Give them experience at behaving in public.
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We’ve all been there. Trying to enjoy a nice meal when the pack of wild children at the next table starts assaulting everyone’s ears. Or the small child who apparently runs the show begins loudly making demands of the adults.
Considering the way some kids behave in public, it is easy to see why fine dining establishments may want to discourage - or even forbid - young children from disturbing their valued customers.
On the other hand, as parents, we want to enjoy time with our kids and give them experience at behaving in public. A few thoughts:
1.   Freedom is a good thing. Businesses are free to experiment with adults-only sections, nights, hours, or policies. It may stop me from going there (especially if my kids are in the car with me). Or, when I’m on a date with my wife, it might draw me there.

2.   Be courteous. If your child is causing problems, take him/her out - sooner than later. If I would like for others to escort their screaming kid to St. Elsewhere, I need to be willing to do so myself. Your willingness to act will reduce the chances you’ll have to do it again. A hundred “I’ll take you out!” warnings will do the opposite.

3.   Choose wisely. There are times (after the ballgame when the entire clan is fired up) when a “family-friendly” dining establishment (usually means places where everybody else is as loud as we are) just makes sense. We might save the nice quiet place for “date night” with dad and daughter, etc.

4.   Practice before you’re in public. Don’t let the fancy restaurant be the first time you ever model, teach, practice, or... notice (gulp) manners. Practice when there isn’t the pressure of the audience of other diners.

5.   Be understanding. Babies cry sometimes. And even well-behaved kids can have an off day. When I’ve muttered under my breath about “those parents,” I seem to have caused my own children to have issues sooner than later.
Personally, I don’t begrudge adults wanting to have some peace - especially parents. They need it.
But what I’d really like to see is the Golden Rule in action.
If you would like some great ideas on teaching your kids values like the Golden Rule, self-discipline, being considerate, etc., please read Dr. Charles Fay's book, Parenting for Success.
Jim Fay - BiographyThanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
Jedd Hafer


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