Outgrowing the Kids' Table

Filed under: Holidays

christmas dinner

I'm sure you remember as a kid sitting with all your sisters, brothers, and/or cousins at the kids table for your holiday meal. Most kids were fine with it, especially if it was, say, Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve when they had to be on their best behavior--you know how those last impressions are with Santa. Really, though, everyone wanted to sit with the adults, as it was believed adults had better or different food. Plus there was all that mystique about adult conversations that made them seem so cool! Eventually, the kids got big enough to move to the adult table, but when?

I don't actually remember a transition from the kids table to the adult table in my family. Mainly, that's because the families all moved away or got divorced or whatever and there was really only one kid left--me! Also, TV trays are big on both sides of my family as there are just so darned many of us--it makes eating a lot easier than trying to cram everyone around one giant table. In other families, I've heard the kids get to move up once they become teens. People became teens when I was a kid, there was no tween phase. So, now, perhaps once one becomes a tween one gets to move up. In my husband's family, kids didn't graduate to the adult table unless an opening occurred because, as he put it, "someone moved away or someone died."

Possibly kids should get to sit at the adult table when they know what it is their parents are actually talking about. Perhaps they get to join in when they choose to eat all their vegetables--that seems pretty grown up, right? Well, I'll say one thing for moving up to the adult table--it's BORING! Sure, it may seem like a good idea to get away from all the baby talk from the younger kids, but once you do you'll miss it forever--and there's no going back, is there? Adults are so darned serious! At least the kids can talk about whatever they want and choose to eat (or not eat) what's on the plate and, you know, just continue being a kid at the kids table.

When did you move up to the adult table? What about your kids? Or did you all always eat together?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.