I started this blog in 2005 when my monkeys were three and one. Eating out, something I had always loved to do, was suddenly not fun anymore. Taking my kids to restaurants was incredibly stressful! Dining with Monkeys was therapy for me.
After years and years of dining out with my kids, I now have two little boys who like to eat a variety of foods and who, for the most part, know how to properly behave in restaurants. Going out to eat is one of our favorite things to do now. You know what they say--practice makes perfect!
This blog in no way exists to excuse the behavior of parents who ignore their children and allow them to ruin the dining experience of others. Quite the opposite, I hope to show parents that with some planning ahead they can have a good dining experience with their kids and avoid disturbing others.
Unfortunately kids don't always do what we want them to do, and things don't always go as we planned. However, I firmly believe that if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when taking your kids out to restaurants:
1. Research the restaurant and try to look at the menu before going
2. Go when your kids are hungry, but not tired
3. Try to go early and beat the rush
4. Bring along some paper for the kids to draw on, play "Eye Spy" with them, talk to them, or find something else to keep them engaged
5. If your kids aren't cooperating, cut the meal short and try again another time
6. Always tip your servers well, and add a little extra if your kids make an extra mess
7. Come back here and leave helpful comments for other diners