We took the kids out to dinner tonight. Nothing fancy, just a local pub. It gave us a chance to dress up a bit and gave the kids a break from Mum’s normal cooking.
For just such occasions, we have made a ‘restaurant purse’. A cheap purse filled with little bits of cardboard, stickers and some coloured pencils, to keep the kids entertained while we wait for our meals.
Except today we forgot the ‘restaurant purse’ so we had to keep the kids busy the old fashioned way…we talked to them. We chatted, played games and talked about why we have to wait for our food and why we have to use quiet voices in a restaurant. They were great; they people-watched and got up several times to check out the dessert displays (with many warnings of “walk around the tables“).
I was amazed, though, at the amount of kids at the pub that were attached to an electronic device. I totally understand that children can be a pain when going out for dinner; complaining about the wait, unable to sit for long periods of time. But really, how are they going to learn these skills unless they have the opportunity to practise?
I’m very proud of Megan and Alex and the way they behaved tonight. We could have pulled out our phones as babysitters, but instead we gave them the chance to practise their manners and I’d be more than happy to take them out again!