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April 12, 2007 / missknowitall

Getting Kids Involved In Evening Get Togethers

Dear Little Miss,

I come from a family of 4 kids.  We are all grown up now and most of us are married.  We are a close family and we enjoy getting together for family reunions at almost every holiday.  My problem comes from the fact that my husband and I are the only ones who have children.  We have 3 great kids and my family loves them a lot.  However, when we get together everyone always wants to do something with “just the adults”.  Heaven knows that I love having a chance to get away from the kids, now and then, but I feel that our children should be included in family gatherings.  We also come in from out of town for these gatherings, so I do not have access to my trusted babysitter for these outings.  Every time I have tried to bring my children my siblings start whining and commenting that it’s an “adults getaway” and that the places they want to go aren’t suitable for kids.  How can I get my family to want to party with my kids?  

Signed~ Have Kids, Will Party

Dear Have Kids, Will Party,

What’s the matter?  Don’t your siblings like Chucky Cheese or McDonald’s Playlands?  They don’t know what they are missing!  It is so hard for adults without kids (lets call them AWOKs), to understand your position.  As far as most AWOKs are concerned, you shouldn’t be so picky about babysitters and you shouldn’t be so paranoid, and you should want to get away from them as often as you can.  Sadly, they will never fully understand or support your situation until they have children of their own, and are without a good babysitter themselves.  Until that happens…  Tell them (even if you already have, just do it one more time) that you love hanging out with them but that your children are part of who you are and that you cannot, and will not leave them with random babysitters.  Tell them that someday they may be in your position, so they might as well start practicing for it now.  Tell them that you want to do at least one family evening event with children for every one that you do without children.  Or at least start the evening with everyone there and then you and your spouse and kids can bow out for bedtime and the AWOKs can continue on alone.  I think this kind of compromise is perfectly reasonable, and if any of your siblings start whining just tell them to grow up and stop acting like spoiled children!

Party hardy!

Miss Knowitall 

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