Welcome back to our daring diners! We know that sometimes you absolutely have NO time to prepare before going out to eat- so what can you do to not end your special night like this (again!):
Establish and communicate rules ahead of time!!!
Think about the things that usually happen that make the meal time challenging. Does your child get up from the table frequently? Do they whine or have a meltdown when the food does not come out fast enough? Do they crawl all over the table or you? Once you have identified the biggest challenges, decide what or how much of the behavior is acceptable then tell the child the rule and what will happen if they follow or break the rule. It is also recommended your child can follow these common rules in general so it might be a good idea to work on these directions throughout the day across all settings and situations in general so working on these types of directions is practical for situations. Some directions related to behaving in a restaurant may include:
Establishing rules ahead of time and using start instead of stop demands (saying “put your feet down” is better than saying “stop that!!” because you’re telling the child exactly what behavior you would like them to do!) will set clear expectations.