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  1. I liked your tip of bringing baby wipes to a restaurant with a toddler. My wife and I are looking to bring our kid to a fancy restaurant for the first time. I’ll be sure to pack some baby wipes for our restaurant visit.

  2. It was helpful when you suggested to bring triangular crayons for their coloring books so they’re not constantly rolling off the table and needing to be picked up. I really like the idea of finding an Italian restaurant to take my kids to this weekend, but keeping two kids busy and well mannered in public can be a hassle. Thanks for sharing this article and providing some great tips to make our restaurant experience less stressful!

  3. Dina, I completely agree! We never EVER give them the iPhone after they are already having a tantrum. (We learned very early on as newbie parents—the hard way—that giving them what they want when they’re screaming only makes them think it will happen every time!) I’ll really only pull it out when I sense a tantrum coming due to something beyond our control, like if we’re eating with a large group that is taking long to finish, or the service is painfully slow, etc. And yes, I do let them use the iPad on the plane—and that’s about the only time. I have found that if you give your child a device too often, it’s no longer a treat for them and won’t hold their attention when you REALLY need it to! To my delight, I’ve been finding myself needing to give the boys my phone MUCH less frequently at restaurants. We ate out yesterday evening and I didn’t even have to give them crayons. They just talked to us and then entertained themselves by pretending two sugar packets were pirates and letting them interact. Gotta love kids’ imaginations!

    The only thing I disagree with in your comment is calling a parent “stupid” for giving an iPad to a kid having a tantrum. No, it’s not a good idea to do it (for the reasons you stated), but there are so many new parents out there still learning and figuring out the best way to handle things. No one is a perfect parent from day one, nor is anyone a perfect parent all the time. There also may be parents out there who are exhausted and overwhelmed and sometimes make a decision that goes against their best judgment just to get a few quiet moments. Calling them “stupid” is just mean and insensitive. Let’s try to be supportive by offering better solutions, as you did, and not by name calling!

  4. Most of this advice I totally agree with. Except number 8. There is no way in H – e – double hockey sticks that I would ever consider rewarding my child’s tantrum by offering an Ipad or smartphone to stop it. That is a really short road to more tantrums. I agree 100% with bringing it on a flight, or somewhere where my kids would need to sit quietly for hours, but even then, giving it when your kid is tantrumming is really just rewarding bad behavior. Instead, I would advise parents to use their brains a little. Figure out why your kid is throwing a tantrum. First question, have you inadvertently (by doing stupid things like offering ipads for stopping one) taught them that having a tantrum is a remarkably effective way to score something they want? Second question, if you have been smart enough to avoid that pitfall, ask yourself, are they tired, or hungry, or bored? If they are tired, that could be a really tough one to solve in the restaurant. Sometimes, I will let my little one sit in my lap, or I will just talk quietly with him/her to help distract them in this case. If they are hungry, you can try and get some bread, or ask that their order come out sooner, if possible. If they are just bored, here is a novel suggestion. Talk to them. Teach them, by example, how to behave in a restaurant by engaging in conversation. Even if it is about Ernie or Elmo. Or break out some crayons, like the author said – the triangle ones are awesome in places like restaurants and planes. If you do feel that electronics are your best bet, then it is best to give them over before any tanrtum happens. Then at least you haven’t put yourself in the awful position of having to reward bad behavior.

    1. my daughter lets my 3 and 7 year old have playdoh when the go to a restaurant. It’s truly revolting to see this

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