With the holidays here, you’re sure to have a few holiday gatherings to attend. It can be hard taking our kids out of their normal routine to places they are unfamiliar with, often with people they don’t know.
WarmLine has a rich history in helping with issues just like these! For our next installment of throwback wisdom, we check out this article written in Gourmet Parenting on going “Out on the Town.” While these tips are written for taking children into restaurants, they can easily be adapted for holiday parties, new houses, or even in our day-to-day life of appointments and errands. Perhaps these are tips you already know, maybe they will spark some new ideas – either way, it is great wisdom for us all to be reminded of.
Here are some tips on how to enjoy yourself when you are taking the kids out on the town. Really, it can be done.
- Eat in a family-style restaurant. They are always nosier and your kids won’t stick out like a sore thumb when they spill the water or dump over French fries or crawl over to the next booth to find their missing meatball!
- Try to go early – between 5 and 6
- Bring a few small toys, a book to look at or crayons and paper.
- Play (I Spy) in the restaurant. You give clues to your child, tell him when he’s getting “warmer” or “colder,” etc.
- Try to get a booth or table that’s off in a corner so that if he slithers down off his seat and is crawling around (without your knowing of course) he will not trip the waitress.
- Have a restaurant box or bag full of activities. Bring it only when you go out, and remember to rotate the toys. Remember to put only the toys you would want him to have in a restaurant.
- Do not take for granted that a restaurant has high chairs or other children’s facilities. Call in advance and find out how early they serve and what accommodations they have for children. That will prepare everyone for a pleasant evening out.
- Here is some good advice from a WarmLine mom: “Before we go out to dinner at a restaurant or a friends’ house, we ask the children if they have their good table manners with them. We make quite a production of looking for them and the children put them in a pocket and bring them out when we sit down to dinner. This has really helped them to control their behavior and display good manners while eating out. They enjoy playing this little game.” NOTE: What you expect in the way of good table manners should be established at your own dinner table well before you try this so the children know exactly what you mean by the term “good manners.”