How do I get my 3 year old to sit down at a restaurant and eat without whining and trying to get up every 2 seconds?

Holly - posted on 08/15/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )




I don't even like to go out in public to eat because my just turning 3 year old doesn't know how to act in public. She always wants to get up and never wants to sit and eat. It is so embarrassing and I don't want to be the mom who's yelling at her kid while everyone is trying to enjoy their meal. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!


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We had the same problem with our son. Thankfully he got better and so will your little one. In the mean time, you could try taking crayons and a drawing pad and get her to draw or colour in. I would also make sure I had a lolly pop in my bag to use as a bribe. Source out child-friendly restaurants and keep dining time to a minimum so she doesn't get bored. When she is showing the right behaviour make sure you let her know that she is being good and lavish her with praise. It is hard and we actually didn't go out a lot when my son was small but as he got older, he got easier and now he is almost 6 and all I need to say to him is to be a gentleman and he understands to behave. We dine out much more frequently now and as time goes on you will find it easier and more pleasant.

Amy - posted on 08/15/2012




If she doesn't act right in public then I wouldn't take her to a restaurant where the expectations are even higher. As for some suggestions on how to make it smoother call ahead or have reservations made in advanced. Look at the menu and know what your going to order before you go. Order your meal as soon as you sit down, if you order a soup and salad have th bring it at the same time to save time. Have them put your daughters order in immediately so she's not sitting there while everyone else does appetizers. As soon as your meal arrives ask for the check do that you can leave as soon as your done eating. If your daughter acts up be prepared for one of you to remove her from the restaurant. Try to bring quiet toys or activities to keep her occupied. Or you could always pay a sitter so you can enjoy a nice quiet meal.

Chaya - posted on 08/15/2012




My brother, the dad of triplets, refuses to take his children to child focused restraunts.That may be a solution.
Tell him to sit down and be quiet, if you need to bribe him with desert, that may be an option. You could say, if you don't sit still, you can't have whatever reward may be offered.

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