Parents wonder why children excluded
BY AMY DICKINSON
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
1/16/13 at 2:13 AM
Dear Amy: When my stepmother-in-law has a party for her grown children (previously there was a wedding and now an engagement party), our young children are specifically not invited.
On the most recent invitation, "No Kids" was underlined with a long note about getting a sitter, which particularly annoyed my husband. At the wedding, we arrived to find that the reception was full of children, further confirming our belief that it's just our kids who were excluded.
There have been at least two other incidents in which we have been invited to a family function, but only if we don't bring the kids. We live 50 miles away from this side of the family. We don't really have a baby sitter we could leave the kids with for the six to eight hours it would take to make these trips (not to mention the funds).
Our boys are pretty well-behaved, but they are young children. It's important to us that the boys are respectful and polite.
Are we right to be hurt and annoyed? We can't help but think that our kids' grandmother doesn't much like them. But are we being too sensitive? - Querying Mom
Dear Mom: I agree that the grandparents should be understanding and supportive toward you and your children, but my impartial take is that engagement parties are often cocktail parties for grown-ups and I can't imagine parents wanting to bring young children.
However, when you attend a function where there are children present and yours have been excluded, you have no choice but to take it personally. By all means mention this to the grandparents; they may tell you things you don't want to hear about your children, but if you approach this with an open attitude, you may see practical things you could do differently (such as hire a sitter for the youngest and bring your oldest son with you).
You and your husband could help the kids build a relationship with their grandparents by hosting events in your home and inviting out-of-town family members to get to know all of you a little better.
Dear Amy: I loved your response to "Not Tired," the high school freshman whose parents were being "draconian" about bedtime.
You praised this young person's vocabulary and suggested the parents should be impressed.
My husband and I were sent scurrying to the dictionary to look up this word - and we're impressed too. - Happy Readers
Dear Happy: I can only hope these parents "give" a little in terms of bedtime. Their youngster made a good case.
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