My 20 month old son only acts out while out to eat. How do I stop this or change it?

Randi - posted on 03/09/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My name is Randi. I have a 20 month old son. He is a very well behaved boy I get plenty of compliments on it but he tends to act out while we are out to eat. He used to be good about it but now he doesn't want to sit still, eat his food or climb on the table. And if there are other children around acting bad he tends to think he can do that too! It's very frustrating as a mother of my age. Me and his father are in our early twenty's and everyone already stares at us in disapproval when we are out eating than you have my otherwise well behaved child acting out. So they tend to stare more! I was wondering if any of u could help me with this and how to change it. He is a very smart little boy. But what parent wouldn't say that about their child.

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Amy - posted on 03/09/2013

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Going out to eat with a toddler is very stressful, it's a lot to ask if them and it doesn't help that parents are hyper vigilant about making sure they behave. At this point it may be best to leave him home for a couple of months but if you still want to bring him this is my suggestion.

Don't go out to dinner during peak nights, when you do go out call ahead or have reservations to minimize the amount of waiting you are going to be doing. Know what you are going to order before you sit down so when the waiter comes over you can just order. Skip appetizers and deserts when you have a toddler in toe you want to be in and out as quickly as possible. If you insist on ordering appetizers tell them to bring everything out together. Bring snacks to keep your little one occupied as well as a quiet activity. While waiting for your food take a walk either outside or to the bathroom. And if he starts acting up remove him from the restaurant. That may mean that you and his dad have to switch off in order to eat. Finally ask for the check as soon as the food arrives that way if you have to make a quick exit you can.

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Randi - posted on 03/09/2013

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Thanks. for the suggestions. I dont tend to leave him unless we have to we enjoy doing this with him. And going out once in a while to eat is just something we do cus his daddy works 6days a week so he likes to make sure on his days off we r together instead of leaving him with someone. He's great in stores or malls very well behaved at other people's houses just not out to eat. But the idea of taking him for a walk sounds like it might help him get some of his little wiggles out of him. The quiet activities we have tried he gets very distracted on others around him or loses interest.

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