Saturday, March 23, 2013

Kids & restaurants

Since we had our first kid, EJ, 3.5 years ago we have gone out to restaurants with our kids.  Saturday I was out with M at a sports bar/restaurant having lunch and watching the NCAA Tournament (or "shoot" as M calls it) and a couple sat down next to me.  M was behaving like he usually does but the woman leaned over and said to me "I don't know how you do it".  I asked her what she was talking about since it could have been a few things and she responded "I mean isn't it tough bringing your kid to a restaurant?"  I told her I had never thought about it since we have always taken our kids to restaurants.  Now that I am home I have had time to think about it...I still don't know what the big deal is but I can try and explain the way my wife and I handle going out with our kids.

1.  Go early - There are usually only other families out when you go at 5pm.  If you want to go out later like 7 or 8...get a babysitter.

2.  Bring snacks/stuff to do - Kids are most likely to melt down between the time you sit down and when the food comes.  Snacks/stuff to do counter the boredom that can take place during that time.

3.  Order quickly - Like to look over the menu for a long time?  Make sure at least you are ordering something for your kids ASAP.  Fruit cups are great to order when you order your drinks.

4.  Be ready to go - You never know when the kids are going to act up.  If they do, leave. We have only had to do this once.  It happens, deal with it and move on.  Orders can be taken to go.

5.  Practice makes perfect - Well, not exactly but the more you take your kids to restaurants the more comfortable they are with it and the easier it gets.  I am not advocating going out every day or every week but don't avoid taking them out either.

6.  Pick the right restaurant -  Fine dining with little ones is probably not the best option but you don't have to eat fast food either.  If in doubt about a place check out their website, yelp or call.

These are just a few tips but probably the most important tip is to remain calm, your kids feed off of you.

TV's showing basketball helped here.

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