Lilly was a handful whenever we went ANYWHERE, but going to a restaurant was particularly challenging. She loved “McDannel’s,” and so McDonald’s was the place for some of our early outings with her. It’s a relatively safe place to take a child with a tendency for wild rages. The best time of day for an outing with a child like that is about two or three o’clock, because the restaurant is not as busy.
Rehearse the rules ahead, and the main rule is that if there are any outbursts, “The food and drink go in the trash, and we go home.” Eating out is not a right, -it’s a privilege!
We actually did throw food and drinks in the trash receptacles and left the restaurant a bunch of times times before Lilly got the idea that we weren’t kidding.
One time we were at a sit-down restaurant and she was agitated that it was taking too long. She began to get loud and unruly, and when our meals came, I took her plate from the waitress and set it aside, out of Lilly’s reach. I said, “You may not get this. You can always have left-overs at home.”
If she wanted her food, she had no choice but to settle down, and she did.
And then there were the trips to the car when there was the beginning of a scene at a restaurant. It was hard work, and I am sure other people thought we were being mean to the cute little girl.
Lastly, make sure that you discuss what the child is allowed to order before you go in, and make sure you leave a good tip if it is a regular place with wait staff.
Lilly is polite when we go out to eat today because we stuck with it. Good luck with YOUR wild child. 😀 Nealie