Eating Out With Kids in Peace: The Restaurant Rules.
Many parents struggle with their children’s tendencies to be demanding when eating out at restaurants. Sometimes it’s just behavioral, with siblings not getting along. At other times whining, and complaining, or maybe even a tantrum. Finally, there can be demanding behavior particularly from a picky eater or an overweight child who demanding certain unhealthy foods. Each of these problems can be handled remarkably well with a simple, straightforward approach.
In this video, you’ll see that I continue to promote becoming parents of action and few words. When it comes to managing problems situations particularly due to the increase in childhood obesity and the need to manage our children’s eating patterns better. It’s essential to learn how to manage our actions and choices as we try to teach our children appropriate behavior and get them to get healthy.
A second secret to success in parenting is to recognize that all kids require an opportunity to learn. Therefore, if you decide to use the “Dr. Cale’s Restaurants Rules”, it’s essential to think of this as a learning process. It is best to view your child’s response to these new restaurant rules just as you would view the response to learning a new sport. They need opportunities to learn and thus means practice.
Once you put these powerful strategies into place, you’ll need to plan on 2 to 5 meals out that are “training trips”. And each of these training trips, the kids will get to learn that you’re serious and that these new rules come with consequences. If you have more than one child, it’ll be easier. If you make sure you have two adults with you during these training trips. After this, smooth and peaceful eating is ahead.
Dr. Cale’s Restaurant Rules for Kids.
1. We Only Eat In Peace.
You get one warning and it’s strike one. With this rule, you explain to the kids that they will be free to eat in the restaurant as long as there’s no complaining, whining, hitting, kicking, yelling, or tantrums. The first, and only the first time you see the kids start to get out of hand, let them know it’s strike one.
2. When You Don’t Eat In Peace, You Leave for Strike Two.
If they break the rule about eating in peace, mom or dad will walk them to the car immediately. Food hot or not, to have a time out in the car. Let them know the specific details. There must be 5 mins of quiet before you return to the restaurant. Remind your child “strike two, one more and you are out.”
3. When You Don’t Eat In Peace Again, Strike Three, and You Are Out.
Here, mom or dad returns to the car and waits until everyone else is done. It’s trike three, and no food is taken home for the child or children sitting on the car for strike three. Allow them to skip this meal. They will be fine and they will begin to learn that you are serious about your new rule.
4. Repeat This Several Times.
Most kids get that you are serious the first time you follow through. Yet, some of you have more challenging kids. They may need 3-4-5 trips to the car before they realize that you’re serious. But stay consistent. They will get it. If you also keep in mind the parent restaurant rules.
Restaurant Rules for Parents.
1, Don’t Do This Unless You Are Serious.
You don’t want to put new rules in place unless you mean business. It undermines your credibility and your effectiveness.
2. Be Consistent.
Regardless of the situation or your level of fatigue, be consistent follow-through. Not expecting immediate perfection but instead expecting your kids to learn from the consequences not the threat of the consequences. That’s important!
3. Don’t Nag, Lecture, Remind and Constantly Correct.
In other words, don’t keep investing your energy in a very behavior you don’t want! Instead, just ignore the little stuff. Focus your attention elsewhere when the small stuff is present. Instead…
4. Become Obsessed with Noticing When Kids Pleasant and Appropriate.
Noticed, when they’re reading, talking quietly, or drawing a picture. Just a smile or a touch or a nod while they’re doing what you want. Invest your energy in what you cherish and value in small and consistent subtle ways. In this way, healthy behavior can grow.
5. Follow the Rules Impeccably.
When the kid’s behavior has broken the rule, give one…and only one warning. Let them know it’s strike one. Then if they fail to eat in peace, it’s our to the car immediately even if the hot food just arrive. Send it back and remain impeccable in your follow-through. If it’s both kids, then out to the car with both of them. This is how the kids will learn. Not from your threats…but from actually feeling the consequences. So don’t expect mastery from the rules…Expect mastery only when the kids have had several opportunities to learn from the consequences of the new rules.
Best of luck and enjoy eating out with the kids in peace!