I can’t count the number of times we had to dash out of a restaurant with food in our mouths while one of us is paying and the other is chasing the kids. At one point I thought, is it just us? Is it because we’re older and we don’t have the energy to discipline them? I was in Amsterdam one month ago and couldn’t help notice how many parents were dining with children younger than ours and were just so well-behaved. What’s their secret? How do they do it?
For one, it seemed like they went out with their kids more often. Just as we go to Montreal every other month with our kids, going out to a restaurant isn’t a novelty. In our case, we gave up quite early after a few times of large mishaps, we just opted out. We avoided going out to restaurants with them for a while until, lo and behold, our kids got some practice. In our case, what helped us was making sure we’d go to a restaurant that served kids fast so we weren’t lingering. Our kids have an expiry time when it comes to going out. They need to move, so as long as we were able to order and eat within one hour max, we were fine. Anything beyond that would make it tricky. Typical crayons, paper, and other small toy kits helped too.