Yes, discipline and order are used to apply to the table. In times of somewhat authoritarian upbringing, youngsters often sat quietly at the table and father and mother could enjoy the food. Yes, … or does it just look like this in the photo album? We all know what the truth really is. There are simply things that parents and/or children should leave off the dining table at home and outside.
#1 Prepare Complete Dinner Dishes
Point 1 is really a recent trend and every family knows it: kids are very hungry and therefore they can’t do everything. The basement has to balance the half-full panels in the kitchen in an intricate way and everything is discarded. It does not work for several reasons. Whether you are at home or in a restaurant, you should know your children and only order them as much as they can manage. This is exactly what the thief’s plate was invented for: a larger portion of a plate that parents and children can eat from. Or you can order a children’s portion. This is usually also possible with dishes not specifically included in the children’s menu. You can usually take leftovers with you wherever you go. It doesn’t have to sound weird or embarrassing to you.
#2 Let the kids run around
What was unimaginable in the 1950s, shown in the photo above, is now commonplace: children running in a good mood between dining tables. This is usually annoying both at home and in the restaurant. It has nothing to do with needs-oriented education if you’re really bothering other guests because kids are allowed to run wild if they don’t feel like sitting still. It can also be really dangerous for employees, as my colleague Charoline has learned from her own experience:
#3 Make the baby howl for hours
Of course you can go out to eat with a baby and he will cry too. But if you really have a crying baby and it’s hard to calm him down, it’s too stressful for you and others. In this case, you should wait until you go to classic restaurants, because you do not serve anyone. Unless, of course, you’re at the parent-child cafe. But as parents, we can’t expect anyone else to be ready for our crying baby.
#4 Trapped the other guests to eat
If you don’t have children, it is annoying in the restaurant when the little ones bump into the tables and play hide and seek or throw food or shout loudly and tell stories. Just think a little about the other guests. Yes, we love our kids and find what they have to say very exciting, but not necessarily the other people present. We parents should accept that too!
#5 Just eat someone else’s plate
Do you also know people who take food from other dishes? I personally really hate it. You can ask me if you can try something, but simply fingering it with a fork without being asked is a taboo. I also forbid my child to do this! Now I may be the strict mom, but I don’t like it. Not even at home from your children. It helps when kids learn a little respect, because they simply don’t want me to steal their pasta.
#6 Fighting all the time
The same applies to parents and children alike: we should try to focus on the meal when eating. Of course, sometimes the dining table is almost the only place where the family sits together, if working hours allow. Then, of course, the topics are discussed. But we can all pull ourselves together to argue less about it. This happens more often in one family or another. Maybe we shouldn’t explain difficult topics while we’re eating, because then the kids don’t appreciate their meal and just get upset. The same goes for adults. And in the restaurant, of course, it is also inappropriate to burden everyone with your personal affairs.
#7 Use your cell phone and/or tablet while eating
Yes, we live in times when cell phones or tablets are (apparently) indispensable. But we can still make some small rules. Like, for example, that the digital device does not belong at the dining table. It just annoys everyone and distracts from eating. As parents, we have to set an example and put our smartphones away!
#8 Not on the plate, but to eat everywhere
The kids are clearly muddy and leaky. So you should think carefully about whether you should go to an elegant restaurant with a baby. Even with young children, it is still difficult and cannot be done without many warnings. Can we ask four-year-olds to eat at least from the plate instead of on the side? Personally, I don’t like it when they distribute their food everywhere, both at home and outside. Our colleague Jane, on the other hand, doesn’t think it’s a problem if something goes wrong. Editor Natalie agrees with me:
#9 Disgust with eating others
Babies are just so refreshing some like to loudly disgust themselves with other people’s food. This is not very nice for the other person, who loves to eat it or is looking forward to it. My daughter also tends to spit food everywhere. I’m trying to wean her off it…
#10 Asking for something but then not wanting to eat it
It wouldn’t be very sustainable if the kids didn’t want to eat the food they ordered in the restaurant. Sometimes this can happen, even if you have chosen it yourself. I have noticed many times that full dishes stop or come back. Therefore, you should not let the children always order themselves or demand less yourself, because in case of doubt you have to eat it. Think about the tons of food wasted and kitchen hassles and costs and never send it all out again!
#11 Let the kids do a lot on their own
My colleagues Jennifer and Micah agree: you should let the kids do whatever the rules are. If they can cut things themselves as a toddler, and open their food, they are proud and learn a lot. As parents, you sometimes make it unnecessarily hard on yourself when you ask kids to “do everything right” at the table. Of course they won’t. It takes a lot of understanding and patience on both sides.
#12 Disciplining children out loud
With everything, one thing is clear: in most families, different rules apply on the inside than on the outside. It is important for children to be able to tell the difference. But you don’t really have to warn your child out loud in front of all the restaurant guests if they don’t do something “right” or if they make a mess. This is insulting to the child. You can show him that he wasn’t very nice and before you have a tantrum, leave and take a deep breath. can help. There are simply days when patience is short, and we all know that. And sometimes babies burst into tears over the little things. Just as adults sometimes get annoyed faster. We all contribute to making everyone feel good, even when eating.
When young children become schoolchildren, many things in life change. Sticking to certain rules is part of it and a challenge we have some advice on:
What kind of father are you?
What kind of mother are you or will you become?
Image Credit: Getty Images / H. Armstrong Roberts
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