Posted on: 10 November 2015
You feel worn down at the end of a long week. At this moment, no prospect feels more daunting than cooking dinner. But as you consider eating out, you begin to fret. What if your toddler yells? What if your baby fusses? What if the entire experience ends up being more hassle than it's worth?
Teaching young children to act in socially acceptable ways takes time, patience, and love. But with these four simple tricks, you can have them ready for an evening at a local restaurant in no time.
1. Practice at Home
Before you leave, discuss your expectations with your children. You can even stage a mockup of the restaurant atmosphere at your dinner table. At this practice session, do the following:
- give a preview of the expected environment and meal
- provide an example of the good manners you expect from your kids
- reinforce desired habits, like sitting up straight and using inside voices
2. Choose a Welcoming Eatery
Don't place unrealistic expectations on your children. They may be well-behaved for a three-year-old and a one-year-old, but they're still a three-year-old and one-year-old. Wait to visit upscale restaurants for nights when you have a sitter.
When you expect the kids to come with you, choose a family restaurant. If you can, opt for a restaurant with a more mellow atmosphere since this can help keep rambunctious children calm.
3. Prepare for the Worst
Think about the situations in which your child might become bored, angry, or tired. Then do what you can to prepare to deal with those situations. Your precautions may include these:
- Bringing a comfort object or game to stave off boredom
- Dressing kids in clothes that can withstand some wear so you don't have to disrupt your meal for a single spill
- Packing small snacks for the wait between ordering and eating
4. Take Breaks If Needed
Public spaces can prove overwhelming to young children. If you notice a child getting impatient or overstimulated, remember that it's okay to take a small break. Take a trip to the restroom, get a drink from the water fountain, or walk around the building's perimeter to blow off a little steam before sitting back down.
If your children need special considerations, like a high chair or allergen-free foods, call ahead. The management at many family restaurants is happy to help provide you and your kids with the best possible experience.
Remember these secrets the next time you eat out to keep yourself and your children happy and comfortable.Share