You don't always have to keep your kids at home while you dine out — they will enjoy the outing too! All you need to do is teach them table etiquette to prevent messy scenarios. That will not be an easy lesson but it'll be well worth it; here are 7 tips that will come in very handy for the lessons and while eating out:
1. Motivate your kids by getting them excited about trying new dishes.
A child becomes more cooperative with a table etiquette lesson when they become aware that it'll help them enjoy new meals. So, next time you're out at a restaurant, spend a few extra bucks to purchase fun items from the kids' menu. You'll find them getting serious with their etiquette lessons!
2. Practice table manners at home first.
Start the lessons at home. Your child will respond better to corrections within such an environment because it is comforting and reassuring. Start with basic lessons like saying "please" and "thank you" and slowly build up tempo.
3. Tip the server or lend them a hand during cleanup.
Messy incidents are bound to happen when you take children to a restaurant and this will inevitably call for help from servers. But don't leave them to it, a small gesture of trying to even help wont go unnoticed by the server and most importantly, your kids.
4. Always decline an option to feed the kids first when dining out.
Many restaurants offer the option of feeding accompanying little children first but you should always decline it. Doing so will only keep the kids engrossed for a while and afterward, they may throw tantrums as they watch you eat alone. Instead, make sure to hold light snacks to keep your children distracted while the meals are prepared.
5. Don't let your child roam around at a restaurant
Keep your kids close to you while at a restaurant even if it is one that's labeled, "kid-friendly." Aside from being dangerous, it is impolite as the kids may cause obstruction to servers and disturb the amiable environment that should be enjoyed by all customers.
6. Get your kids to walk off the excess energy
Taking a slow stroll with your kids around a park, simply to enjoy the scenery, may be the best way to keep your kids less troublesome while dining out. They'll be more receptive to directions and would throw less tantrums.
7. Be prepared to leave early
If you have tried all of the above and your kids still won't stop throwing tantrums while eating out, then consider asking for takeaway packs and leaving early.