I know the dread that hits you when you start considering all the stuffs that could go wrong with your planned decision to take your family out to dinner at a fancy restaurant for fine dining.
Normally, the occasion is expected to be a time of fun, an opportunity for family bonding and also the introduction and exposure of your little ones to some social etiquette, but the thoughts of what to do when they inadvertently spill their drinks, try to throw their food across the table, stand on their seats, display tantrums or do things that kids would normally do but shouldn’t do in such public space would not let you be.
I understand all of these, being a mom myself; I had almost gotten thrown out and had my child rearing abilities questioned over the conduct of my son at a restaurant we once visited. He threw tantrums and caused a passing waiter to spill food he was carrying by tugging at him a little violently when he felt he needed his attention. I have been there and done that, and so I can categorically tell you, “Yes, you can still go to a restaurant with young children”, if you just follow this few tips.
Children are a handful, and a day or night out with them must be properly planned, factoring all possible scenarios that may play out. This is not to start you out on a gloomy note but to prepare you for any mishap. Ensure you pack some supplies, more like a bag of tricks containing finger puppets, peekaboo or any of those stuffs that grab their attention, but doesn’t take them away fully from social interaction.
Pick your meals quickly and plan for quick strolls to the bathroom every 30 minutes if you are going to be staying longer than 2 hours. The reason for this is, research has shown that your little gem can’t seat still for more than 20minutes a stretch and for the more active ones, for far less time.
Choose your Establishment wisely
Not all restaurants are child friendly or even admit children below a certain age. It is important that you are aware of the restaurant’s rules on child guest and see if it fits into your expectations. Also there are countless number of restaurants that are child friendly that offer child seats and special tables for guest with children.
Ensure you pick establishments that can cater to your child’s needs for food and entertainment.
Never take a tired toddler out
Make sure your little ones are looking forward to the occasion and not seeking sleep. Remember the whole idea is about them, be sure that they are comfortable and not tired. Say if nap time is 2pm, a dinner outing would be more ideal than a lunch date.
Be ready to leave
Be ready to leave on a moments notice. Mishaps could happen and they do happen. If any of the unforeseen happens, do not chide yourself or yell at the child, leave quietly and hope for better next time.