"Kids and Restaurants"

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Krissy:

I totally took my kids out to restaurants... I think it's totally impractical and unreasonable to expect parents to stay locked away inside with their kids until they are able to behave perfectly! I want to go out and my kids are people too, they deserve to go where WE go. I also take my kids to the movies and I know some parents don't do that either. My feelings are... why wouldn't I bring my kids? IF it is SPECIFICALLY a "Date Night" or SPECIFICALLY someplace kids are inappropriate, Ruths Chris or something... Ok. I get it. But I shouldn't have to get a babysitter to go to Red Robin.

I think that you can prepare for an adventure at a restaurant. Bring things to do. I DO think its totally unreasonable to expect kids to sit still and listen to boring adult conversation. Seriously. Bring something to do. I always keep $1 play packs in my purse for restaurants, waiting anywhere really. It keeps em busy, keeps em behaved and we all get to enjoy ourselves.
When tantrums do happen, and they have happened to me maybe only once or twice.... Ive taken my child out of the restaurant into the parking lot to wait for them to calm down and decide to return to the restaurant.

Rocket's big thing is that he likes to peek over the booth and smile at everyone. Which is not that annoying.

We have rules about etiquette everywhere, which includes being polite and respectful. The kids know that they have to say "excuse me" and then wait to be acknowledged. I think those rules are fine in a restaurant setting. I do tell them if they order their own meal, they have to eat it all. Otherwise they can share.

I dont think there is a big problem with kids using tablets or phones at restaurants. I cant speak for everyone else, but thats just about the only time my kids do play games on tablets and phones. I also dont think that it hurts anything. IF you are TRYING to interact and have converstations with your kids, put it away. If you want blissful silence to have a moment of adult conversation... why NOT a tablet? I think its unreasonable, as I said to ask a kid to sit and be quite and not engage them and also not offer them anytihng at all to do. Like kids are robots you can power down.

Would you complain or ask to be moved if a table near you had loud, disruptive children? No.

Beth:

We have always taken them out to restaurants at all ages. We definitely have never done that too often because it gives my husband terrible anxiety, lol. If any of them did start acting up or throwing a tantrum, my husband would usually be the one to get up and take them outside or to the car until they had calmed down.

When we go out now, I like to have us all off of our devices and not distracted. Going out to eat is a special treat and we like to talk and spend time together. Manners will always be something we are constantly on the kids for, especially the boys.

Would you complain or ask to be moved if a table near you had loud, disruptive children? I guess it would depend on the restaurant or if I had my kids with me. If it’s a nice place and it’s just my husband and I, I would definitely be annoyed, but I don’t think I would move or complain.

Hilary:

Did you take your kids out to restaurants when they were babies and toddlers?
Yes we did.  Very often infact.  I have three kids and they are all 22 months apart so at one point we had a new born, a 2 year old and a 4 year old.

If one of our children would have a tantrum either my husband or I would take the child that was acting up to the bathroom or outside.
 
What about older kids….do you have rules about restaurant etiquette? 
yes

So many times you see kids all playing on tablets or phones and not interacting.  Is this allowed when you go out?
NO!!!!! This is not allowed at the restaurant or at our house.  NO ELECTRONICS or TOYS AT THE TABLE is our rule no matter if we are home or at a restaurant.
 
Would you complain or ask to be moved if a table near you had loud, disruptive children?
NO