4 Secrets to Help Your Children Behave in Restaurants

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.

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Enjoying Your Dinner

When you eat out, how much do you really enjoy your dinner? If you travel frequently or you don't cook at home very often, you might be pretty familiar with the eateries in your neighborhood. However, you don't have to let a familiar menu make your eating experience boring. I have been eating out for years, and I have found ways to make dinnertime cheaper and much more enjoyable. On my blog, you will find tips for ordering, working with waiters, and spotting hot deals at great restaurants. You never know, this advice could improve your daily life, or that next hot date you take your wife on.

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