Parenting Writing Prompt Thursday

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Every Thursday, I post a writing prompt that focuses on either parenting or family, as well as my answer. And then I hold my breath and pray that you readers will post your own responses to the prompt in the comments section.

Here we go.

I recently saw on the news that some restaurants around the country are starting to prohibit children under a certain age from dining at their establishment. The idea is that younger children can be disruptive to other diners and in an effort to keep all diners happy, certain restaurants have started putting a sign in their window that states no children are allowed. What do you think of this?

My answer:

Oh where to start. I think it’s up to the restaurant if they want to prohibit children, but they need to remember that parents–and others–may be turned off from restaurants that aren’t family-friendly. It seems a little hoity-toity to me not to allow children, but I understand and accept what restaurants are trying to do.

What it really comes down to, though, is the parents knowing their child and what their child is capable of. If your child tends to be rowdy or prone to tantrums over small things, don’t take him to a nicer restaurant until he’s a little older.

Things I’ve learned to keep in mind when choosing a restaurant for dinner:

1. Do they have a children’s menu? If they don’t, it’s a good bet that they aren’t going to be happy with a toddler throwing a tantrum.

2. Is it around time for your child’s nap or is your child super-hungry? A lot of restaurants will offer crackers for your little one if it might be a while until your dinner is served, but it wouldn’t hurt to have a bag of Cheerios or Fruit Loops in your purse.

3. Take small, quiet toys for your child to play with while waiting to be served. Even their own coloring book and crayons can help keep them occupied in the lull between ordering and being served.

4. Have a set discipline plan with your partner for if your child throws a tantrum, acts out, etc. Sometimes the only thing you can do is remove your child from the situation in an effort to get them to calm down, not bother other diners, keep your sanity, etc. And that’s what to-go boxes are for.

Greg and I have learned all of these things after trial and error with Zoey. After a recent experience at Pizzeria Uno in which Zoey was due for a nap and was acting out because of it, we realized that we were expecting too much from our toddler. She isn’t ready for the sit down restaurants unless we take toys, snacks, etc. We weren’t prepared for this trip because it was kind of an impromptu decision and Zoey ended up not being a happy camper. As a result, we ended up leaving the restaurant with to-go boxes.

And frankly, Zoey would have been a lot happier if we had just gone to McDonalds anyway.

Please write your response to the prompt in the comments section.

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8 responses »

  1. I myself am not a parent…however I am always with kids…between friends and family I always have a child of some age with me. I agree with every single thing you stated. You and Greg have a game plan…unfortunately many people just don’t care any more. They let their kids run free and scream and be disruptive. I can not even fathom this. Granted I do not have children of my own…however I look back at my childhood and I know I would be dead if I EVER acted the way that some of these children are acting in public. It only takes a few bad eggs to spoil it for other. When I say a few bad eggs I refer to parents. So with that being said, I can understand certain “hoity-toity” restaurants saying no children. Again I state that I am not a parent but I do consider myself a realist when it comes to issues as such. A child crying or being loud playing does not bother me one bit at any restaurant but to some it does. When a child is screaming and throwing food across the room and the parents are doing nothing to try to stop the child…that is when I am annoyed and then it is with the parent and not the child. That’s all πŸ™‚ Now lets see if this post because I comment to almost everything and it never seems to show up……fingers crossed πŸ™‚

    • Sorry about previous comments, Stacy. They haven’t ever come through for me to see and post. I definitely would have posted them right away because I would have recognized your name. If you continue to have problems with comments, let me know.–Cindy

      • I think I figured out why they were not posting….ooopsss it was my fault! I never clicked the icon button…hmmm maybe I will go back and re-post on everything πŸ™‚ I shall blame it on the fact that I am not awake in the morning and I read your blog while drinking my first cup of coffee instead of after hahaha

      • I’m totally bummed that I missed out on your other comments. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who looks at this blog. πŸ™‚

      • Nooooo way I am a faithful reader every morning!!! πŸ™‚ I have never clicked the sign in button until today and look here….I can see my post πŸ™‚

      • I check the blog pretty frequently throughout the day, so I usually get to comments pretty soon after they are posted. If, for some reason, you don’t see something of yours in the future, let me know. I’m thinking WordPress might have thought your comments were spam or something. Ugh. Anyway, I’m glad you like the blog. πŸ™‚

  2. You should be able to leave comments without signing in. If you continue having me problems, let me know.–Cindy

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