Taking kids out to eat at a restaurant, whether to grab a quick bite between football and soccer practice or to eat out with family, parents have seen it all before, from misbehavior to uncomfortable situations at your table and even those from the people around you.
The world’s top online care provider, Care.com has compiled seven tips for turning dining experience into nice events that everyone would like to repeat! Here are three of the tips from their parenting experts.
1. Start at Home
Experts agree that sitting for meals as a family at home is wonderful practice for restaurant trips. Aim for at least once a week when you can teach meal manners during home meals. Work on, placing a napkin on your lap, eating with utensils (not hands!), talking to each other, not burping, eating with their mouth closed, and not scurrying from the table when the food is done. When your kids are used to having interesting chats during meal time in the house, it will come more naturally when eating outside the home.
2. Choose the Right Destination
"Do not dismiss the family-friendly restaurant," You might not get the farm-to-table meal you crave, but places that expect lots of kids are best for testing the dining waters. The positives: food is often served quickly, kids' cups come with covers to prevent spills and crayons and paper are usually put on the table. When kids received their own menus it makes them feel important. Allow them to choose and order their own meals (within reason) and they will feel especially grown-up. And keep the outing short. A two-hour dinner is not the place for young children.
3. Give Technology the Boot
You're glued to your BlackBerry. Your husband has an iPhone growing out of his palm. We all love our smart devices but kids and adults need to know that it's not okay to have them at the dining table. "It makes me irate to see people using phones when dining," When a child sits and eats a meal he is learning to extend himself to another person and engage in conversation." If his face is buried in an iPad, he'll miss the opportunity to connect with everybody else.