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Should Restaurants Reward Well Behaved Kids?

Posted by Debate Mom

Chances are if you’ve ever taken your kids out to eat, you’ve been “that family,” no matter how good of a parent you are.  You know “that family.” They’re the one whose kid throws a tantrum over the peas and mashed potatoes you ordered. They’re the one whose kid is using Incredible Hulk-like strength to get out of his high chair while screaming so the cook in the kitchen can hear him too. You just wished you stayed home so you didn’t have to deal with the dining demon your child has suddenly become.

So, what are you supposed to do? Never go out to eat?  How is a child supposed to learn how to act in public if they’re always kept at home? If you ask me (or even if you don’t), kids are only going to learn how to act at restaurants if you take them. It’s just like anything, practice makes perfect. Sometimes, that perfection is rewarded.

Take one Washington family who was recently surprised with a discount on their bill for “well-behaved kids.” The owner says he was so impressed with how the family acted that he wanted to do something nice for them. Apparently, he’s done this before, but this time the server actually wrote it on the check.

I have to say, kudos to this owner, and kudos to these parents. It can be downright impossible at times to get kids to be good at a restaurant, so everyone, including other diners, can enjoy their meals. As a parent, it’s nice to know your child’s good behavior is being recognized for once. It can be annoying to get scowls from other people when my kids aren’t perfect angels. Sometimes there’s nothing even Supernanny can do to make a meal go right!

I think it would be great if more places did this sort of thing. I know during these tough times many restaurants can’t afford it, but I think that’s what makes this even more special. 



3 back to toddler



Comments (1)


Rachel  -  02/15/2013 23:34 PM

I do whole agree that practice makes perfect. I was convinced when I was pregnant that I'd never be able to eat out again until my child was a preteen, but it turns out that I was wrong. My daughter enjoys eating out as much as we do, and since we started it young, she's not overwhelmed by the experience. It's fun for her because she gets to do a lot of people watching. She's pretty mesmerized by it all, actually. As for not having a demon child while eating out...there are no guarentees, but you can always stack the deck in your favor. Don't go dining during the typical 'rush hour' times. Like, don't expect your toddler to be an angel and wait for 20 minutes for a table and then another 15-20 for food because you decided it would be awesome to eat out on a Sunday at noon right after church let out or on a Friday night around 6 pm. Also, don't go out when your kid already tired/hungry/cranky. I very often give my daughter some sort of snack before we leave the house to go out to eat. Chances are if they are hungry before you ever get to the restaurant, you've already doomed your trip their. Ditto with the idea of stretching time out because you want to eat before they get their nap in. And lastly, be creative in keeping them entertained. Bring some toys for them if you need to, or let them go to town with a spoon and some sugar packets. They aren't going to be wowed by your conversation skills in the time it takes to order and wait for the food to arrive and they are going to need to be entertained so that they don't get bored senseless sitting in a highchair with nothing to do.