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Should children go everywhere?

September 13th, 2005, 01:58 PM
At my son's recent memorial service, there were no children present. This was something of a disapointment to me.
As we are an older couple, there arent really a lot of youngsters around in our circle of friends and family but I was hoping some children would be there, as they represent life and renewal.
In two cases, the children themselves opted not to go, which of course is fine. But in one other case, the child wished to attend, but the parents felt it would not be appropriate. (all three kids are nine years of age).

This got me thinking about the topic of where children "belong".
Do you bring your children everwhere with you, or are there certain places that you feel it best to leave them at home? Do you resent the presence of other's children in places that are more "geared" towards adult gatherings?

Weddings, funerals, fancy restaurants, churches and movie theatres are a few places that come to my mind, though for myself, I am not bothered personally by the presence of children in any of these instances. ( providing they are not going wild, of course :)

Naturally, some of this decision depends on the age and the abililty of the child to understand the occassion and what behaviour may be required for it.
It's not always easy for a child to remain quiet in solemn occassions, but that is to be expected. They're children after all.

I just wondered your thoughts on this?

September 13th, 2005, 02:23 PM
Shamrock first of all I am so sorry for the loss of your son. I saw the post a while back and should have responded then but wasnt able to find the right words.

My husbands mom past away last November. My kids are 4 and 7 we did not bring them to the funeral as I felt they were a bit young and also it was an open casket which I wasnt sure how they would react to it. There were no other kids there to.

Later we took them to a chinese dinner (his family is chinese) which was a celebration of her life. There was lots of talk of her and a time to remember her. My youngest son keeps saying he wants to go to Asia and adopt some parents for his dad, as there are parents there that dont have kids and we can bring some parents back home.

Here is my opinion on kids being allowed places.

They should not be allowed.
At a job interview or dropping of a resume
Getting your hair nails etc done
At a rock concert (unless they are older than say 10) I heard of someone taking their 6 month old to rock concert
At a bar or party where there will be adult activities going on

They should be allowed.
In most casual restraunts
To visit your work on occasion
Casual non drinking outings with friends
In grocery stores
Out to run errands etc...

Here is a question about a going to a memorial service. Is is disrespectful to wear a sweat suit to a funeral.

Someone that just had a baby three month old baby came to my husbands mom funeral in a sweat suit, hair uncombed and everything. I realise she was a new mom and things may not fit etc but I thought she could have made some effort considering the occasion.

September 13th, 2005, 02:47 PM
I am very sorry to hear about the loss of yor son :sorry:

I don't have any children of my own, but I believe that young children maybe should not attend funeral. I was 3 when my uncle died and I never attending the funeral and I was to young to remember. I was 10 when my Grandma died. I did attend the funeral not the viewing, that was my choice. Attending my Grandma funeral was very important to me. I really needed the closure, and it is sad but it is life. I think the funeral really helped me deal better with my Grandmas death. On that note I don't think 9 years is to young for a child to attend a funeral.

September 13th, 2005, 02:48 PM
Shamrock my mother in law died very suddenly in November of 2004 and my step daughter who is and was 9 at the time went. There were her another 5 year old and an 1 1/2 year old. The priest who resided over the service complimented us for bringing our children. That they need to feel at ease with life and death. It was also open casket and we had asked her before they closed the casket and I explained that they don't always look they way they did in life. I had her before hand prepare a letter that she wrote to her Tata (grandma) and that she should not show a soul and keep it between her and tata. That she could say whatever she wants. With that letter she went and put her letter under Tatas hand.

In this instance i thought because tata died very suddenly and had no sickness I thought letting have her own sort of closure. Allowing her to say something that she never got the chance to. Going to say goodbye was important

I think its important to include your kids and most experts believe that a child should be involved in funerals and memorials. When this happened I did a little research and found that out and decided to take her especially because she was soooo close to her grandma. The letter thing was an idea I had and I know for a fact it brang SD comfort. She asked a week later of the funeral if I think tata read the letter. I said yes ofcourse.

As for a memorial considering its not a funeral more so a celebration of life I think that the parents should have brought there children. I can see why some would choose not to bring their children to a funeral but a memorial?

September 13th, 2005, 05:10 PM
Shamrock, I'm very, very sorry for your loss. :sorry:

My mother-in-law passed away a year ago this past May. My children were 7mths and almost 5 years old at the time. I didn't feel comfortable bringing either of them to the viewing or the funeral for a few reasons. First, I was unsure how they would behave in a solemn situation. Second, my husband and father-in-law wouldn't have been comfortable showing their full emotions in front of the children, and they needed this time to grieve fully, more than the children needed to understand death at this particular moment. If the children had been older, then maybe I would have thought differently. We did bring them to the dinner afterwards, and everyone was very happy to see them because - as you said - they are the affirmation of the renewal of her life. Also, I really didn't want to subject them to the open casket. I feel they were far too young to understand that concept, and it probably would have freaked the older one out a little to see his Nonna that way.

As far as where children are welcome, unless it's a professional situation, then my children should be welcome wherever I am welcome. I've turned down many "adult only" parties/weddings because I feel strongly about this, and as a result, I don't have as many friends as I should have (whole other story here). :rolleyes: But, Joey's right. If there are adult activities going on (drinking or overly loud music), then children should not be brought, for their own safety. Then again, as a parent, they shouldn't have to be "told" not to bring their children - if they're planning on getting hammered, then leaving the kids with a sitter should be common sense.

Sweat pants at a funeral? I think, if this new mom couldn't find something appropriate to wear and couldn't even be bothered to comb her hair, then her hubby might want to take her to the doctor to rule out post-pardum depression. That just doesn't sound right. :confused:

September 13th, 2005, 05:10 PM
I know I've said it before, Shamrock, but again, I am very sorry.

I think that when it comes to things like funerals and memorials, the children should be there if they are old enough to realize what is going on, and they have a connection to the deceased. If they are able to appreciate it. Same with weddings.

Restaurants and such, I think bringing children is fine. Usually if I find them an annoyance, it is the parents who I resent, not the kids.

Movies...okay, bringing a child who is two, or an infant, is stupid. They can't appreciate it, and they will probably annoy the others around (I'm thinking of the people who brought thier new born to see Star Trek). On the other hand, I know in Keswick the theatre has a "Mommy's Day" on Thursday's where you can bring infants, while Mom's get a deserved treat, and I think that's just spiffy.

Oh, and I think baby's in dance clubs are generally a bad idea, too.

September 13th, 2005, 09:15 PM
Movie theatres here have mommy day where preggo moms can watch movies at reduced sound. I think anybody under 5 or 6 shouldn't be in the theatre- if nothing else, the volume will surely damage their little sensitive ears.

As for elsewhere-
Funerals- they are becoming more a "celebration of life" and are less serious, and I think kids bring a bit of relief. Why be so serious on top of grieving?

Weddings- depends on the bride and groom.

Stores- fancy stores no, everything else, yes. I have a very very low threshold for kids. I'm not a kid person. No matter how annoyed I get, I still sympathize with the parents (usually). If the kid throws a tantrum, usually it's the parents' fault in some way or another, but if a baby just starts crying- you can see how embarrassed the parent is, and I feel for them. Like if little Gracie got tired in line and started to bawl, how could you get mad? :D

September 13th, 2005, 09:42 PM
I'm sorry Shamrock. :grouphug:

It partially depends upon the kids.. My aunt's wedding reception was no kids... but after hearing my 12 year old sister was attending.. a bridesmaid complained until her 8 year old could come.. She acted about 4... tantrums and all..

In most cases when a kid is throwing a fit I look at the parents rather than the kids... As a parent you know them better than anyone else... so if bad behaviour is normal.. don't take them to a fancy restaurant, or an adult party. Get a babysitter, or turn down the invite..

But I've seen kids so well behaved they were like little adults at weddings, restaurants, etc.

So it really is somewhat on what's appropriate or not and how the kids usually are..

September 13th, 2005, 10:13 PM
Actually both two of my nieces got married in the summer before this one.

The first one we didnt bring the kids to, as they didnt want kids there as it was considered an all adult affair. I respected my nieces decision and enjoyed our time without them. They had fun too and spent the day with their uncle. He took them to the Vancouver Aquarium which they still talk about. While we enjoyed ourselves without having to worry about them.

My other niece wanted the kids at the party. It was at my sisters house on right on the ocean. she brought in special sea shells to put on her beach just for the kids to find. Then she hired us a babysitter so we didnt have to keep an eye on them the whole time. They had a blast and stayed up way too late, dancing to my nephews band that played at that wedding.
They got to meet all their cousins 22 on my side from all over the US and Canada. They were welcome and had a great time.

September 13th, 2005, 10:54 PM
I would say that it depends on the situation whether or not children should attend. Weddings of immediate family I would expect that those children should attend but if it were a friend I would expect that they wouldn't. As for funerals I didn't allow my kids to go but they did attend the service at the grave site. For restaurants and other public places the children should be well behaved or they shouldn't be there. It is most annoying when I see kids running around or acting up in a place where they should not like a restaurant and the parents sit back and do nothing.

September 13th, 2005, 11:20 PM
My daughter has been to many funerals since she was young.The only viewing I didn't take her to was my cousins little boy who died at 3 years old.And to behonest,it was a good thing.My aunt even asked where she was.I tried to explaing that I just didn't think it would be right.The casket was fully opened.I mean the the whole thing not just the half.And he was holding a block in each hand.That was the most heartbreaking thing I have seen.She did come to the cemetary though.And the day after the funeral,my cousins wife gave birth to a baby boy.Other then that one,she has been to them all.I didn't want to hide her from reality.The reality of people she was close to or loved do die.

I have taken her to fine restrants with no problems.I have taken her to movies.I have taken her with me to BBQ's.My best friend has a son a year younger then my daughter.The 2 are best of friends.They grew up together.So they always hung out while we socialized.

My daughter was never the kind of child that had temper tantroms at a mall if she couldn't have something.When we went to dinners(just the 2 of us)she sat still and behaved.And this was mother daughter time.We would laugh and talk.Yes at 4 and 5 I could have a conversation with her. :)

I can honestly say I have never had a problem with her.She grew up to be a well mannered beautiful young woman.I guess I can say that since she's 18....LOL

Ohhh Stacey,I agree 100%.And these parents wonder why people are staring at them......

September 13th, 2005, 11:48 PM
I'm very sorry on your loss of your precious son. :sad:

It really depends on the situation on when to bring your kids. But saying that I will not lead them a sheltered life. If they were friends of your son, then I would bring them to the funeral, they need closure too.

September 14th, 2005, 12:17 AM
I am happy to say I have had very few deaths in our family but in my 30+yrs I have yet to go to a funeral. One was when I was very young, I didn't know him at all so my parents didn't have me go. The next two lived across the country so it was too far to travel. The only person that was close was my MIL. The kids were very young so I stayed home with them.
I know there will come a time where I will need to go but if I really had the choice I wouldn't. I don't mean any disrespect I would just rather have memories of them alive and happy. I say my good byes and I grieve but I just can't bring myself to do it at a funeral.

Do you have a mental picture of them dead that continues to hit re-play in your mind for years to come? This is my fear and a fear of mine for my children. I do everything else for them like explaining death, sharing feelings and memories and answering their questions.

September 14th, 2005, 11:01 AM
When I was younger my mother asked me if I wanted to go to my Grandmas funeral but I could tell by the tone in her voice she wanted me to say no. It was a open casket and I was very close to my grandmother and I dont think my mom wanted me to remeber her like that.
When my mom got married she requested kids stay in a playroom she had set up during the ceremony. After the ceremony kids were let out and everyone had a great time. My mother invested alot of money into the wedding and she wanted it to be "perfect" she was such a bridezilla that no one dared go against her word.
Children in resturants dont bother me...never had a experience with a baby in a movie.
If drinking is ever involved then I think its best for children to be kept at home.

September 14th, 2005, 02:31 PM
Shamrock, I'm so sorry! I've been sporadic lately keeping up with the threads and didn't know.
I see nothing wrong with children attending occasions, if the parents are responsible to take care of them. If a child starts crying at a wedding during the ceremony, be prepared to take them outside instead of making everyone else miss the vows. Just common sense.
My home is not child-proof as we don't have children. I enjoy friend's children, but please, don't let them play with the electronics, torment the dog, or pick up fragile items.
Children need to learn how to behave at gatherings and how can that happen if they never get to go. Parents just need to be with their children, in all ways. I always knew what it meant when my mom would catch my eye and raise her eyebrows!

September 14th, 2005, 02:40 PM
Children need to learn how to behave at gatherings and how can that happen if they never get to go. Parents just need to be with their children, in all ways.
Exactly! Same principle as properly socializing a puppy, right? :D

September 14th, 2005, 04:47 PM
Though it was not my intention to steer this thread in the direction of my recent loss, I thank you most sincerely for your kind words of condolences. :grouphug:

I agree that for bringing children to social events, in all cases the parents must show responsibility for their childrens behaviour. To allow children to just run amok or to ignore their disruption to a formal gathering is just plain inconsiderate. Children acting wild in public is not a reflection on them...

As a parent can never be sure of what might unfold, its appropriate to quietly exit with the little one if they unexpectedly began to fuss. I've seen this done on many occasisons - at movie theatres, weddings, etc.

As for the funerals, this is a very personal choice. In particular the area of 'viewing' is one that requires extra careful consideration to the child's sensitivies.

I certainly dont think any child should be "forced" to attend a funeral or memorial service, but for a youngster who has a personal connection and who is old enough to understand, I believe the event, and the possible reactions from it should be all explained carefully and they should be really encouraged to attend the services - to share this experience with their family.
It gives them closure too, as noted.
People may be sad, yes. and even crying. But they already know that sadness is part of life, and confirms that that 'all" emotions are perfectly ok to express. If a child has ever lost a pet, for example.. they know that saying goodbye brings sadness, and needs to be worked through.

As for the question on "dress", Joey E. Cockers Mommy, certainly many occassion are becoming increasingly less formal. Sweat pants or blue jeans "could" be viewed as inappropriate by others, and most people would be aware of this. I would view it not as any kind of disrespect, but rather a bit of poor judgement.

On that note, I recently began attending church, after a "very' long absence. Dressed up quite primly and properly for my first visit, I soon realized how times had changed - casual comfortable wear prevailed.
And yes.. there was one lady wearing sweatpants. To me, personally - that's a tad "too" casual. :D
"dressy casual" seems to be the rule. But of course.. what that actually consists of .. a matter of interpretation.
The fact that you are there the main thing, when all is said and done. :)

September 14th, 2005, 05:13 PM
Well, I'm a bit hesitent to join this convo but, I think it is an important question.

I think it is up to the person that is throwing the event to decide whether or not children are invited. I must admit that to my own wedding this year, children are invited to the ceremony, but not the reception. Partially because it is a late night reception, but also, I dislike having children running around. My friends children are mostly well behaved, by why have to worry?

I think to funerals, if they are old enough to understand the situation, absolutley let them go. I feel that we try to protect our children too much, from too many things. It is best to explain it in terms that they can understand. Even let them make thier own decision.

September 14th, 2005, 06:41 PM
I have no problem with children begin most places as long as they are well behaved. There were several children at my sister-in-laws wedding and reception and it was no problem because they were all well behaved (and cute :p ). They played cars on the dance floor which was fine because no one was dancing...DJ probably wondered what he had signed up for though. :p

September 14th, 2005, 06:57 PM
LOL! Maybe it's an Italian thing. If I had announced that children were not invited to my wedding reception, there would have been two very predictable reactions. 1) Half of the guests would have brought their children anyway, and would have instructed them to belly flop onto the cake and then give the bride a great, big hug. 2) The other half would not have shown up, and would have announced an immediate and life-long family feud against everyone who did show up. :crazy:

September 14th, 2005, 07:12 PM
LOL! Maybe it's an Italian thing.
LOL Don't think it's an Italian thing. I'm part Italian and on my Italian side I'v been to a couple weddings where children weren't allowed. But my family is very conservitive.

I think kids are ok pretty much anywhere. I mean just use common sense when taking them somewhere. Like a fancy resturant where you have to wear a coat and tie and must leave your cell phone in the front (been to one like that) I really don't think the kids would have fun and would probably get very bored very quickly. I think at weddings it should be the bride and grooms decision. I really don't want children at my wedding. It's more because if I'm going to spend thousands on a day it had better be perfect with no crying or fussing, otherwise I might be the one crying and fussing lol.

September 14th, 2005, 08:03 PM
well, i don't know many italian, but most of my friends, of any background (french, german, polish, arabic) chose to have children at thier weddings. Its jsut my prefernece to not have them there. I mean, a 12 yr old is different than a 3 yr old. I think around 12 or older is OKAY but noything younger. They wouldn't have fun .. at least not at the wedding I am planning! lol

September 14th, 2005, 08:30 PM
They ain't comin' to my wedding, that's for sure! I'm not payin $10000+ to have screaming kids running around tearing the place apart. Noooo way.

September 15th, 2005, 09:38 AM
We have never had a family wedding without kids. At my cousins they even had a special meal chicken fingers for the kids, they didn't want to spend $30 a plate for the kids to eat prime rib, which they probably would not have touched. I also think it is a good idea for the kids to go home before the party gets into full swing, at my family weddings most people drink. It is nice when grandparents or someone can pick the kids up and let the adults enjoy the rest of the evening.

When I get married I will have to have kids there, I have a niece and a godchild that I would want to be there.

Don't people still have kids in the wedding party?

September 15th, 2005, 11:50 AM
A couple of kids maybe, (depending on the kids) but too many kids can take away the focus- not only of your parent guests, but from all the guests in general.

But that's me- you do whatever you want at your wedding! It's your day. :)

September 15th, 2005, 11:52 AM
I think a good way to decide is have the family children at the wedding, let your other guests worry about what to do with their kids.

September 15th, 2005, 07:41 PM
This is how I feel about weddings. Kids only if the bride and groom specfically say so, if no answer I assume No. If your not related I would assume no, unless the kids names are on the invite as well.