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Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

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Bridex100
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Momx100

Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

21m old DS is an absolute terror when we eat out at restaurants. He's usually good for 15 minutes but then he will NOT sit in the high chair. He will last about 5 minutes on our laps and then he will want to wander/run around the restaurant or tug at us to leave. DH and I love eating out. we literally used to eat out 6x per week before we had DS.

Some of our friends' kids are absolute angels at restaurants. They'll sit peacefully eating and playing, coloring, etc.

What did we do wrong? Is it because we didn't take him out enough?
Should we take him out more to get him used to eating out at restaurants?

Posted 12/30/10 11:41 AM
 
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brownie
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Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

I think its the age. DD is 17 months and unless she's a little tired/out of it, she wants out of the chair after 5/10 mins and wants to walk around. We usually get it to go to eat at home, or have someone babysit if we want to go out. Or sometimes have lunch/dinner at a more kid friendly place...I really think its the age/maturity at this time. DD is well behaved but she is a mover, less of a talker. She's always on the go, but I don't think its a bad thing! Chat Icon

Posted 12/30/10 11:43 AM
 

Bridex100
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Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

Posted by brownie

I think its the age. DD is 17 months and unless she's a little tired/out of it, she wants out of the chair after 5/10 mins and wants to walk around. We usually get it to go to eat at home, or have someone babysit if we want to go out. Or sometimes have lunch/dinner at a more kid friendly place...I really think its the age/maturity at this time. DD is well behaved but she is a mover, less of a talker. She's always on the go, but I don't think its a bad thing! Chat Icon



That's the thing - we don't go out with him much because he is difficult. DH and I rarely go out to eat alone together. We eat lots of take out. I'll go out with my friends or he'll go out with his so we take turns being home with DS. I'd like to move towards going out together more as a family but it doesn't seem to be working. Chat Icon

Posted 12/30/10 11:46 AM
 

BAM 2009
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Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

We only eat out about once a month now. DS is 14 months old and does not like to sit still. He was fine until he started to crawl and now that he is almost running, forget about it..I only order a salad because I know if I order anything hot, it will be cold by the time I eat it. He is too young to color and we play pass the baby until food time..I usually just get up and walk around with him...I am going to invest in a portable DVD player next month and see how that works....Hopefully by the time he is 2, we can maybe enjoy a meal...

Posted 12/30/10 11:48 AM
 

brownie
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Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

Posted by Bridex100

Posted by brownie

I think its the age. DD is 17 months and unless she's a little tired/out of it, she wants out of the chair after 5/10 mins and wants to walk around. We usually get it to go to eat at home, or have someone babysit if we want to go out. Or sometimes have lunch/dinner at a more kid friendly place...I really think its the age/maturity at this time. DD is well behaved but she is a mover, less of a talker. She's always on the go, but I don't think its a bad thing! Chat Icon



That's the thing - we don't go out with him much because he is difficult. DH and I rarely go out to eat alone together. We eat lots of take out. I'll go out with my friends or he'll go out with his so we take turns being home with DS. I'd like to move towards going out together more as a family but it doesn't seem to be working. Chat Icon



Give it some time, they are so all over the place now, KWIM? I get you want to work on him being able to sit for a long time, but they're little kids, ya know? Maybe in a few weeks or month try it again, but something kid friendly. And then try it again. Bring him some books and coloring books or toys. I could say the same for my DD but I know those things will only work for so long, because she wants to move! I think its one of those things we'll just have to sacrifice for the time being Chat Icon

Posted 12/30/10 11:50 AM
 

ruby
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Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

Do you bring toys or things to entertain him? If we go out to eat I bring an arsenal of toys/crayons/books/trains so that the second he gets bored with one there's another. I also try and order his food right when we sit down so that it comes out quicker. And I always ask for bread of crackers or whatever to hold him over in the meantime.

Do we have nice long relaxing dinners out anymore? No. But, for the time we're there, DS is distracted, entertained and fed and pretty good. There's not much lingering after we eat cause that's usually the point he's done with being there.

Posted 12/30/10 11:50 AM
 

Bridex100
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Momx100

Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

Posted by BAM 2009

We only eat out about once a month now. DS is 14 months old and does not like to sit still. He was fine until he started to crawl and now that he is almost running, forget about it..I only order a salad because I know if I order anything hot, it will be cold by the time I eat it. He is too young to color and we play pass the baby until food time..I usually just get up and walk around with him...I am going to invest in a portable DVD player next month and see how that works....Hopefully by the time he is 2, we can maybe enjoy a meal...



When DS was your son's age, the iPad and iPhone interested him but now when we are out, he is much more interested in wandering around. I think he wants to explore the new environment vs sitting and watching something on the iPad. Sigh.

Maybe when he is older (2.5?), he'll be more interested in videos.

Posted 12/30/10 11:50 AM
 

Bridex100
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Momx100

Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

Posted by ruby

Do you bring toys or things to entertain him? If we go out to eat I bring an arsenal of toys/crayons/books/trains so that the second he gets bored with one there's another. I also try and order his food right when we sit down so that it comes out quicker. And I always ask for bread of crackers or whatever to hold him over in the meantime.

Do we have nice long relaxing dinners out anymore? No. But, for the time we're there, DS is distracted, entertained and fed and pretty good. There's not much lingering after we eat cause that's usually the point he's done with being there.



We ALWAYS bring toys. Maybe it's because they are toys he sees at home but he is not interested or interested for maybe 1-2 minutes only. He doesn't like to color -at home, at school, at a restaurant.

He just wants to explore the restaurant.

Posted 12/30/10 11:52 AM
 

TaraHutch
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Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

Does he like to draw/color? Color Wonder books work wonders (no pun intended) for my DD at restaurants. Or maybe a travel size magnadoodle?

Posted 12/30/10 11:52 AM
 

sarahbelle
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Sarah

Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

My son was, and still can be, the same way. Hated the highchair, hated sitting, wasn't interested in eating at all. He is 2 years and 2 months and it has gotten better recently....hopefully it will for you too.

We always ask for a booth...that way he can sit on his own, with one of us blocking the way out. He plays with our phones and crayons or rearranges the sweeteners. Maybe get him a toy that is just for restaurants?

Posted 12/30/10 11:53 AM
 

nrthshgrl
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Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

It's because he's 21 months & can't sit for a long period of time.

Take him outside, walk him around. There's a reason why they created restaurants geared toward children & 2 year olds are the reason.Chat Icon

Posted 12/30/10 11:53 AM
 

lbelle821
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Lisa

Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

I have one of those....for his entire 2's we never brought him out because it was more stressful than it was worth.

It's much better now. I come armed with a bag of stuff. Crayons, ipod, travel aquadoodle, travel magnadoodle. He's still scootchy sometimes but I am very particular with what types of restaurants I take him to and what time I take him. And i make sure they get his food out fast!

Posted 12/30/10 11:56 AM
 

kerrycec03
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Kerry

Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

food is key for Liam. We usually order his right away. Plus, DS is a juice lover, so we get his juice right away.

Posted 12/30/10 11:58 AM
 

JennZ
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Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

I bring toys, food and his juice. I always leave him in the high chair. Once out it is hell going back. If he is completely out of control, i just walk with him and then we do it again. I never leave. He needs to learn there is a time and place for crazy.

Posted 12/30/10 12:11 PM
 

maybesoon
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Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

I think it's just the kids personality. DH and I LOVE to go out to eat and would go 2-3 times a week. now we never go bc it's not worth it, we don't get to enjoy ourselves , and DS is (27 months) a total nightmare. he has alwasy been a nightmare, pretty much anywhere we go now that I think about it Chat Icon

eating out as a family is overrated Chat Icon DH and I go out only if we have a babysitter

Posted 12/30/10 12:36 PM
 

MarisaK
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Marisa

Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

We have been taking Sen out with us since he's weeks old -

Now, at 20 months it's not AS easy as it was b/c he has a mind of his own (and a mouth!! Chat Icon )

But I find that if we take him early (like 5:30/6ish) we are ok - He eats, we get to eat and all is ok - Obviously we don't go out to eat during the week anymore w/ that time frame !!
I don't really bring anything to entertain him - but we aren't in the place longer than an hour either !!

We used to go out late and he used to be fine. Not so much anymore.

Posted 12/30/10 12:40 PM
 

Dulcinea
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Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

My DS just turned 2 and it also terrible at restaurants, but I find a few things work:

- find a restaurant that has booth seating so he's seated between you and the wall, no more squirming to get out or wander around!
- take him out to eat before or after his nap
- bring lotsa toys
- feed him as soon as you get to the restaurant, get appetizers or bring something with you

Hope that helps!

Posted 12/30/10 12:53 PM
 

SHOPAHOLIC
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Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

I don't use toys from home. Those never seem to work. I have special diaper bag toys that she only gets to see/play with when we are out. That way it is more of a treat then the same old same old.

I also try to update them as often as possible so she won't get bored.

Also I go at her meal times when I know she is hungry and we order her food right away.

Posted 12/30/10 1:02 PM
 

FelAndJon
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Felice (aka LuckyBride2004)

Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

As others have mentioned, it is definitely the age! I also suggest the arsenal of toys (different than the ones he plays with regularly at home). I keep a bag in the car that are just "travel" toys. Movies don't keep my boys interested but if they work for you, go for it! I also make sure there is always some sort of food in front of them at all times.

Posted 12/30/10 1:28 PM
 

JenBenMen
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Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

honestly i think it is the age and something he/she will grow out of

my now 3 yr old was an absolute horror in restaurants (everything u described) but as he has gotten older he became an angel

on the other hand I am now dealing with it wilth my 21 month old younger sonChat Icon

Posted 12/30/10 1:36 PM
 

jellybean78
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Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

When DD was 2 I was terrified to go to restaurants with her...she didn't sit still or behave. Now at 3 she is much better. Chat Icon

Posted 12/30/10 1:43 PM
 

BRod-Cheng
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Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

we have dinner at the table together every day. It SLOWLY has helped in getting DS used to sitting at a table.

We also go to restaurants with lots of reinforcements. coloring books, toys, reading books...anything that will keep him busy.

We let him walk around after we order so that he will sit still when the food comes.

Posted 12/30/10 5:19 PM
 

MikesWife
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Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

I bring tons of things to do. I also will not head out later than 5:30pm. It also has to be at a place that we are in and out in 45 minutes. Chain restaurants, diners, Panera. Those are the places we stick to.

Posted 12/30/10 5:29 PM
 

lululu
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Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

My son has always been pretty well behaved at restaurants but I think it's just the way he was born. We NEVER brought him out as an infant.

Have you tried bringing a portable dvd player? also, try kid friendly places - people tend not to care as much if your kids run all over the place. There is a bar in our town that is very family friendly so we go there a lot. We try not to take him to places where others will mind because it's just to stressful to worry about others being bothered.

Posted 12/30/10 5:34 PM
 

justthe4ofus
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Re: Eating out - I have one of those toddlers that I always hated when I didn't have kids

You did nothing wrong. My daughter has always been an angel in restaurants. People always stopped us to compliment us on her behavior. She enjoys eating out also. My son on the other hand, once he hit a year, that was it for going out. His behavior is horrible and completely embarrassing. We don't go out to eat anymore. We just pray one day it will get better. There are not enough toys, youtube on my blackberry, crayons or creative ideas to keep him entertained. He is one that would probably make supernanny quit.

So my long winded point some kids can handle it some can't

Posted 12/30/10 6:09 PM
 
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