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May 2011
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Ys [userpic]

Spawned by a conversation with my husband (fenton, who may make a poll of his own, he's playing with his new permanent account) and his sister (zylch, who doesn't (yet) have a paid account and so just has a post on the subject).

Hypothetical situation: You throw an annual holiday party for your colleagues, who range in age from 23 to near on retiring. This is the only social event that you host/attend in a given year (no, not even having friends over for dinner or movies). You have two children whose ages range from 3 to 10 during the years that you do this.

ETA: It is generally polite to ask one way or another, when you're not the one hosting. In this poll I'm not talking about failing to ask or making blind assumptions, I'm asking, "What's the general cultural assumption/norm in your world?" At one point in the poll I made a comment about asking first; what I meant there was really something like, "It varies so much that I have to ask every time or I wouldn't know," or something along those lines, not "I ask to be polite." Just FYI.

Poll #511085 Parties and Children

How do you deal with your children during the party?

They're treated just like anyone else who's attending the party.
Allow the children to be present until their normal bedtime, at which point they are put to bed.
Feed them dinner early, present them briefly to your colleagues, and then send them to go play quietly in their rooms. (Think Sound of Music.)
Don't allow them to meet the guests at all. Demand that they play quietly in their rooms the whole time. If possible, pretend that they don't exist. (Think Harry Potter.)
Something else. (see below)

If not one of the above, how do you deal with it?

Do you expect the same basic convention when you go to a party someone else is hosting?

Yes, but I ask first because it varies in my social group
No, most of the parties I go to have different standards
Something else. (see below)

Other parties-and-children expectations:

If you have kids, do you expect to bring them with you to most parties? Do you expect other people to bring their kids to most parties you go to?

Yes, it's rare that I go to a party where children aren't expected
Yes, but there are generally arrangements made there for the kids seperate from the adults
No, parties are for getting away from the kids
Something else. (see below)

Yet more other parties-and-children expectations:

Do these expectations change significantly in your mind based on whether the party/gathering is "formal" or "informal"? (For these purposes, assume "formal" means "the most formal thing I ever bother to go to/host"...if you don't ever go to White Tie dinners, then don't answer as to what you would expect there. This is about what you generally do/assume/experience.)

Yes, very different assumptions between formal and informal gatherings
Only subtle or occasional differences
No, not really all that different
Something else. (see below)

What else about formality?

I'm sure I forgot some important bits. Feel free to tell me in comments.

Current Mood: curiouscurious

"Er...why is the choice between agency babysitter horror and bringing kids to an adult party?"

It isn't. That misses the point.

"What happened to simply not going to the party?"

Great question. I could propose 30 possibilities as literal answers, but they too would be beside the point.

My point was that people who hold "to do x is obviously rude and innapropriate behavior" assumptions are likely to create a lot of dissapointment for themselves when they get peeved at people over minutia instead of just assuming everyone means well and didn't have the same set of rules, and resolving the problem for the future.

I'm just responding to your anecdote about people being terrified of leaving the kid with an agency sitter as a reason for bringing a kid to a party. I don't believe that's a valid reason. There may be plenty of valid reasons, but that's not one.

No, but IMHO it's a great reason to eliminate "I go and leave them at home" as an answer, and leave yourself with the choice, "I go and take them" or "I stay home."

Which was, as far as I could tell, her point.

Except she didn't mention "I stay home" as an option. I do believe "go and take" or "stay home" are often the two only realistic options. That still doesn't present an argument of "go and take".

That still doesn't present an argument of "go and take".


I don't recall seeing such an argument made. Even on a reread, I just see 'leave the kids at home' being understood as not an option, not 'go and take' being advocated.

Perhaps I'm dense.