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Parents Blasted for Bringing Kids to ‘Grown-Up’ Dinner Party: ‘Awkward’

A woman on Mumsnet has recounted an “awkward” situation during a dinner party at her and her husband’s house.

In the post, user VingtQuatreFaubourg describes how they had four couples “round to eat and to celebrate various things and catch up after the summer. We all have teens of various ages.”

Explaining that it was going to be a grown up only party “so it wasn’t too unwieldy/expensive, and we could chat freely, relax and enjoy some nice food and wine. My DC were very happy with this and they planned a sleepover elsewhere. Childcare/other arrangements made by the other families (or so I thought).”

During the evening, she describes how one couple’s older teens turned up, 16 and 17, “ended up staying for hours, eating and drinking, a bit of ‘holding court’ going on, and it just completely changed the dynamic as they were so dominant—it stopped being a grown-up conversation.

Teenagers
Teenagers. Stock Image. A woman has been supported online for not wanting teenagers, including her own, at her dinner party.
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“They are lovely kids but it was not the evening I had planned.”

Explaining that after her friends “indulged and encouraged this,” her husband “gently suggested “it was time for them to go so we could get back to the adult chat, but it was a bit awkward.”

Some 93 percent of users on Mumsnet voted that she was not being unreasonable “to think our friends and the teens should have understood that a grown-up evening doesn’t include anyone’s children?” with one user asking “I’m sorry, but what on earth is wrong with teenagers these days? Why are they not too busy clubbing or having their boyf/girlfriend round whilst their parents are out at some dinner?”

Some users said they would not invite friends over again if they did this, with user TirisfalPumpkin commenting: “Wouldn’t blame the teens, their brains aren’t fully developed. The parents are definitely at fault and tbh if it’s a pattern with them, wouldn’t have them over again” and user Aquamarine1029 saying, “I would not be inviting this couple again.”

Conflicts between friends can be tricky to navigate because unlike family relationships, they are connections we make out of choice rather than DNA or law.

Psychology Today writes on its website: “For most of us, this implies an expectation of some level of reciprocity in the relationship, and when you feel like you are being consistently shortchanged, remind yourself that it’s OK to share your feelings with your friend.”

It suggests that if you are experiencing a conflict with a friend and would like to resolve it, “Let your friend know that you would like to have a discussion about the relationship. No one likes having this kind of conversation sprung on them, so give your friend some advance notice.”

It suggests that: “If your friend is not buying into your perspective, you may want to take a step back and see if your own assessment is as objective as it should be. If you reach a stalemate, you will need to decide if the friendship’s value is high enough to accept the relationship’s limitations.”

Despite your perspective being clear to you, it may not be to others, and it’s important to remember “that there are always going to be multiple realities at play. What you see and believe is your reality but the same is true for your friend” they write.

But, back to the party in question, and one user said they would not let the teenagers in to their house. “I don’t think I would have let them in during our sit down dinner. I would have asked them to wait at the door, and sent out their parents,” while another described their own experiences, “My friend does this. I had to spell it out for her once: “I’m friends with you, not your kids.”

Newsweek was not able to verify the details of the case.

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