“Is it really a family night out?” Share your views regarding children under age 5 attending formal events such as funerals, concerts, weddings, even church services. We hope that those of you who have “tried and true” tips and tricks up your sleeve will share those as well.
When it comes to bringing our kids places, we really have to decide if it is appropriate. Our kids are WILD! They can be very crazy at times. Sometimes doing something as simple as going out to eat at a restaurant can be quite the experience. Now that they are getting a little older, it's starting to get easier and they are starting to behave better. However, we've had our share of horrible experiences. We've found that if we want to go out to eat as a family, the best places to go are places that have a more relaxed atmosphere. We try to stay away from the "nicer" restaurants when the whole crew comes along.
As for weddings and funerals, that's another story. Most weddings I've been to have been LDS weddings where children are only allowed to go to the reception. My kids have been to tons and tons of receptions. We've had both good and bad experiences there. I'm not sure wether or not I have any tips on the matter, but I do try to bring things with me that will keep them occupied and not bored. I find that when they start to get bored they start to act up. I'm not sure that my kids have ever been to a funeral, and for that I'm grateful.
For a long time, and even sometimes still we struggle with church, specifically sacrament meeting. For some reason, they seem to get the giggles, wiggles, grouchiness, tired, etc. etc. I've often wondered why I go to church just to walk the halls, but have realized that in time they will learn and hopefully realize that being at church is important.
We've just barely been able to go to the movies as a family and it is actually enjoyable. They will all sit there for the most part. Sometimes we have to take potty breaks, but it's mostly good.
I think as parents we need to know when it is or isn't appropriate to take our children to certain places and events. I've found that those without children seem to be the ones who are more impatient when they are around. However at the same time kids need to feel like they are able to be involved with things that are going on. Personally I've very rarely excluded my children from things. If they don't get the chance to experience and make mistakes, then they will never learn how the proper way to behave is.
For more views on this topic visit Lei from My Many Colored Days.