Is It Right??

A good friend hosted a small party for the moms and kids yesterday, at her home. We were a group of 7 mothers and 9 kids. Following is the age profile of the children: (Yeah, it is important to know that!)

Age Group
No. of Children
8-9 year old
2
5-6 year old
2
3-4 year old
4
15 months old
1
After the initial chatter, soon it was time to gorge on the goodies. A wide array of delicacies were beautifully laid on the dining table. Some kids helped themselves while for the younger ones, the honours were done by their moms. Now, till here, everything was as smooth as butter. Then the cacophony started.

A 3 yr old child insisted on watching his favourite cartoon while eating, so his wish was granted. He sat in front of the TV, on the bed and was more engrossed in watching his cartoons play cat and mouse than eating and in the process with that fascinating and glazed look on this face, with eyes focussed on the TV, he spilled the cold drink on the bed!!

In another room, the 5 yr old child wanted to eat on the bunk bed. His wish was granted too. So, his plate was kept on the bed by the mom while the kid climbed up the stairs of the bunk bed. Soon he had climbed the Mt. Everest and with a big smile rested his laurels literally on the plate. He not only smeared his clothes with ketchup and mashed pizza but also the Ben-10 bedcover!

Then the much smaller kids insisted on drinking the cold drinks, so the moms readily gave their glasses to them. It was a sight, with some kids precariously holding the huge glasses and some spilling the cold drink on the floor or on them. And as expected a glass was broken!

Then it was to time to sit and have tea and chatter some more, but the kids would not allow you to do so. Somebody wanted to open the return gift, somebody wanted to compare his gift with the other child and yet another one yelling to get the toy which the other one had and soon the drawing room transformed into a fish market.

A child got a huge metallic car from the kid’s room and converted the centre table as his road. The hostess sweetly told the child to play with the car on the floor and not on the glass table. As children normally do, he continued to do so. Then, a second mild warning from the hostess and still there was no response from the child. And then I went up to the child, took the car from him and showed him how it moved so smoothly on the floor and even showed him another track on the carpet. And next moment he was happily driving his car on the floor.

And when the party was over, the entire house looked liked a hurricane had hit it. The cushions were at all impossible places, bits of gift wrapping paper strewn all over, toys from the kid’s room lay scattered all over, and some were even in the kitchen, plates with leftover food, glasses at precarious places, spilt water and cold drink, bits of food here and there…

I don’t know but I found all this a bit unnerving. All this made me wonder…

Why did these ‘New’ Moms let their children create all this havoc?? Mind you, all these Moms are well educated modern women! (Incidentally, they don’t read my blog!!)

I know, children are children and they will do all this, that is whine, argue, spill, play, waste, throw tantrum, shout, cry, cling… and much more!
But as mothers, at a party…

  • Shouldn’t they be ensuring that the child is consoled or calmed? Continuing to talk with friends while the child is whining might be ok for the mother but it gets on others people’s nerves.
  • Shouldn’t they be by their child’s side while he/she is eating? As it is, now-a-days, very few children eat food without parental supervision. Such a huge amount of food was wasted as the kids wanted everything on their plate. The child could have been asked to finish one dish at a time and then asked to take the second one or given smaller portions.
  • Should they be allowing 3-4 year olds to have cold drinks? Even if they do, then at least ask for a plastic or a steel glass. Imagine the mess of a spilled cold drink and a broken glass!
  • Shouldn’t they be stopping the child from damaging anything, anywhere? In fact, they should be doing that even before the hostess or anybody spells it out. It’s plain common sense.
  • Shouldn’t they be stopping their kids from jumping on the sofas with shoes on? As it is both the acts (of jumping and that too with shoes) are appalling.

I know, parties are meant to relax and unwind, but at the cost of giving ulcers or frowns to the hostess?

It was a party which left a bad taste in mouth despite the yummy food. I don’t know if I am over reacting because I am a mother of a grown up child (8.5 yrs old) and all these things are passé for me. I am not saying that my child was an epitome of all virtues when he was a small kid. Even he did all these unwarranted things, but I remember diverting him to something else or involving him in some play, clearly explaining the acceptable / unacceptable things etc. I remember, when Aaryan was a small baby, I always cleared the toys whenever we went to a friend’s place and now that Aaryan is a big boy, he clears his friend’s room after their play, before leaving.

I am sure; my friend will never ever host a party at home with small kids! And if I am sensible, I’ll take the cue too!

What is your take on this?? Is It Right??

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20 thoughts on “Is It Right??

  1. Shilpa, this is what I see now a days with many children…the parents accepting to whatever the child asks or doing whatever the child tells them – is that the version of giving independence to the child ????

    This is atrocious behavior and any bad behavior needs to be curbed at the first instance. The parents need not hit the children, but can make them understand the good and bad virtues.

    I see so many children, throwing tantrums in malls, restaurants…and the parents are helpless…they dont know how to handle / they just keep quiet and watch the same thing, like us. Why cant they put some sense into that child ????

    As u rightly said, children will be like this. To mould them into better kids, the parents need to divert a lot of attention on them and talk to them a lot. Interaction with the kids is the key, which I think these parents happily forget, while watching the stupid serials.

    I feel like whacking the parents into reality….

  2. OMG! A house in complete mess! I’m sure neither your friend (nor you) will host a party for parents with small kids. I think the host had a great deal of patience !!!
    Toddlers are not to be blamed. It’s parents’ responsibility to teach and direct them at each and every minuscule step the child takes.
    I don’t like parents who have uncontrollable kids. I would straight away tell them to control their kid’s actions, if ever something like this happens in my house!
    I’m surprised why the educated women be so lethargic and give cool drinks to kid, and create a mess in another person’s house. It’s just unbearable.
    I liked your way of nurturing Aryan. He is so sweet to follow them all these years.

  3. Shilpa, I can’t tell you how much I wanted to write a similar post, but refraned because some of the people involved read my blog.

    But I have seen this all the time – and ONLY with Indian parents. Most of the non-Indian children seem to be far better behaved.

    Not only are children allowed to jump on beds, make a complete mess of the place, the mothers do not even say a word to their children when they are violent or hurt another child! I find that appalling!

    I have a 4 yr old, but she knows how to behave, and she never behaved like this even when she was younger. It totally depends on the parents, how a child behaves.

    As for soft drinks – I have seen a dad give his 9 month old soft drinks 🙁 Can’t just understand this!

  4. I so agree with you….I have a relative whose kid we dread when he comes to our house…Would destroy and smash everything and sometimes steal too….The worst part he is not very small (6 yrs + )

    The parents won’t just say anything…After multiple instances when one of my cousins pointed it to them is a very polite manner they snapped back saying “Aapke Bacche ho jaane do fir dekhte hai”

  5. ofcourse this is not right … and if the children are not taught how to behave at someone else’s place or basic manners when u are outside , then they are spoiling their child/

    one of my cousin’s son is given full freedom .. he is good is everything i mean studies and all , but when it comes to manners he can’t be worse

  6. of course it is the duty of the mother to make sure her child is well behaved… gosh what a havoc… the host was really sweet to have endured all this. i wonder where our eductation goes in these cases.

  7. Agree with you 110% on this. Being a parent is a full time job 24 hrs a day. So you are responsible for your kid when he goes anywhere with you. And behavior like these actually reflect bad on the parenting side rather than the kids themselves. Kids at this age will do whatever they are allowed and given liberties to do. So it was the responsibility of their so called modern and educated moms to curb them and teach them appropriate behavior. I pity your friend who hosted the party with such enthu and ended with a house full of mess in the end.

  8. In the first place the hostess ought to have made up her mind if the party has to be carnival or a party of elders. She did not do that and bringing recalcitrant young little kids to a party with adults is asking for mess.And there is an age cut off when one can take along a child to a party. Certain public decency is always necessary in our affairs.
    I have noticed that in the military kids are not let anywhere near a party or a get together of elders.

    So now do not blame the children . The parents and the hostess must be blamed for the melee.

  9. Kids will be kids esp at their age. yes the responsibility lies with Mums. If all Mums had collectively taken pains to check the ruckus the kids wud have behaved in a better manner. Can imagine the poor host’s dilemma once everyone had left.

  10. That’s why it makes more sense to host a party in the neighbourhood McDonalds or Pizza Hut. The” hostess” engages the kids in a series of games & contests and the moms can take a breather.

    And it is the Mum’s responsiblity to instill good manners in her child!!

  11. I agree with everything that you’ve said in the post, Shilpa. It is definitely the responsibility of the parents to ensure their children are well-behaved.

    I have seen so many parents, Shilpa who take pride in their kids’ ferocious manners. I hate it when they tell me,”Oh, they are kids, let them be naughty”!! I have a 4year old and she is well aware of her do’s and donts. And she knows her misbehavior will not be tolerated by her parents. Yes, the parents have to take that effort to instill good manners.

  12. I am the youngest of all my cousins and most of my cousins are married and have kids. Also few of my friends sisters have kids. How ever I love those kids with all my heart… I do get irritated sometimes. They do what they wish and feel like and we have to listen to them. I told my sis once that you should teach your children to listen to us and it shouldnt be the other way around. This happened when I had gone with them for shopping and Kid behaved in such a way that it was not like embarrassing but irritating. Kids now a days need to taught manners for sure. My friend cries that everytime after her sister and her kids leave she needs to clean for 2-3 hours.

  13. Trust me on this.We have a young couple staying close to us with their son about one and a half yrs old.The mother feeds him both the meals while playing nursery rhymes CD on TV or the kid refuses to have food.
    Beat that , if you can.

  14. As a hostess, I guess we don’t have much choice but to bear the brunt! But as a parent, it is definitely our responsibility to teach our children how to behave, and the training starts from home.

  15. poor hosts!!! kya haal hue honge..I mean, ek to khilao pilao, upar se nuksaan jhelo!! I truly believe that mothers must teach their children basic manners..if not much! breaking glasses is not “cute” or “cool”!!

  16. As a host we take care that kids are well looked after and are engaged in some interesting activities so that their parents are left free for enjoying the party .For this purpose either we request a friend/relative or appoint a help for the party .We also arrange for kid age’s specific menu and also plastic cups/plates/spoons .

    As a guest we always take care that our kids are well behaved .

    I think it is a joint responsibility between the host and the parents(both mom n dad ,why only mom).

  17. I think it is the guest mothers’ fault..I have observed new moms to be v indulgent and indifferent towards how their kids behave in others’ home.

  18. Happens!! Happens!!! Every party I’ve seen is very similar. Kids eating everywhere, making a mess out of things.

    We had a party yday, and the house did look like a hurricane had hit. But I did notice, that most of the Mums fed their kids, and many of them also help control and discipline them when things got out of hand. So I guess as long as there is some genuine attempt to control the situation it is alright!

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