You asked

My child is a constant bother at a restaurant, what can I do?

Before going to a restaurant, do some research about the establishment. If your child is a toddler, or preschooler, choose a restaurant that caters for children with a kid's menu, activities for children to do and staff who can cope with children.  Find out what is on the menu that is appropriate for your child. You can then prepare your child for what lies ahead; this is better than going to a venue and encountering unexpected food challenges. Avoid going to formal, fancy restaurants until your child is about 10 years old. That way you can avoid fretting about your child's behaviour instead of enjoying your meal.

Your child must be informed about manners, such as with making noises while eating. Tell your child that it is inappropriate to be loud while eating in a restaurant; you will need to do some reminding while you are there too. Young children are unable to sit still for very long – 45 minutes is the maximum in most cases. Bring along something for your child to do while waiting for your meal. You may need to take your child for a walk outside the restaurant, or visit the play area, if such facilities are available.

If your child is insisting on being restless and bothersome, rather request take away bags and leave the restaurant. Go to a nearby park, or back home to enjoy the rest of your meal.

By the age of four, most children can be polite at eating establishments and sit still for about 45 minutes. Activities are necessary, such as crayons to keep them occupied.

By the age of eight, children are able to sit for more than an hour in a restaurant, engage in polite conversation with adults and try unfamiliar foods.

More questions

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