Take your children out to dinner! Why is that so hard for some people to understand…and mind you that does not mean McDonalds, Subway, Buffalo Wild Wings, or even Friendly’s, however, for those of you who have never taken them out (other than a McDonalds with the playground) you may need to start with Buffalo Wild Wings or Friendly’s, someplace with real tables and no playground. Or save your money and take your child to a mid to upscale restaurant at least twice a year, if not more. Rather than spending your money on fast, unhealthy food, that teaches your child nothing and just packs on the pounds while putting them at a greater risk for getting diabetes (and I am holding back all else that I want to say about food & saving that for a later rant), save the money to take them to a “real” restaurant, a fine dining experience. The sooner you start this, the faster they learn how to behave when at a finer establishment. In the beginning, you may have a few patrons who stare at your 6 month old who is sitting at the table with you and your friends but as the dinner progresses and they realize your child is behaving, they will be coming to your table to compliment you on such a well-behaved baby (and this will continue as your child grows). The compliments just add to your child’s self-esteem, because they will notice that there are very few other children in these restaurants and they will feel special and empowered. At the restaurant, make the child stay in their seat; teach them where to put the napkin, which fork is used first, and how to order for themselves. Children have a voice; teach them how to use it.
<stepping off my soapbox now>