Here lately, ever time we take our daughter out to eat, it almost always is a crying screaming disaster. My almost 2 year old screams and cries the entier time. I try telling her to be quiet, I try giving her something to play with; coloring books, reg books. puzzle, watch tv on my phone. Nothing works. When she is ready to go, she lets everyone know. It is so embarassing. I don't even want to take her anymore. Advice????
I think that going to a restaurant can be too stimulating for many toddlers - lots of strange people, noise, interesting foods. It seems fun for a while, but then the child breaks down. Two of my children used to be like that, especially if we were going out to eat with friends or family. Honestly, we just stopped going out to eat for a few years, or went a lot less, because it was too stressful and exhausting.
I think in the last few weeks I've seen multiple threads about this exact subject, how funny how we're all going through this now! I think the general consensus from the other threads is that, really, it ISN'T worth it! The only thing that works for my 15 month old is to realize in advance the longest time that she will be able to sit still, which for her is about 15 minutes under ideal circumstances Then plan to walk her around the entire remaining time of the outting.
Happy Wife Since '05 and NEW MOM! in '12
Om'ing to Peace
Blogging Now Too! Visit my Blog
We have found that not sitting down until the food is on the table works best for us.
Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012
IMO, you have to weigh three things:
1. Your desire to eat out and how enjoyable it is in these circumstances.
2. Your child's ability to handle it.
3. How it affects everyone else in the restaurant.
For me, when I weighed those three issues, it made me decide to do take-out instead of going out for a while.
And toddlers throw fits in situations where they're overstimulated and out of their ability to behave well. They can't really help it at that age.
We rarely take our almost 2 year old to any restaurant that isn't a fast one. Not McD's but we have several local restaurants that cook fresh food right on the spot, 5 minutes of waiting if that. Anything else usually ends up with one parent waiting outside with the toddler. If my kids can't sit still and be quiet in a restaurant (which is really a task for an older child to accomplish), then we don't belong there, it's common curtesy to me.
I think it's very normal to have a phase (or phases) where you just can't go out to eat with your toddler. Sometimes it only lasts a short while. Our son (almost 3) has always been relatively easy and well-behaved in restaurants. We go out quite often. However he's had some phases and we just didn't go out for a few weeks and then it was over. Not a big deal.
In one way, yes it is selfish of you because you are not considering that it must really annoy the other people trying to have a nice meal out. Even other parents might get annoyed if it is a huge screaming tantrum. One way to avoid that would be to go very early, like at 6:00. In a way, if someone is out that early they can only expect it to be "family time" and it's sort of their problem. KWIM? When we go out to eat it's usually early and if any scene were to erupt I'd feel less guilty about ruining other people's meal because hey, it's fracking 6pm and what do you expect?
But really, more than anything, it is ruining your meal. Why bother then? It's just a waste of money in that case. Save your nerves and do takeaway. Try again in a few weeks or a month or two, and it may have passed These things always pass.....
Mama since 2010
Multicultural living in Europe