Dining Out With Young Children
Jane Davila 10-25-2020
When my daughter a rambunctious toddler, my husband and I took her to one of our favorite Hibachi restaurants. It was our first experience taking her to a finer dining restaurant and we didn't want to be the family with a screaming baby. Unfortunately, we were Luna was not ready for dining out and decided to show us how bad she did not want to be there.
As a social P.O.T.R Parent and restaurant connoisseur, the experience at the Hibachi restaurant showed me I needed to prepare my daughter for dining out because we were going to be doing a lot of it.
The first thing I did was practice eating out at home because as you know most behavior has to be fixed at home before you can expect your child to know how to behave accordingly. My daughter has always loved tea parties, so I decided to let her set up the table and we would sit down to roleplay eating out. This taught her how to have proper dining behavior while having fun.
Next, give your kids attention while sitting at the table. This shouldn't be a regular date night, it should be a family date night! Include your kids in the conversation, tell complement their menu drawings, give them hugs and kisses, because if they feel like they are being ignored, get ready for them to demand the attention from you and maybe even of the entire restaurant.
Us adults get "hangry" sometimes and it's even worse for kids. When planning on dining out you should schedule dinner for an appropriate time, so your kids aren't starving while waiting for the food to come out. If you do end up at the restaurant with a hungry child see if you can order ahead or order a kids-friendly appetizer.
You shouldn't have to miss out on your favorite restaurants, because you have become a parent. There's no guide to being a parent and every day is a learning experience. This is my families experience feel free to share yours!