A few days ago, we had a family gathering at my parent's house. Their house is not very large, but, it tends to be the "hub" of the family. Most of the adults and older children were in the kitchen getting dinner ready. The rest were in the living room watching some show on TV.
My younger daughter is eight years old, and the youngest in the family. Her sister is thirteen, and their cousins are all in their 'tweens and teens. I knew that she felt set apart from the others, but, I didn't realize the extent until the other day.
She came into the kitchen (which was already quite crowded,) and asked if she could help. There was really nothing that we could let her do that would not involve her getting underfoot, so we told her that we were good, and to go into the living room.
A little while later, I found her sitting by herself in the hallway. When I asked if anything was wrong, she said that she was "just trying to stay out of the way." It turned out that the men in the living room were watching a show that involved language not suitable for an eight-year-old, and they sent her out of the room. The dining room is off limits to children, unless dinner is served and they are sitting at the table, and my parents' bedroom is off limits, as well. That did not leave anyplace for her to go, except for the hallway. Since the other kids were all either helping in the kitchen, or watching the show in the living room, there wasn't even anybody for her to talk to or play with.
Does anybody have any advice on how this can be avoided in the future?