Monday, September 14, 2015

Kids at eateries

Earlier I saw one of my posted on his Facebook saying some complain when kids are given the privilege of using an smartphone or tab at restaurants and at the same time complain if the kids are running around or noisy. Coincidentally I was actually having a real conversation with my good friend on this. He was sharing his experience that he had over the weekend, whereby he took his girl for a nice dinner at a very nice restaurant, ended up with kids running around, noisy, breaking plates and their parents being totally ignorant.

This actually made me to think of how my 4 year old acts when we take him out for dinner or sometimes lunch at any given restaurant. I am sharing with you some tips or rather say what I do to ensure my son doesn’t end up running around and my wife and I being cursed for not raising my son with discipline. Knowing my son, who is extremely hyperactive and always restless, I came out with some ideas which can keep him in one place.

The main reason for kids being naughty, noisy or restless at restaurants is their parents. We can’t compare how kids are raised those days; I’m sure you know it takes lots of guts to be naughty and be always prepared to face the consequences of our actions.  Before I start, keep these 2 mantras in mind.

1. Kids are extremely creative and alert. They can make friend with any other kid, they create imaginary characters, and they recall their favorite hero’s actions or be one. They even can a sword out of chopsticks. Mine makes a drumstick.

2. Remember you are the parent; take control of the situation calmly.

Assuming we are at a western restaurant, how my wife and I do this?

1. Bring some toys which don’t make too much noise, bumps or jumps around, shooters and bubbles. Take along stuffs like mini Lego blocks, PlayDoh, few plastic cooking utensils toys

2. Play along with them, ask them to cook an egg for you, use the place mat on the table for them to create PlayDoh figurines.

3. Walk them to wash their hands and make them to use the soap and towels. Tell them why you need to throw them in rubbish.

Start with the food.

4. If they dislike mash potatoes (like my 4 year old) get some cut fruits, Fries. My son loves vegetables, so we give him the broccoli, grilled tomatoes, blanched carrots etc.

5. Give them separate plate, place small amount of food on their plate. Don’t let them play with the food. Tell them some stories, some even play videos on their smartphone or tab. If that helps then why not.

Food finished and you're not done

6. I will tell him “I’m gonna do a magic you want to see?” He gets excited. I do some silly so-called magic tricks which make think I’m Houdini. I just grab a coin and tell him that I will make it disappear. I clench my fist and swing around, open my palm shows him, and voila the coin vanishes. He gets excited. (of course I dropped it between my lap or on the floor without him knowing)

7. Even then go on YouTube check some videos on how to do simple party tricks for kids, how to make origami out of serviettes

8. Carry him or walk him around the restaurant. Show him the bar, show him how the bar tender mixes the drinks, how does he makes a juice. Make him talk to the waiter or say hello to them. Make him order plain water or some juice himself.

9. Get a piece of paper of pen and make him draw circles; tell him you will make it to types of faces. Show him something like a fork or spook, a sauce bottle and make him draw that.

10. If all fails, then you’re left with no choice. Give them the smartphones or tab. Remember at least you are taking an effort to keep them quiet without disturbing other patrons of the restaurant.

I’m not saying this will work all the time, but it worked for us mostly. Of course they are some bad days and we had to deal with it. Every actions and attitude of a kid starts from home. 

If he doesn’t sit on a baby chair, that’s because you didn’t train him to do so. If he plays with his food and mess up the table or sometimes the floor, that’s because you did not tell him it’s wrong to play with his food. Get a baby chair from IKEA; make them sit on it during dinner back home. Believe me they will sit quietly at the restaurant.

Thank you and happy parenting.


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