Dining Out with THe Kids

Click here for more articles, games and book reviews for children and adolescents interested in

understanding mental health issues.


 Remember before you had kids? Your entire family unit…the two of

you…could dine out anywhere.. Now it’s the five of you. Sometimes you

get a sitter and go out as a couple, but it’s also nice to dine out as a

family. It’s time to try something a step up from the usual pizza place.

Taking the children to a restaurant can either be a fun adventure or a

complete disaster. How do you make it work?

  • Ask your friends where their

    families eat out. Check out the restaurant in advance. Drop by before

    committing yourself to a family evening there.

  • Know your children. Some quiet,

    attentive kids can sit still and use good table manners in almost any

    restaurant. Some active, impulsive kids may not tolerate a restaurant

    with slow service or low noise levels. Some children cannot tolerate

    noisy places and prefer a calmer, quieter restaurant.

  • Prepare the children in advance.

    Explain the expectations, and motivate them to rise to the challenge.

  • Match the meal to your children’s

    tastes. Does your child like to be adventurous and try new flavors, or

    does he prefer to stick to familiar foods? Is desert a good motivator

    for polite behavior?

  • Decide whether to take all of your

    children at once. If parents have two children, they can play one on

    one. With three or more, it’s more like zone defense.

  • Children often do well at a

    buffet. They see the actual food, serve themselves quickly and make

    choices. Buffet food tends to be less exotic—a plus for

    children.

  • Some family-run ethnic restaurants

    are more tolerant of children. Their own children may have been hanging

    around the kitchen for years. (Do not assume that all ethnic restaurants

    are this way.)

  • If the restaurant does not own a

    high chair, they are telling you something.

  • Try not to take them out to eat

    when they are tired.

  • Tip well, especially if

    your children have been noisy or messy. If you get a good waiter, ask

    for his table again next time. Attentive staff can make a meal more

    enjoyable. If they remember you, your family may get superior service.

  • Pay the check before you actually

    intend to leave. If your children begin to get frazzled, you can make a

    hasty retreat.

Carol E. Watkins, M.D.

 

Kids’ and

Teens’ Pages

Food

and Whine: Dining Out With Children

Why

Am I In Family Therapy?

Lots

of Books for Kids and Adolescents about Mental

Health Issues: Divorce, Depression, School Problems and More!

Awards

for This Site

 


Search Our Site by Key Words

or Phrases

Enter the word or phrase to search

for:

Only

match whole words

Not sure of how a word is spelled?

Enter the first few letters of the word:


 

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *