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Funerals and little children
is it ok to let them wonder around during service


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#1 LibertyLady

Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:12 PM

Looking for opinions on this scenario.

You're at a funeral for your grandmother. A family member gets up a does a speech and while that is going on a 2 year old wanders around (the speakers child). He shakes a stand that the candle is on, and walks around touching things. Although he wasn't noisy disruptive he was disruptive in the sense of touching things and took the attention away for the person giving the eulogy as everyone was watching this child.

The child proceeds to walk up to were the coffin is and tries to take a stuff toy that was the grandmothers favourite.

The father continues reading his eulogy and the mother is still sitting with her other child (4 year old) which is climbing over chairs and carrying on. Prior to the child going to the coffin and wanting to take the teddy, he was also climbing over the seats during the service and disturbing the people behind them.

A family member goes up to the child at the coffin and takes his hand and walks him back to his mother, and tells her "control him".

Was this person out of line? or should the parent, either father or mother, have made sure the child wasn't wondering around trying to take things during the service? or is ok and considered cute when children do this?


#2 Niamh23

Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:18 PM

QUOTE (LibertyLady @ 22/01/2013, 07:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Looking for opinions on this scenario.

You're at a funeral for your grandmother. A family member gets up a does a speech and while that is going on a 2 year old wanders around (the speakers child). He shakes a stand that the candle is on, and walks around touching things. Although he wasn't noisy disruptive he was disruptive in the sense of touching things and took the attention away for the person giving the eulogy as everyone was watching this child.

The child proceeds to walk up to were the coffin is and tries to take a stuff toy that was the grandmothers favourite.

The father continues reading his eulogy and the mother is still sitting with her other child (4 year old) which is climbing over chairs and carrying on. Prior to the child going to the coffin and wanting to take the teddy, he was also climbing over the seats during the service and disturbing the people behind them.

A family member goes up to the child at the coffin and takes his hand and walks him back to his mother, and tells her "control him".

Was this person out of line? or should the parent, either father or mother, have made sure the child wasn't wondering around trying to take things during the service? or is ok and considered cute when children do this?


I would be livid if it was my family member's funeral. The children should have been left with a babysitter, or taken outside.


#3 Peppery

Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:28 PM

I think the mother should have taken the children outside.

I think the mother should have taken the children outside.

#4 Coffeegirl

Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:30 PM

QUOTE (LibertyLady @ 22/01/2013, 07:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Was this person out of line? or should the parent, either father or mother, have made sure the child wasn't wondering around trying to take things during the service? or is ok and considered cute when children do this?


Was person out of line?  NO
Should parent have controlled child?   YES
Is it cute? NO  Wouldn't be cute in any circumstance, whether it was a wedding, funeral or friend's 30th.


I'd be appalled if this happened at a funeral I attended and I probably would have had a word with the parents earlier when the children were climbing over the chairs.

No amount of grief excuses the parents from controlling their children.

#5 Fyn Angelot

Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:30 PM

QUOTE (LibertyLady @ 22/01/2013, 07:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Was this person out of line? or should the parent, either father or mother, have made sure the child wasn't wondering around trying to take things during the service? or is ok and considered cute when children do this?


No, I think the person was quite within their rights, considering.  Funerals are one of the few places I'd have zero tolerance for poor behaviour; people are grieving.  Child should be taken out if he can't behave.

#6 Apageintime

Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:32 PM

Not on at all.

At a funeral I went to years ago a friends baby was giggling ad squealing the whole way through. Too young to be there, other people are trying to grieve and shouldn't be annoyed whilst doing so. It's the only place I do not think it's every appropriate to 'let kids be kids'

#7 secret~sammy

Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:36 PM

The closer to the deceased they are, the more tolerant I am of the behavior of children at funerals.

e.g. Child walking up onto stage, Dad pausing for a moment and picking up kid and continuing the eulogy babe in arms - I'm fine.

Child 'playing' with candles and coffins - I'm not, .

#8 aussiespecial123

Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:37 PM

When its my time for a funeral l would rather have kids giglgling and running around then no kids at all and sombre. for all u know the deceased may have made a request for the kids to be there

#9 item

Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:42 PM

If the little one was family to the deceased, I would have expected one of their relatives (cousin/aunt/etc) or a close family friend to help hold him whilst his father spoke.

Sometimes people lose their wits at these things and I would cut the parents some slack. Should the wife have effectively walked out on supporting her husband during his speech?  Honestly, some adults should have stepped in to help, and not passed judgement.

Not everyone has childcare to attend funerals and allowances should be made for small family members.

Fwiw, DS was just 2 when DD died. We sent him to preschool as normal the day of her funeral, he needed a bit of normal and we needed to not have distractions. Other people brought their kids to her funeral and I noticed nothing throughout the service.

If the child was some random strangers kid or grandchild I can understand why closer family members might have been upset.  If the child wasn't related or close to the deceased (doesn't sound like this instance) they should have been taken outside

#10 SeaPrincess

Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:44 PM

QUOTE (secret~sammy @ 22/01/2013, 04:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The closer to the deceased they are, the more tolerant I am of the behavior of children at funerals.

e.g. Child walking up onto stage, Dad pausing for a moment and picking up kid and continuing the eulogy babe in arms - I'm fine.

Child 'playing' with candles and coffins - I'm not, .

I agree with this. Also, although I think it sounds like someone needed to get the child, telling the mother to control her child was out of line and unhelpful.  It would have been better to offer to help her - clearly the parents were very close to the person if the father was giving the eulogy.

#11 JRA

Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:46 PM

QUOTE (secret~sammy @ 22/01/2013, 06:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The closer to the deceased they are, the more tolerant I am of the behavior of children at funerals.

e.g. Child walking up onto stage, Dad pausing for a moment and picking up kid and continuing the eulogy babe in arms - I'm fine.

Child 'playing' with candles and coffins - I'm not, .

absolutely

#12 MarigoldMadge

Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:48 PM

Not on at all... my FIL is looking like he's getting close to his time to go, and we've already discussed that we will take DD to his funeral, who is 3.5, but will also bring my mum, to take over if she starts fussing etc.

I can't expect my DH to be distracted from his fathers funeral, and I would like to listen and watch the funeral too, so we will make arrangements, rather than just letting DD run riot.



#13 LibertyLady

Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:51 PM

The funeral was for my 99 year old grandmother. The child was my brothers son.

QUOTE
Should the wife have effectively walked out on supporting her husband during his speech? Honestly, some adults should have stepped in to help, and not passed judgement.
She wasn't up their supporting my brother, she was sitting a few rows back allowing her other child to climb over the seats.

I'm all for children walking around at funerals and giggling etc, just not during the service when people are giving emotional eulogies and people trying to listen to what is being said.

At the wake sure, no probs run amok and by happy.

I was the person who took the child back. My brother didn't have a issue with it but his wife did and apparently I was out of line.

eta
QUOTE
Child walking up onto stage, Dad pausing for a moment and picking up kid and continuing the eulogy babe in arms - I'm fine.

This would have been fine if it happened but it did not. The child was left unattended to do as he pleased.

Edited by LibertyLady, 22 January 2013 - 06:54 PM.


#14 Funwith3

Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:52 PM

Not one bit cute. Why was the mother controlling the 4 year old but not the 2 year old? The kid's dad is giving a eulogy so I think he can be forgiven. The mother or another relative should have grabbed him.

Don't think it was necessary for the mother to be ordered to "control him"...I think just getting the child and quickly marching him over to her would have given her the message.

Kids and funerals don't mix - unless specifically requested by the deceased.

#15 meljb

Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:57 PM

I went to a funeral recently with ds, who is 5 and dd who is 2. I sat right up the back so it was easy to go outside if needed. The son of the deceased has twin babies and he gave the eulogy but his wife ensured she had help with them so they weren't disruptive for others.
A baby or toddler being a little noisy, with a parent or carer trying to settle them, is perfectly acceptable imo. A child wandering around and touching things is not appropriate.

#16 2littledarlings

Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:58 PM

OMG the wife was def out of line, distracting people during an eulogy is just not on!

#17 Tiger-lily

Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:01 PM

I would of done exactly what you did LibertyLady. How anyone can think that is acceptable behaviour for children during a funeral service is beyond me!

#18 Tiger-lily

Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:03 PM

Just wanted to add I can see how with the emotions of grieving and the frustration of watching the child run lose in a eulogy I don't think telling her to "control him" was out of line.

#19 StopTheGoats

Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:10 PM

I had my 11 month old at my fathers recent funeral. He made noise during my eulogy. I didn't notice because I was grief stricken FFS. I certainly didn't need the additional stress of finding a babysitter and leaving my child with an unknown person, the very first time in his life he would have been separated from his mother and/or father the day after a mammoth interstate trip. If someone had told me to 'control him' at the funeral I don't think I could have been responsible for my actions. Do parents have to be so careful about offending others now that they're not even allowed to grieve without people wagging their fingers and judging? If the father was up doing a Eulogy he would have been very close to the deceased. Perhaps his wife preferenced staying in the church to suport him over the possibility of upsetting the delicate constitution of the extended family. Perhaps she thought that they could grow up and deal with the monstrous spectacle of a small child touching a candle.

I'm the sort who doesn't take my kid to cafes because I worry about him disturbing others but frankly I could not have cared less about others at my Dad's funeral.

#20 LibertyLady

Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:13 PM

Thanks for the different opinions.

I would not normally do such a thing as I feel it is not place as it's not my child. I did it without thinking! When I sat down I thought what did I just do!

QUOTE
Just wanted to add I can see how with the emotions of grieving and the frustration of watching the child run lose in a eulogy I don't think telling her to "control him" was out of line.

Emotions were very high as my siblings and I were very close to my Nan.



#21 *Lib*

Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:14 PM

A funeral generally goes for 20-30 minutes, how hard is it to get a child to sit still for that long? It was her grandmother in law, surely she could have taken the children outside.....it's very distracting and I wonder how many people got the gist of what your brother was saying.....I'm sure you didn't!

#22 Propaganda

Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:15 PM

It was an appropriate situation to utter those words.

The mother should have had better control of the children, or enlisted someone else to assist her if she couldn't control them both on her own.

A funeral is a place where the best behaviour is expected. If you cannot manage to make sure that happens, then leave.

#23 elizabethany

Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:15 PM

I took my DS (nearly 2) to his grandfathers funeral in December, and my DH gave the bible reading, stood up with his sister while she read the eulogy and carried the coffin out of the hall.  I organised my mum, who was no relation to the family, to look after DS during the service, as I had to support DH (even from the second row) while he was grieving for his father and performing the role assigned to him.

DS called out during the service, but was shushed, and was taken out when he got too antsy.  But *I* couldn't have done that and supported my DH when he needed it.

If I was in the OP's position, instead of telling her SIL to control her child, I would have sat down next to her and helped her with the children after retrieving the child.  There was no need to be nasty.

#24 Expelliarmus

Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:17 PM

I think the person who takes the child by the hand should help the parents out rather than order another person to 'control him'.

When my 15 month DD was trying to wander at my sister's funeral someone took her up the back for me. She then played in the overflow area with my nieces' DDs who's other grandmothers had taken them back there. There was no judgement, no ordering of me to do something different, but compassion for me and helping out. This lovely lady just removed my child with a smile saying "It's okay".

So the 'control him' strikes me as a little rude. But then I attend church with people who would have collected the child for the parents and cared for him well before he got to the candle stand, so I can't imagine anyone doing that.

I did have DD babysat for DH grandmothers funeral 3 weeks later because I didn't think I'd have the right support there. It was at a chapel at the cemetery and I've never been to a funeral at a cemetery before.

#25 *Lib*

Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:22 PM

QUOTE (howdo @ 22/01/2013, 07:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think the person who takes the child by the hand should help the parents out rather than order another person to 'control him'.

But say the op had organised some to watch her children? Why should she then look after someone else's child?




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