Q: My husband and I are sometimes hesitant to bring our kids with us to dine out at a restaurant. I have nightmares about being one of those families whose children are running around the restaurant, crawling under the table, or causing other distractions to others trying to enjoy their meal. We really value eating together as a family, and it is always a special treat to go to a restaurant. How can I prepare my kids and teach them good manners while dining out?
A: Before going, talk to your child. Tell him that he’ll be given a menu, the waiter will take his order, and everyone will stay at the table until the meal ends. Select a restaurant with reasonably quick service and a family-friendly atmosphere. When you make a reservation, or before you’re seated, tell the hostess or manager that you’re dining with kids and would like to be seated near other families, or away from quiet couples.