Family Rules of Fine Dining
by Hannah Keeley
Rule #1. Don’t
Okay, I’m kidding. But in all seriousness (if that’s even possible for me), we decided to go on the ultimate adventure for any family with a lot of kids. We took them all to a fancy restaurant.
And we survived.
So, here they are–the family rules of fancy restaurants.
Rule #1: Don’t ever ask for a kid’s menu.
Yes, I stand red-faced, admitting to the world that I asked if the restaurant had a kid’s menu. It was merely a request, mind you, but the servers laughed under their breath when I mentioned the idea. However, I think it is important that a restaurant welcomes ALL ages, so you should always ask if they have any recommendations for children.
Rule #2: Accept only Superior Behavior.
Here are my thoughts on kids and fancy establishments. First, your kids should set a standard of excellence. They should be disciplined and well-behaved (even if you have to strike the fear of God in them to do so–jk). This doesn’t just happen once in a while. this happens with daily discipline. So, if your kids have not been disciplined to behave properly, don’t even attempt a fancy establishment. Start in the home first.
Rule #3: Expect only Superior Service.
As you know, I’m big on kids modeling good behavior. Because of this, I also am big on employees of establishments treating them as valuable customers. If they cannot treat my kids with respect and supply good service, then they aren’t worthy of our patronage. Fortunately, this restaurant exceeded expectations. (phew!).
Rule #4: Communicate Expectations.
Before we went out, I discussed with the kids what I expected out of them at the restaurant. I also made sure I communicated exactly why I expected this. When we go out, people should see something different about us. They should see joy, love, respect, and excellent behavior. This is also a way to be a blessing to others.
Rule #5: Lighten Up.
As much as we preach it and teach it, sometimes it doesn’t just happen. Roll with it, Mama. Check out this picture I took a couple years ago when we dined out. If you’ll notice, Korben has something big and green in his teeth, Kyler was just about to wipe his face with his shirt. And Kelsey was covering her mouth to try to keep from laughing so hard that her drink came out of her nose. Hey, it happens. It’s okay. Don’t quit trying, gently (or not so gently) nudging them forward to meet certain standards.
Rule #5: Plan a Reward.This is vital if you’re going to make it through without a hitch. Kids need something to look forward to. Even though you and I see a fancy dinner as a reward in itself, kids think differently. Plan something fun after the dinner, such as getting ice cream or enjoying a movie at home. If they make it through the meal abiding by the rules that you prepped them with, then they get to enjoy that special treat.
Rule #6: Have Fun.
Dining with a family should be fun. And fancy restaurants do not mean that you need to put on a somber appearance and talk in hushed tones. Go ahead, laugh! It will do that table next to you a whole heap of good to hear a family having a fun time together. LInger, talk, and make it worth the purchase. You’ll be creating wonderful memories!
So, tell me about your restaurant adventures. I would love to hear about them!
Hannah Keeley was once in overwhelmed mom living in a cluttered house, deep in debt, out of shape, and barely hanging on. But one day, after finding herself sobbing uncontrollably into a pile of clean laundry, she realized God has bigger and better plans for her (just like He does for each one of His children). Beginning that day, she began making changes in her life that took her from overwhelmed to overjoyed. Today, she’s helping moms do the same. Hannah, her husband, Blair, and their seven children live in Richmond, Virginia, and are having the time of their lives!
Check out Hannah’s Website Here!