This morning I read an article about how to deal with little children while dinning out written by a woman with out children. And lets just say she really failed at it. While she made some great points she missed key things that some parents might find useful. And her comment about breastfeeding in the bathroom. Lets just say I have a feeling BHG is going to loose readers or say they are sorry soon. Any ways you can find this article here.
But I thought as a mother of three children and soon to be four who would rather dine out while children in tow than leave them home I would share my tips on what works for me and also open this post up to tips from other parents that have been there and done that. (I will edit this post to add some of the ideas as well)
One thing I find works for me is to go early like before 6pm if you can.
Another thing I find is don’t go when they are sleepy I find for at least my children this makes them cranky and makes a long meal even longer.
Have a dinning out bag of quite things for your children to do. I have three kids right now when I go out so I try to have a bag for each of them of quite things they like and these things stay in the bag and only get used while dinning out. For my Oldest things like a fav book, sometime his ipod shuffle with music or a audio book and headphones works great. Sometimes he even gets to take his game boy with headphones and play that quietly (to be honest my 9 yo is the one to normally act up and get the 4 yo going) For my 4 yo we have found crayons and coloring books and paper work well and just playing tic tac toe with him is a great thing to keep him busy and quiet. for my 18 month old, her’s is crayons and paper and her dollie she’s very good in the restaurants. Any toys they may get in the bag are quiet but if they make noise they must have headphones as I know others don’t want to hear it either.
I make sure my kids go pee before we sit at the table, I find this limits the getting up in the middle of dinner.
I teach my kids not to stare at other people tables and see what they are doing and to enjoy us as a family.
I order things I know my kids like and then have them try something new that my husband or I ordered. I find this works best to not waste money on food but also gets them to try new things and my kids would rather try off of mom’s plate then there own.
Strollers was mentioned in the article and while many places I see this as something that isn’t really needed (I don’t own one) I can see where some places they are so I say common sense works wonders here.
One thing I believe the article got right was clean up after your kids, and if you not going to leave at min. another 5%-10% of a tip. It holds up other people wanting to eat as well. And really you clean up after them when your home it’s not hard to teach them not to do it other places.
Big thing is to practice at home and at other family friendly places and to start young, children just don’t pick up this behave just because they reach a certain age.
I know this list isn’t complete and I am sure I will be back to add more as I remember them. and as others share their tips so please share your tips with me.
Now on to asking woman to breast feed in bathrooms, this is just wrong on so many levels. And I really don’t want to get into it right now but ask all breastfeeding mom’s to check local law on it and remind staffers if this ever becomes a problem for you.
EDITED TO ADD
Many mom’s I know are calling for a boycott of BHG and I have to say that I agree with this, I think they should pull the article and apologize to all the mom’s they pretty much told to Breast Feed in the rest room. I receive this Magazine as a gift but will not have it renewed when it runs out and what I will do with my next copy I am not sure, but it won’t stay in my home. I am going to look to canceling it as well.
More I think about this the more I am pissed.
Oh one more thing to those that have a problem with what I am doing what are you staring at me?
There is a Facebook page boycotting BGH now you can find it here
ok contact info for BHG
1716 Locust Street
Des Moines, IA 50309-3023