Social Etiquette and Good Manners/Teen at Dinner Party


I am just now asking about a Holiday Dinner party that took place in the middle of December because I recently found out that one of my guests was "offended". I have two kids ages 6 and 9 and many of my friends also have kids so I encouraged them to bring their children to a separate pizza party in the small detached guest house. I had professional childcare and activities for the kids. A 15 year old boy requested to sit with the adults and I allowed him to since he was the oldest child in attendance. He was polite,respectful and neatly dressed.

I have two questions because I am planning a few more dinner parties. Not all of them are formal but I do enjoy the formal ones the most. I thought the Holiday party worked out well but my questions about it are;

Was it in bad taste to allow a 15 year old to sit with the adults?

was it in bad taste to host an informal kids pizza party and a formal adult holiday party at the same time?

Dear Bryan:
You did the right thing by having a kid's party to keep them occupied, interested and not bored at the Christmas party.  I would suggest in the future allowing 13 year olds and older be allowed to sit with the adults because they:
1. Need to learn how to behave at adult functions
2. Have enough education and awareness of the world to contribute to conversation
3. They too old for little kid activities and will be bored by them.

Social Etiquette and Good Manners

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Cynthia W. Lett


Proper manners with friends,family,colleagues,neighbors and everyone else you know.


I have been an etiquette expert teaching and consulting on the subject worldwide since 1983. I started and serve as the Executive Director of the International Society of Protocol & Etiquette Professionals and am considered a leader in the field of etiquette and protocol training and execution. I edited "Etiquette for Dummies" and have recently written "Lett's Talk - Everyday Etiquette Dilemmas and What to Do about Them". My book, "That's So Annoying:An Etiquette Expert on the World's Most Irritating Habits And What To Do About Them" was published in 2009 and is available wherever books are sold. I taught the Business Protocol class to Master's level students at the George Washington University, Washington, DC for seven years I served as Chief of Protocol for MCI Telecommunications for three years.

International Society of Protocol & Etiquette Professionals, ASTD, PCMA, National Speakers Association

I have been quoted over 700 times in the past 5 years worldwide. Publications include Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Times, NY Times, Washington Business Journal, USA Today, Associated Press, London Times, Newsweek Japan edition, Newsweek US edition and many many more.

I am a Certified Etiquette Professional (CEP) and Certified Protocol Professional (CPP) earned by examination through ISPEP. I have a Master's degree in hospitality law and undergrad degrees in Restaurant & Hotel Management and Public Relations/Interpersonal Communications from Purdue University.

Awards and Honors
Who's Who Worldwide,Who's Who of American Women, Distinguished Darden Professor (Purdue University).

Past/Present Clients
World Bank, United Nations,US Dept. of State, US. Dept. of the Army, Pentagon, Barclays Global Investors,Accenture,Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, The White House, Dept. of State, AT&T,Bank of America,American Association of Clinical Pharmacies,Ritz Carlton Hotels, Hilton Hotels, Marriott Hotels,Starwood Hotels,and many more.

©2017 All rights reserved.