A.K. asks from Louisville, KY on June 23, 2008
Acting up at Restaurants
my son is 15 mnths old. its alway been very trying to go out to eat as a family. hes never been one to want to ever sit. strollers, carseats, highchairs ect. we love to go for dinner as a family but attempting to get him the highschair is never fun. he arches his back, kicks his legs and screams throwing his head around. hes pretty strong willed. any suggestions or tips on how to make him sit without screaming. i hate to always bribe him with food, thats what ive been doing.
B.K. answers from Charlotte on July 02, 2008
I understand having to bribe with food, I myself have done that with my son and you're right, it's not a good habit to start. And I don't want to seem rude...but you may just need to stop eating out as a family for a while. Wait until he's older. I know it sounds harsh but with him acting up it's not fun for you or others around you so for now just dine as a family at home.
J.L. answers from Memphis on June 24, 2008
My son went through a similar stage around this age. It is a very difficult age b/c it is not easy to discipline due to the fact that they really don't comprehend what they did to get in trouble. My husband agreed to avoid eating out for a couple of months, at least in places that are not family friendly. It probably won't last long. Other than that, I found that trying to move his attention on to something else worked better than anything else.
Good luck and remember it will pass!
T.C. answers from Nashville on June 24, 2008
D.J. answers from Greensboro on June 23, 2008
15 mos is right around the age that they learn they are unable to control MOST of their environment, so will try any way possible... Both of my boys went through this independent, fighting stage; including, BUT NOT LIMITED to strollers, diaper changes, high chairs, shopping carts... it is definately a stage that he will soon grow out of (then you will have an all new stage to adjust to :) I always had a small bag of toys they only saw at restaurants. I try to get the kids to interact w/ the server, that way, everytime they visit the table, the kids have something to smile about and look forward to. Let your little guy hold a big grown-up menu and show him the pictures and make yum-yum sounds. Right now, going to a restaurant is going to take a lot of energy from you JUST to keep the peace. I think now is a great time to set boundaries at home, but not so much in a restaurant (and believe me, I have no problem putting my three-year old in time-out in the freezer section at the store if I have to) but 15 months is a little young to understand how to behave in public. He wants to control his environment, so give him something that he can control. Maybe make getting into the highchair a GAME; maybe say, "I'm gonna throw this baby into the chair, (pull back,) 1 (pull back again) 2, 3! and pretend to toss him in; By the time he's done laughing, he'll be buckled in snugly. good luck!
1 mom found this helpful
J.C. answers from Fayetteville on June 24, 2008
At a very young age, i started prepping my son in the car with the "good behavior" speech, its amazing what they really understand. The same thing every time. This is what good behavior is, you are a good boy, you will have good behavior etc. Then i would remind him when we sat down. But the main thing was to be prepared. At dinner, you can still make it structured with changing activities every so often. Catch him immemdiately being good, and reward him with a song, pat a cake etc. When is starts to act up, remind him what good behavior is. I also started explaining that mommy was going to sit and enjoy dinner too, and how everyone else is enjoying theirs. If there are other children being good, you can bring that to there attention too. Dont compare, just tell him that they are having good behavior, lets have good behavior too. It is somewhat annoying, and difficult to stick with, and sometimes you'll still need to ask for a to go box early. Then explain the reason for leaving, and prep again the next time. I have always liked to go out to eat once a week, and not taking my son is rarely an option (military), so this is what worked for us! good luck.
1 mom found this helpful
P.B. answers from Raleigh on June 24, 2008
We used to bring the booster seat from home with the snap-on tray. The kind you can strap to a chair. That helped us (also good at movies)
It also my be time to not go to restaurants for a while. Honor where your child is & remember it will never last long!
J.H. answers from Greenville on June 25, 2008
being a parent sometimes means making decisions that aren't your favorites. maybe you need to forgo the family eatouts until he's a little older and enjoys the experience as much as you do...??? good luck
M.B. answers from Louisville on June 24, 2008
Have you tried taking some crayons and a sheet or two of paper. Maybe some sort of small toys. Crayons seem to work with my son-or at least buy us enough time to finish dinner. We only eat out at buffets-we can get our food fast and finish when we need to. I don't remember the last time we actually sat and waited for our food. I think everyone has this problem, so don't feel to bad. It will pass-till then, eat fast. :o)
J.K. answers from Raleigh on June 24, 2008
My son is 3.5, and we still don't take him to any restaurant where there is not a playland of some sort. Even at home, he will take a few bites, get up and do something, and then sit back down and take a few more bites. I have read that some children cannot sit still for mealtimes until about the age of 4.
The upside is that my husband and I have learned to be great cooks during this time. Now our friends would rather come over to our house than go out to eat! They bring their kids, and we let the whole gang play in the living room, while we enjoy some conversation with our meal.
E.S. answers from Greenville on June 24, 2008
Hi A. K! I don't know how much this will help bu maby if you try taking his favorite blanket or favorite toy or something that would capture his attention. Also Trying praying and beleive the Lord to Bless. Hope this will help. Agapelovegrace.
J.H. answers from Raleigh on June 24, 2008
Oh A., I feel your pain. My son is 22 months old. He has never liked being "confined". Car seats, strollers, highchairs, etc. Just like your little guy.
My answer. Toys. Nothing expensive, nothing noisy, but they have saved the day for us.
Little cars & trains are great. We also bring little board books from the library. And the books make great tunnels for the cars!
The two items that have been winners and we always get asked by other parents about them: A peg board. It's a foam board with holes in it. It comes with all these chunky plastic pegs you can put in the holes or stack on top of each other.
The other item is a little wind up Thomas train and a circle of track.
Both of these items are for when we're out only. That way they stay "special".