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Spinoff: Eating out - Page 2

post #21 of 102
I would never permit my child to do any of those things.
post #22 of 102
Yeah, I let ds stand in the booth. Though now that I think of it, he doesn't actually do it. But, hypthetically, if he wanted to, I wouldn't think much of it, as long as he wasn't disturbing anyone behind him. I never think anything of other kids who stand on their booth and look at us (except I don't want them to do it for too long).
He's generally been very good for his age, as far as us being able to take him out to eat.

The rest, nope. When ds was younger, I would occasionally take him for a few trips from our seat to the bathroom, or some other easy to get to place (not too much in the way of any waitstaff). But never by himself.

Even though I'd trust him to touch things gently, walking around touching stuff wouldn't be ok.

And sitting at another person's table- that's just really really rude!!
post #23 of 102
Originally Posted by kkeris View Post

Unless stated, lets presume that the above scenarios are about a 3 year old child. What will you 'permit'?
NONE of the above. We're there to eat dinner, not wander around a restaurant. I would take my kids outside to walk around if they were getting antsy and have had dh just text my cell or call (if I had it) when our food was served. If there is something to look at (fish tank or whatever) and the place is very slow we'll let them look. Whether they look with one of us or by themselves depends on how busy the place is and how close we are to the tank. We enjoy eating at a Chinese restaurant w/ 2 tanks and while the food is delicious and service is great, it's small and often very quiet when we go, so the kids are able to see the tanks by themselves. But they go to the tank and back to our table. They don't wander around.

As for standing in the booth, no way. They're too tall. When they were toddlers and no longer sitting in high chairs, then we'd work around it and work on teaching them not to stand. (I don't need a kid tripping over their own feet and smacking their face on the table.)

My 7 yr old has ASC and he would love to do some of the things mentioned (wander, look, touch for his sensory processing) but I can not and will not allow that (except at the Chinese place because of the atmosphere). What if a server had a tray laden w/ plates, didn't see the kid, tripped, and everyone ends up w/ broken dishes, hot food on them, cuts, etc? I don't think there would be a tip big enough to fix that scenario.

I didn't allow it when they were younger, I won't allow it now, and I won't allow the new baby to do it, either. It's a safety issue for me.
post #24 of 102
Originally Posted by kkeris View Post
If its a very quiet and spacious casual family restaurant and only 2-3 other tables were taken, you guys still would have a problem with your child quietly and slowly wandering around (presuming he is in your full view)?
I would have a problem with it if we were the only customers in the entire restaurant. It doesn't come up now that DS is 3 but if it did when he was younger, I would just get our food to go and eat it at home if he wasn't up to restaurant eating.
post #25 of 102
I want to add that I don't believe for one minute that kids won't learn how to behave in public if you never take them out. I grew up in a very rural area, and we almost never went out to eat. And when we did it was pretty casual, like at the McDonald's that was 35 miles away. And yet, I have wonderful restaurant manners now.

I personally don't enjoy taking my kids out to dinner. They're almost always bored, I don't get to enjoy my food because I'm trying to manage spills and keep them entertained the whole time, they never have anything healthy for kids at family restaurants, and it's expensive. So I have no problem staying home and not subjecting other diners to my family at this point. I know that in a few years it will be a lot of fun, but restaurants and small children just don't mix.
post #26 of 102
I agree with the majority that none of the scenarios are acceptable. I don't even allow standing in a booth but then my daughter is 4 now. It wouldn't have been as much of an issue when she was 1-2 though.

We eat out at least 2x a week and my daughter has great restaurant manners and is very happy to sit and draw while waiting for food.
post #27 of 102
The only thing I would allow is standing in the booth, but that was only when they were smaller (1.5-2). After that, they were too tall and would be bothering someone if they stood up.

I would never allow them to walk around a restaurant because of how dangerous that would be with servers carrying trays and not being able to see them. Plus, other people are out to enjoy their meal and may not want a child bothering them.
post #28 of 102
None of that would be cool with me. Except standing in the booth--that would probably be OK.

But kids wandering around without a shadow wouldn't happen for us. One of us would get up and follow the kid around or go outside.
post #29 of 102
I would want to keep my kidlet safe, so I would worry about steaming drinks and hot plates and tripping waiters. Most kids are into moving, and most restaurants are into not wanting moving kids underfoot. So I would say that picnics are where it's for very active children, unless you can find a really safe and welcoming resturant-- which do exist. I know in Italy kids are all over th eplace, but the litagation issues there are nowhere near what US restaurants have to deal with. If a kids get a splash of espresso on him in Sicily, it's not quite the same as if it happens in CA. In CA, the big gun lawyers are called. We can never underestimate the problems of such a litigeous society, kwim? Applebees simply can't afford to have food fall on children.

As the mother of bigger kids, I would like to reassure people that there are many years for bigger kids to enjoy and appreciate cool restaurant and gourmet (which would not be at Applebees) food. It doesn't all have to happen when they are toddlers.
post #30 of 102
My 3yo will sit at the table with us, and I allow him to stand up in the booth, and climb under the table. I know how boring it must be to wait for food... so I empathize with that. I let him play with straws, and blow bubbles in the water cups. I don't let them wander, I think that would be a hazzard in a busy place.
post #31 of 102
I don't let my kids do any of those listed in the OP. Our "restaurant rules" are simply:

1. Stay in your seat.

2. Use your inside voice.

3. Be polite.

We review them in advance, talk about examples, and I give gentle reminders when necessary. I also bring lots of quiet table entertainment and we talk a LOT while we are waiting. All of my kids are very entertained by conversation and my undivided attention.

My kids have great restaurant behavior considering that we only go out every couple months at most, so it's not like they get to practice a lot.
post #32 of 102
Originally Posted by kkeris View Post
I am just really curious after reading 4 pages of the going-out-to-eat thread, would like to hear more from GD mamas.

Is it okay if your child does this in a restaurant, if its not, what would you do if the child refuses to stop after lots of gentle coaxing:

- Walk/pace around in the restaurant, just wandering around looking at other diners and stuff but not touching anything. (presuming this is before the food comes or after your child has ate, and that you are seated at a table that enables you to see your child clearly from where you are seated)

- Wanders and starts chatting with waitressing staff and alot of other diners at their tables, asking questions and so on.

- Climbs up on a chair at another table with diners already sitting there, and peers interestedly at what they are eating/talkng about.

- Stands up on the booth seat that you guys are seated at and refuses to sit down (but not jumping either).

- Wanders around the restaurant looking for interesting stuff to hold/touch, resuming this is a typical curious 2 year old child.

- Wanders around the restaurant looking for interesting stuff to hold/touch, presuming this is a 3-4 year old child who knows not to handle glass/fragile objects without asking for permission first, and a cautious child who is good with gentle touches/handing.

Unless stated, lets presume that the above scenarios are about a 3 year old child. What will you 'permit'?
I'm curious which you would allow, and what you'd do if your child refused?
post #33 of 102
I don't allow my DS to do any of those things, even stand in a booth -- he knows that the rule is "on your bottom or on your knees." He's 2.75, and we've been taking him out to eat weekly since he was 3 weeks old -- we've never had a problem so far.

Part of it, I'm sure, is just his easy-going temperament, but also, since wandering was never an option for him or the kids of the friends we go out with, I don't think it's ever really crossed his mind as something to do during dinner.
post #34 of 102
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
I'm curious which you would allow, and what you'd do if your child refused?
Oh! I can answer this one! If my toddler was in danger (walking around in crowds of people carrying hot plates etc) I woud find a more safe place for him to walk around.

I am a total foodie-- I love food-- I love all kinds of food prepared in all cool and new-- and old-- ways. Little kids can't always wait around for that coolness and that is not a bad thing at all. It's so natural for some small children to not want to sit and wait for adults to their time-consuming things.

Basically, I wouldn't bring my child to a place where she/he couldn't do his little kid movement thang. No shame, no getting into trouble, just 'lets find a better venue for your excellent energy'. If I had a little kid foodie (and my oldest is a major foodie! and always has been) I would call ahead and get something to go. Where we live there are lots of funky indie restaurants who will pack your food for pick up.
post #35 of 102
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
I'm curious which you would allow, and what you'd do if your child refused?
Not a problem with my 3 year old, but when he was younger if he wasn't up to sitting in a restaurant we simply understood that its hard for little ones to sit still, and we would ask the server to box up our order and bring it home to eat. Sometimes one of us would have to wait inside for the food and to pay the bill while one of us took DS outside to walk around.

Noting really "discipline' about it, just understanding that he had his limits. But it's been probably over a year since we have had to think about doing something like that. We eat out fairly often, and he really responds if I say to him, "butt down please" when standing in a booth. Or "Oooh that's a little loud for inside, can you try saying that quieter?"
post #36 of 102
If my kids get ants in their pants, we bring them outside (or if the restaurant has a separate foyer and it's icky outside) and let them work out the kinks
post #37 of 102
So everyone who thinks it's okay for a child to stand on the booth: do you let him stand on the couch at home?

As a former waitress, I would NEVER allow my child to do any of the above, including standing on the booth. Furniture, including booths, are for sitting. Not standing. Ever.
post #38 of 102
Originally Posted by OldFashionedGirl View Post
So everyone who thinks it's okay for a child to stand on the booth: do you let him stand on the couch at home?
Um yes. Why not?
post #39 of 102
My daughter does stand on the sofa at home, and in some chairs. It's not a matter of "letting her" - she just does. And while I COULD make her sit EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. it's just not a battle I'm willing to fight. If she starts getting crazy, I find somewhere else for her to play.

I would let her stand in a booth, assuming she's just standing, not dancing, singing, and leaning over bothering other people. I can't see what it would hurt. And to me, it's safer than having her hanging out on the end in a high chair. I hate how high chairs in restaraunts always put the child RIGHT in the path of servers (like they don't have enough to worry about!).
post #40 of 102
Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
Um yes. Why not?
Couches, chairs, booths, etc...are for sitting. Standing on them, particularly with your shoes on (which I assume your child is wearing in a restaurant) is hard on them, both structurally (b/c I've yet to see a child--myself included--just calmly stand on furniture; jumping/bouncing is always involved in my experience) and astheically (the fabric/leather/etc... can and does become ripped, stained, and cracked). My children will not stand on the furniture, and yes, I am willing to stop them Every. Single. Time.

I guess it's just a difference in opinion/parenting style.
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