Jump to content

how often do you take your kids out for a meal?


  • Please log in to reply
52 replies to this topic

#1 Feralishous

Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:25 AM

We have a few friends who rarely take their kids out for meals (other than maccas)  as they 'dont behave'
Personally I think that practice makes perfect, and we take our DD out regularly (she often doesnt 'behave' but we distract and play/draw with her and dont linger for coffees etc after)
How often do you take your kids out? Did age make a difference?

Edited by trishalishous, 12 April 2012 - 12:27 AM.


#2 ubermum

Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:31 AM

About once a month. We do kid friendly places like the pub for dinner, or a noodle shop.

#3 SummerStar

Posted 12 April 2012 - 06:19 AM

Usually a few times a month except since the baby was born its been alot less but I'm sure as she gets older we will start going more often again.

#4 Feral timtam

Posted 12 April 2012 - 06:42 AM

We try to take the kids out at LEAST once a week. Usually not for a meal as such due to the fact that between the two of them they usually fail to complete even half a kids sized meal.
Depending on who is going (adult wise) we usually head out for coffee and cake. That way we can go somewhere slightly more upmarket for the kids to learn proper behaviour.

I actually find my kids are better behaved in the pricey cafe that serves a two year old a drink in a VERY fragile looking glass cup than they are at a "family restaurant"  like Maccas!

#5 2bundles

Posted 12 April 2012 - 06:56 AM

3+ times per week. They are 7&9. When they were both toddlers we stayed at home a bit more or did child friendly venues as it often isn't worth the effort.

#6 meljb

Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:03 AM

I have a 2yr old and 4.5yr old, we go through stages where we might be out for breakfast or lunch once a week for a few weeks and then nothing for a few months. I do try to take them and have coffee semi-regularly so they learn how to behave appropriately.
We went out for dinner recently to a child friendly but still "fancy" restaurant for a special occassion and they behaved beautifully (not perfect, but pretty close imo). We booked for the earliest sitting (5:30, but we were there for over 2 hours), ordered their meals first and then when I finished my main I took them for a walk outside as the other adults were still eating. The restaurant supplied some pencils and a picture to colour in.

#7 Expelliarmus

Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:13 AM

I think it depends on age, but also the child. Some are really good in cafes etc earlier than others.

The one thing we don't do however is take them out in order that they 'learn how to behave'. We take them out for the reason that we are taking them out! When we had little, little ones (toddler and babies) and there were only 1 or 2 of them we would go to middle of the range type places - probably between 1-3 times in 3 months, then we got outnumbered. I think we stayed home for a while, but I think that's more likely to do with affordability than the kids not behaving. We definitely went through a stage for years where we didn't go anywhere other than McDonald's because we couldn't afford to go anywhere other than McDonald's.

Currently we have the finances to go about once a month probably and as they have gotten older we have started to eat at a wider variety of places. A few years ago it was Hog's Breath and Fasta Pasta. Now we frequent fine dining/a'la carte about half the time. It's hard to say if age or finances has been the biggest influence on that. One of the reasons we go out more is that they can stay up later, another is we don't have to chase anyone around a restaurant - they can sit still for an hour or two. But without the money to go those would be moot points.

Edited by howdo, 12 April 2012 - 07:14 AM.


#8 threelittlegems

Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:20 AM

We used to take our kids out to restaurants all the time, and felt very smug about it.

A number of times I informed posters on EB boards that it was their fault for not exposing their children to restaurants so they could learn how to behave.

Then we had Charlie.  Everything changed. He was a nightmare, and no amount of exposure or training helped. Worse, he influenced DD who decided, why should I sit here and be quiet if Charlie wont.

So we didn't go to restuarants or cafes for over 12 months. Even a quick breakfast usually turned into a nightmare. We did go to a local cafe on Valentines Day, and I thought the kids were reasonably bearable. DH disagrees though.

OP, do you have one child? Because I agree, it is easy to train most children on their own to sit and behave in a restaurant. In fact, I'd be reasonably happy to take either of my three children out to a cafe on their own. Three together however, is a totally different story.

Edited by threelittlegems, 12 April 2012 - 07:20 AM.


#9 Kay1

Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:21 AM

Depends entirely on the child! DS1 we took out for breakfast weekly from birth - and later on for the odd dinner etc. He was great. We travelled o/s with him at 2 and he was great.

DS2 on the other hand....we didn't dare set foot in a cafe from about 10 months. He was hell bent of sweeping everything off every surface and no amount of 'training' would stop him. He would also throw food on the floor, cry and arch his back in the high chair etc.  He is 3.5 now and we are finally able to go out for meals again. We go maybe once a month for dinner and more often for breakfast. We generally go to kid friendly places, so where they can run around while we're waiting (outdoor places, we don't let them run around inside) and always take lots of activity books etc.

Edited by Kay1, 12 April 2012 - 07:25 AM.


#10 Bubblicious

Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:28 AM

I don't take DD out for meals all that often, but it's mostly because of what's on offer for the kids meal. She doesn't like chicken, I'm sick of fish, the 'schnitzel' always looks gross, they are ALWAYS served with chips, and she just won't eat a whole adult meal.

Mind you, we went to QLD for a week last September and we went out for dinner every night and she was very well behaved, so once the 'kids meals' catch up to what she eats we will probably go more often

#11 JRA

Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:33 AM

Too often.

I don't think it is essential though.

I grew up never going out for dinner, it just wasn't done, and of course there was no money. We grew up with perfectly reasonable manners. Eating at home doesn't mean you eat like a heathen.



#12 rokate

Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:35 AM

We take our kids out all the time, DS is very well behaved out and DD is only 3months old, so snoozes in the pram or my arms.  
We are lucky that DS eats anything, so we can take him anywhere. His favourite is the nice Japanese restraunt near home.

#13 DEVOCEAN

Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:41 AM

Our kids are pretty well behaved at restaurants etc. and have always been that way. We do go to a few presentation evenings and fundraisers, so they are used to it. Whilst they are younger, they take a small backpack and a few books and pencils and a small visual arts diary to keep them occupied. We have never had complaints about them, and more often then not have people coming over to ask why they aren't running around like most of the others.

#14 Pompol

Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:42 AM

I'm with you OP, we take ours out weekly at least for raisin toast at a cafe for this very reason. My sister gets very embarrassed if her kids play up in public so avoids eating out like the plague, when we do all go out for dinner for a birthday etc her kids have no idea how to behave and it's always a disaster.

#15 Chelara

Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:46 AM

At least every week with dd, almost 3. Sometimes yum cha, Thai, Italian, the pub, even to a nice restaurant in the blue mountains for my birthday. That was 3 courses and we had a later dinner booking, after driving a couple of hours to get there she was very well behaved. I am glad she doesn't seem to mind going out, I guess she's used to it. We really enjoy being able to do things we would have done pre kids.

#16 Iris37

Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:49 AM

Not often, we are on a tight budget and it would be expensive if it wasn't just to a fast food place like MacDonalds, which we dont eat at often either.

#17 gina70

Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:51 AM

No much.  Probably once every few months?  We are all home bodies and would much rather get a takeaway and a dvd and eat off trays on our recliners.  My dd's have always been well behaved when eating out.  I also find it too expensive to eat out with all 3 of us.  I eat out without them more often.

#18 Frau Farbissina

Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:00 AM

Pretty regularly I'd say at least once each weekly (sometimes they are out with grandparents too). They are well behaved (most of the time).

#19 Xiola

Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:05 AM

We all go out for a meal about once a month.  Age has made a bit of a difference as to how they behave whilst waiting for the food to arrive at the table but not that much.  They're quite good and love to go out for a meal.

#20 mylittlemen

Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:13 AM

QUOTE (JRA @ 12/04/2012, 07:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Too often.

I don't think it is essential though.

I grew up never going out for dinner, it just wasn't done, and of course there was no money. We grew up with perfectly reasonable manners. Eating at home doesn't mean you eat like a heathen.

Agree totally. To answer the question though, if you include coffee and cake, at least 2-3 times a week. DS1 (2.5 years) has eaten at more than one michellin star restaurant. And done a great job. Sure, he's spilled food and even broken a glass but he was trying his best, and the staff were fab with him at each of the restaurants.

ETA you'd be amazed how many fancy restaurants have high chairs, so we can't be the only ones.

Edited by mylittlemen, 12 April 2012 - 08:16 AM.


#21 Who is me

Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:13 AM

I actually think fostering good table manners at home is more important then going out a lot. DS has never been allowed to get up from the table at home and run around, so it wouldn't occur to him to do it when we're out. He has to wait until everyone has finished their meal. We don't exclude him though, I make an effort to make sure that we are not so caught up in adult conversations that he is completely ignored, as that's when the poor behaviour starts. I've really emphasised eating together as a family from the start. We had a very painful couple of months at one point when he tried to get up all the time, but I persevered, and it was worth it.

We do eat out very regularly though - a few times a week at least. DS packs a bag for himself to take along with a little car, some crayons, and maybe some sultanas if it's going to be a long wait for food. We are conscious of not going when he is too tired, and try and limit it to about 2 hours maximum. I do expect good behaviour from him, but he is two, so I don't expect miracles!

A lot of my friends don't seem to think young children can learn any self control, and they just expect poor behaviour, so they just don't bother trying to teach them not to run around like lunatics everywhere they go. DS isn't perfect - he certainly has his moments, but I would at least attempt to stop him from running around, screeching etc. and if he was really out of control for some reason, I would leave.

#22 Raynne

Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:15 AM

never - we don't even do McDonalds, and normally don't even do take away, works out too $$ for 6 of us.


#23 ~Mo+Moosh~

Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:17 AM

We take our kids out most weekends, often for a meal but sometimes just coffee and cake. They mostly enjoy it as much as we do.

Now that I'm on maternity leave I also often catch up with my girlfriends during the week for lunch and often take at least 2 of my boys along. Generally as long as they are fed and have something to occupy them then they are well behaved.



#24 WhatWouldBuffyDo

Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:21 AM

Not very often. Hoping to start a bit more now that they are older though. DS and DD1 are quite good and i'm going to start doing something with DD2 so she gets used to having to sit and wait etc. Depends on finances though because i am finally getting my teeth fixed and it's going to cost around $13K so at the moment, most of our "spare" money is already accounted for.

#25 lozoodle

Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:28 AM

We go out to dinner around once a fortnight, sometimes more. Kids come with us most of the time.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Teaching our son to say no to violence against women

Today, on White Ribbon Day - and every other day - we're teaching our son to say no to violence against women.

Mothers told to breastfeed in 'spacious' toilet

If there is one thing the owners of Tillings Cafe can be certain of, it is that the eatery won't win the award for Britain's best baby-friendly coffee shop any time soon.

Mother gives name to son dumped down drain

A woman who admitted to dumping her newborn baby down a Sydney drain has reportedly been allowed to give him a name.

Taking small steps to reduce stress

Are you feeling used up by life's stress, family problems and a demanding job you can't turn off? Many people are way beyond work-life exhaustion. They are functioning as robots.

Bad news: we're running out of chocolate

The world's biggest chocolate-maker says we're running out of chocolate.

Born at 23 weeks, 'Chopstick Baby' survives first week

A baby who was born at 23 weeks has survived her first week of life outside the womb.

Manic stations: the nesting instinct in pregnancy

It might sound like temporary insanity, but almost obsessive nesting as you near your due date isn’t uncommon – even if you’re not usually a particularly clean person.

How a baby can survive alone for days on end

The baby found abandoned in a Sydney drain may have been alone for up to six days without being fed, leaving many asking how he could have survived.

When it begins to look a lot like Christmas

A child's excitement at Christmas time is a beautiful thing, but one dad ponders whether his toddler daughter is getting into the festive mood a bit too soon.

Hospital lets dads the experience some of the pain of childbirth

A new experience is radically altering men's views of childbirth.

Italian doctors questioned over formula bribes

Italian police have placed 12 doctors under house arrest on suspicion of promoting baby milk formula over breastfeeding.

Heartwarming prank gives single mum the house she was hired to clean

Cara Simmons arrived at work to clean a large and beautiful house in time for a party planned for that evening. It was soon hers.

Those special moments of sibling bonding

Every now and then your child does or says something that is truly memorable.

Why we should stop telling new parents to 'enjoy every moment'

A few weeks ago, some dear friends of mine had their first baby. As the proud dad texted me a picture I had to fight the natural instinct to say “Enjoy every moment!”

Baby monitor footage posted online

Footage of Australian babies and children sleeping in their bedrooms are among the images on a Russian site showing live feeds from thousands of homes and businesses around the world.

Did this new dad really hit on his wife's midwife?

Was there really a man who was actually there by his wife’s side as she laboured and gave birth to his child, all while he was making what he perceived to be meaningful eye contact with a midwife?

Keep calm and ignore the Tantrum Trolls

Tantrum Trolls are a small but growing species of predatory bottom-feeders who delight in picking on parents at their most vulnerable.

It's okay to never 'get over' the death of a loved one

The death of children, siblings, and parents has long term impacts on the rest of our lives.

What Mark Latham needs to know about depression and motherhood

Love has nothing to do with mental illness. But love may drive a mother to do something about it.

'We're just trying to keep our child alive': life with FPIES

We have a beautiful seven-month-old son, and his allergy rules our life.

Transgender dad breastfeeds his babies

A transgender man who breastfed his first baby - despite having his breasts removed as part of his transformation from female to male - has now had a second child.

Couple face $1 million medical bill and bankruptcy after babymoon birth

A Canadian couple were slammed with a million dollar medical bill after their daughter was prematurely during their babymoon.

Cigarettes, junk food dominate supermarket sales growth

One in every five dollars spent at supermarkets goes on cigarettes or junk food, according to industry data.

Teacher under fire for breastfeeding in class

There is no doubt mums have a right to continue breastfeeding after they have returned to work, but one teacher in the US has taken it to the extreme.

Win a family pass to Disney Live!

We have 4 family passes to give away to see Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales, touring Australia this December/January.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Join PADDINGTON on the red carpet!

To celebrate the release of PADDINGTON, we are giving five lucky winners the chance to win a family pass to the exclusive Australian Premiere in Sydney on December 7!

The tragedy of losing a favourite teddy bear

We were green and uninitiated, perhaps a little naïve when it came to the favourite toy responsibility.

Video: Baby sniffs beardless dad to make sure it's him

She looks him up and down and then touches his chin, but baby Lindsey still isn't sure this clean-shaven man is her dad.

It's possible to workout while pregnant

Medical experts say intense fitness routines can be done safely during pregnancy - if the mums-to-be follow some guidelines.

What parents really want for their kids

Are our hopes, dreams and expectations for our children what they really need?

'I had a feeling something was seriously wrong'

Before even giving birth, Katie Myers' maternal instincts warned her something was wrong with her baby.

When your pregnancy causes a relationship rift

Some dads-to-be don't miss a beat when their partner is pregnant; others struggle with a range of issues and can become withdrawn, right when their support is needed most.

Couple uses group photo trick to announce pregnancy to loved ones

Katharine and Kris Camilli devised a clever trick to immortalise their family and friends' reactions to their exciting pregnancy news.

Why Tracey Spicer has given up make-up

"After 30 years on television, I had become what I despised: a painted doll who spent an hour a day and close to $200 a week putting on a mask."

Knowing you are one of the lucky ones

I am secure, confident and strong, but the responsibility of protecting my children can almost bring me undone.

Why I am so emotional now I have kids?

There are so many ways in which parenthood changes us as women, but one of the most noticeable, for me, has been the changing state of my emotions.

Baby survives despite sharing womb with 'foreign body'

Baby Maia was conceived against the odds, only to find she was sharing a womb with an ominous "foreign body".

Video: Baby shows dog how to jump - or vice versa

They say dog is man's best friend, but this playful pooch seems to have chosen a jumping baby as her number one buddy.

10 ways to soothe a crying baby

New paernts can get frustrated when their newborn gets fussy and can't settle down. When you're feeling overwhelmed, try some of these simple tips to help soothe your baby.

20 baby names that are becoming more popular every year

The data-lovers at nameberry.com have been at it again – this time, they’ve discovered the names that are continually rising up the ranks, ready to take out some top spots in the next few years.

10 great meals to make for new parents

Ideally, you want to give food that isn’t expensive to make, isn't too difficult to create, and freezes well; stews, bakes, soups and pasta sauces are perfect.

Weird pregnancy products

Some pregnancy products come to market and are just awesome. Others just leave you scratching your head.

Carers admit to force-feeding children

Twin brothers have become dads on the same day ? with their partners giving birth in the same hospital, and even the same birthing pool.

 

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.