SOS restaurant: is it really impossible to out for a meal with a young child?
Dear parents, let's admit it. From the day your child was born, even the simplest things seem impossible. Take for example going out to a restaurant for lunch or dinner: if you have young children, it can be a harrowing experience.
So, what do we do? Is it really so difficult to enjoy an evening out at a restaurant with young children? To tell the truth, it may be.
Young children have specific needs and finding themselves in a new place with lots of people and noise may make them feel irritable and crotchety. And as we allow know, children love to play and explore and just don’t want to sit at the table the whole time.
Going to the restaurant with your kids may be as exhausting as gym workout: getting up from the table, chasing your child, picking him up, bringing him back to the table, picking up napkins, forks and spoons ... the list is endless! Without mentioning the fact that other people in the restaurant may be irritated if your child is too loud and noisy. So, set the rules before your go out to avoid stress and other problems.
The first thing to say is this: there are restaurants that family-friendly and others that are not. So, deal with it and accept the fact that there are some places children where are not welcome: there may be a long wait for food to be served, or more simply the customers of that restaurant want peace and quiet. So before booking your table, look for a restaurant that is equipped to entertain kids, with special places where they can play while they wait for their meal.
That doesn’t mean of course that the restaurant is a playground! Remember to put a favourite toy in your bag, or if the restaurant has a play area, let your children have fun, but keep them under control! Waiters are not babysitters!
Going to a restaurant is something that you treat yourself to every now and then, so don’t turn it into a stressful situation; teach your children at home how to behave at the table: they should not be allowed to get up as and when they like, throw food on the floor, or run between the tables screaming and shouting. Does that impossible? Initially it may be, but if you insist on these rules when you have lunch and dinner at home, you will see that you can enjoy a meal at a restaurant too.
Remember though to choose the right time to go to the restaurant according to your children’s needs: if possible book early, and avoid peak times and, above all, don’t sit your children down if they are nervous and famished!
In any case, remember that kids ... are kids! They will of course be noisy, laugh out loud and tip over a glass of water, but don’t panic there is nothing wrong with all that! We were all kids once, right?!