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  1. We have a 2 year old and she knows how to act in a restaurant as well. However, it doesn’t mean to not be prepared for the occasional 2 year old temper tantrum. Snacks, crayons and paper, even playing with the napkin or napkin rings, on the very, very rare occasion the phone with a drawing app. Lastly, one parent takes her outside to the car while the other pays the check.

    We respect everyone’s dinning experience which is a lot more than I can say for most parents out there. As long as you can plan ahead and go with the flow when needed it should be easy.

  2. If your kids are well disciplined overall, it’s usually not too different at a restaurant, but they can get more restless and demanding so it’s good to anticipatete it and praise them when they are being pleasant to help reinforce the behavior you are hoping for.

  3. As a last resort, I totally concur with having a tech option. If my four decide to lead a revolt in Chili’s I’m going to allow them a temporary distraction, so that at least if we have to drag them out of there kicking and screaming, we have enough time to get a to-go box.

    Sometimes kids lack patience, they’re not in the mood. Sometimes – like adults – they have bad moments, bad days. It has a lot more to do with their mood at the time, and less to do with setting rules. My children have been dining out since before the age of one, they KNOW how to behave in restaurants, but one time out of ten a sudden foul mood will strike.

    We deal with it the best way we can without allowing anyone’s dining experience to be disturbed, ours included.

  4. Great tips!! My kids are *thankfully* very well behaved at restaurants and we have never really had a problem. Probably because they take after their mama and like to eat! If we go out on a day it’ll be busy, we call ahead to make reservations. We make sure they have crayons and paper. They know that if they behave and eat all their food, they can have dessert 🙂

  5. My husband and I find that bringing a few small and quiet toys with us help our 3year old last a little longer. For us, it also works better to hold off ordering his food until we order ours ( most restaurants offer to bring his first). But for our little munchkin, if he finishes way ahead of us and has to wait after finishing its much harder for him. The anticipation of getting food seems to keep him occupied ahead of time.

  6. i think its sad to plop a kid in front a screen while you eat- they have to learn how to act in a restaurant. i don’t take my kids to fancy restaurants (i feel that’s not a kids place) but i just talk to them about things while we sit and eat. this reminds me so much of that book holly posted about last week- “Bringing Up Bebe” and how different we are from the french! Just some good old rules and work will do the trick!

  7. Ever since we got an ipad/kindle fire our dining experiences with our almost 3 year old have been amazing. I hate to plop him in front of a screen but it keeps him busy long enough to distract him from wanting to get out of his seat. The crayons and paper only last a few minutes until they fall on the floor. With the ipad/kindle fire he can play games, watch shows that we’ve downloaded, color/paint.. endless activities. There are even times now he doesnt even need it but its great to have as a backup!

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