Cater­ing to tots at wed­ding dos

> It’s no easy task bring­ing young chil­dren for the cel­e­bra­tion din­ner

The Sun (Malaysia) - - URBAN PARENTING -

SHOULD you bring your chil­dren to wed­dings? Well, it de­pends. A wed­ding is one func­tion where friends and rel­a­tives, both close and dis­tant, can get to­gether.

First, who is get­ting mar­ried? If it’s a close rel­a­tive, chances are your kids are most wel­comed to at­tend. If it’s a friend’s wed­ding, it de­pends on how close you are to that friend.

A bo­som buddy is most likely to wel­come your lit­tle an­gels with open arms, un­less she has a strict no-kids pol­icy be­cause she doesn’t want some spoilt brat scream­ing at the top of his voice when she’s tak­ing her vows.

Or per­haps she might be hold­ing a re­cep­tion at a craggy hill be­cause both she and her be­trothed are climb­ing en­thu­si­asts.

Ob­vi­ously you wouldn’t want your lit­tle ones to tum­ble down the cliff. It’s safer to keep the kids at home.

Sec­ond, con­sider the type of re­cep­tion. If it’s a buf­fet or kenduri, most likely the seat­ing ar­range­ments are more flex­i­ble.

If it’s a sit­down af­fair and you de­cide to bring your lit­tle ones, it’s only po­lite that you in­form your hosts so that they can make proper seat­ing ar­range­ments – high chairs for the tiny tots, and proper seats for the older ones.

Don’t think that be­cause your kids don’t eat much, that it’s okay for you not to alert the hosts.

It is in­con­ve­nient for them and the other guests when they have to scram­ble around for ex­tra chairs.

This brings us to the sen­si­tive mat­ter of how much money you are will­ing to gift.

Sure, you might want to give a present, but do con­sider that the cou­ple might be get­ting a dozen sets of elec­tric irons, toast­ers and sand­wich mak­ers.

That’s great, if they in­tend to open an elec­tri­cal ap­pli­ance shop!

If you’re at­tend­ing a Chi­nese sit-down din­ner, it is cus­tom­ary to give ang pows.

A ba­sic menu at a Chi­nese restau­rant would cost about RM800 to RM1,000 per ta­ble; at four- or five-star ho­tels, that amount can dou­ble or even triple.

You shouldn’t be ex­pected to pay for the cost of the meal, but it is the norm to give RM80 to RM100 per head at least for Chi­nese restau­rants, and RM150 up­wards for ho­tel events.

If you can’t af­ford a big ang pow, then give within your means.

Be­sides, you could ar­gue that if the cou­ple de­cide to hold their func­tion at a RM2,000 per ta­ble ho­tel, that is their busi­ness.

This leads us back to the ques­tion of whether you should be bring­ing your kids to a sit­down wed­ding din­ner.

If you’re the sort who prefers to con­form to so­cial norms, then you have to be pre­pared to fork out a big­ger ang pow when tot­ing your kids along.

The fi­nal fac­tor to con­sider is the EQ: en­joy­ment quo­tient.

If you know you’ll be fuss­ing over your kids be­cause they can’t sit still, or the event clashes with nap­time, or for what­ever rea­son, and you still don’t mind all that has­sle, go ahead and bring them along.

But if you’d rather treat the wed­ding as an op­por­tu­nity to have some down time for you and your spouse, ar­range for babysit­ting and go en­joy the wed­ding with­out the kids.

Ly­dia Teh is a mother of four and au­thor of nine books, in­clud­ing Cow Sense for Young Peo­ple. Send com­ments to life­­dia@ the­

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