December 1, 2015

What I Think About....Bringing Children to Adult Social Events

 (I took the photos in this blog at the mega Restoration Hardware store on a recent trip to Tampa, FL.  I always think a little advice goes further with beautiful decor photos!)

I've mentioned a page for senior commanders' spouses that I look in on every now and again and recently the question was how to indicate, on an invitation for a social event, that children are not included.
Bottom line up front...
"Adults Only" is absolutely acceptable and should, without exception, be respected.  

Several years ago I gave a brief that turned into a blog, "Ten Things Your Commander's Wife Would Like to Tell You".  I polled many general officers' spouses and spouses of brigade level + commanders to come up with the list, it didn't just come from me.
  (You can find the entire blog post HERE.)
Below is the original posting regarding kids...

"6. CHILDREN...the generally accepted rule is that children over the age of 6 months should not attend social functions that do not specifically state that children are welcome. 
Never bring children of any age to a formal. Never bring children to evening events such as Hail and Farewells or coffees unless they have been deemed acceptable for families. Not all events are appropriate for children! 
Never ask to bring children to a social function, especially in someone's home. This puts the hostess in an awkward position.  If no sitter can be found it's best to make your regrets with an explanation. This gives the hostess the opportunity to invite your children or to let you know that she looks forward to seeing you at another event."

 When I give this brief in person I actually have spouses who want to argue this point with me.  I am seriously surprised there are spouses that believe the need to bring their children to an event supersedes the wishes of the host or hostess.
No one loves their children more than I do, but I learned very quickly that they did not belong at every social event to which I was invited.  
  Next to arriving early, this was the biggest social concern I heard....and still hear!

The holiday season is upon us and you have probably already been invited to many events, please respect the request "Adults Only" and for heaven's sake, do not take it as a personal affront to you or your children.

Your children are precious and I believe they should be your priority.  Time with them is fleeting, take it from me I know, my baby just turned 30.
 You don't have to attend everything and no one will fault you for choosing to stay home with your little ones if you cannot find, or choose not to find, a sitter.  
There will be plenty of social events to attend with your children and plenty more opportunities for you to attend sans babies. 
Enjoy it all!

My big guys who were little guys not so long ago!

'Til Next Time...



  1. Preach it, Shand! I enjoyed reading that thread, too, and you already know that guests who arrive early are my own personal pet peeve. I know that not everyone was taught etiquette, but it is challenging when you try to gently educate them and then they argue with you. Sharing!

  2. Love the photos, I was only in your home one time. I think it was an event for the Merrigan's, maybe at Bragg? I think the McGuire's maybe lived over there too. Anyway the photos remind me of your home or your style! I wish I could pull off a look like that. Yes on the advice; there should be a rule book written. I think you should do it! The military wives handbook.:)My husband is retired now and now he has to attend my companies mandatory fun-haha!

  3. Agree!!! If the invite does not state "and Family," then don't bring your children. I love children, but there is a time and place for children at social events. As a retired Army officers daughter, there were many social events that I was not allowed to attend. People need to learn proper etiquette!

  4. I have been in awkward situations being the hostess and have had friends bring their children to an event that was clearly meant for adults only. It's very frustrating. Thank you for sharing!


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