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Friday, July 8, 2011

5 Things Your Toddler Should Know

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1. Before Dining out

Sit down with your toddler and discuss your expectations. Such as you expect them not to run in the restaurant, because they may hurt themselves or someone else. A restaurant is for eating not running. Most toddlers want to meet your expectations, but they need to know what is expected first.

We must keep in mind it may be difficult for toddlers to sit still. Explain that you expect them to sit in their seat and not stand in the seat. I say this, because I once dined out with my children and a child about 4 or 5 actually stood up on the table and started shaking his hand at his parents telling them what he was not going to do? They were embarrassed. They did nothing, but finally got up an left. My children stated, “Aren’t you glad we do not act like that?” I replied, “You won’t act like that, that is not even a given.” Explain that you expect them to not yell while dining out. I remember my toddlers would get excited when talking to each other and their voices escalated.

2. Crayons & Paper

Some restaurants offer crayons and paper for children to color on before the meal arrives. Just in case they do not you can bring crayons and paper for your child to color.

3. Perfection

Remember everything may not turn out perfect the first time. You may have totally different issues that arise when dining out. If so, deal with it. The next time you dine out be sure to discuss it with your toddler before heading towards the restaurant.

4. Drinks

Most of the times the waiters/waitresses, bring the drinks before the meal. You can request that the drinks are brought with the meal or even after the meal. Let your toddlers know that you are doing this before dining out. Explain why. No you do not have to explain, but it helps your toddlers process it better, if they know why. Explain that you want to be sure they eat enough of the meal and do not get full of liquids before finishing their meal. This will just add to their healthy dining out experience.

5. Buffet Dining

Toddlers can have healthy dining out with buffet dining. Most Restaurants even have special meals for toddlers. You can take your toddler along side of you and suggest certain items. Give your toddlers choices to say, “Yes we want carrots or no we do not want strawberries. Another suggestion is to get a large plate and put several items on it. When you are back to the table, allow your toddlers to decide which items they may or may not want. Above all, remember to allow food choices. Your toddlers meals should be enjoyable as well as healthy. Encourage good conversation at the table. Allow your toddler to express their voice, but let them know yelling is not acceptable.

Feel free to share this article with a friend.

More From This Author:

How To Change Your Toddler’s Behavior, published by Betty Asphy. It is listed on this site under Toddler Behaviors. Just click on it. It is the second article listed under that title.

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