22:25:58

Well mine have just gone and although I love them I’m glad it’s over for another year! Grandson 1 looked at the heaving buffet and said “ there’s nothing I like” so I just said Yao my son “ go through the fridge and see what you can do find then”:I work with kids but some of my grandkids well.... another year over!

kircubbin2000 Thu 26-Dec-19 22:38:26

My 3 year old gs stripped off, refused to dress then emptied ALL the clothes out of 3 drawers and threw them at the 4 year old.
4 year old then joined in with the throwing game and as I had just arrived parents gave up and decided to go out for 2 hours! Destruction continued with 4 year old undoing the crackers to get the hats. I asked him to stop and he didn't,2 year old now walking naked over the table I gave up too. Thank goodness I go home tomorrow.

sodapop Fri 27-Dec-19 09:30:10

That sounds like the visit from hell Kircubbin. You will be heaving a sigh of relief today I'm sure.
It seems sometimes that today's parents are unable to say 'no' to their children.