Look for the Clues
Etiquette rules are harder to define than ever before—it can be tough enough to know how to dress for an event, let alone figure out whether bringing kids along is appropriate. "In the last decade, parents began taking kids everywhere with them, from restaurants to movie theaters—even on upscale vacations," says Stacy DeBroff, parenting expert, author, and frequent contributor on NBC's Today show.
However, just because you can take your kids along doesn't mean you should. Dragging a young child to an event that requires sitting still or being quiet sets him up to fail, and sets you up for embarrassment and unfriendly stares from those around you.
Part of being a kid is having fun, testing limits, and acting out. Most people don't expect children to behave perfectly in social settings; however, as a parent you can follow some easy clues to determine when it's OK to bring your child along and when it's best to hire a sitter and leave a little one at home.