Fredericksburg Parent

July 2012

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family values Disaster-Proof Dining continued from pg 21 As You Leave Ultimate Tip, leave before the meltdown! Don't expect children to sit for hours. Watch for signs of impending doom and exit before hand. We all have our limits. can't afford afford the restaurant. When it's all done, remember Be mindful to clean up messes around the table, not only will the staff love you, but it teaches children to take responsibility. Remember thank you's to the staff from you and the children and most importantly, tip large. Waiters normally will have more work when children are involved; special incidentals and clean up. Reward their work. Some suggest up to 25 percent and never below 20 prcent, if you are at a tipping restaurant. Tipping should be considered cups, extra napkins, as part of the cost, not as an afterthought at the end. If you before you arrive the world of public eating with some positive reinforcement and parental guidance. Dining out can be a positive adventure to give your children words of praise for acceptable behaviors. Children will learn to navigate family interesting conversation and changing cuisine. Take some time to make it enjoyable by preparation and forethought. Final piece of advice, NEVER forget the diapers and wipes. Go back home and get them if you do. Bon Appétit! filled with Elaine Stone, mother of three, lives in Spotsylvania. the tip, you can't Eating-Out Essentials to Bring Snacks - It may seem odd to take food to a restaurant, but you'll be happy to have that container of Cheerios if you get stuck waiting for a table or for the food to arrive. Bath Books - Waterproof books are the perfect restaurant toy: You can wipe off any food or spills and they're soft so your child can't break anything with them. Books for older children, as well Baby Wipes - A small pack of wet wipes is a great way to clean a sticky table or sticky fingers before and after eating. Toppers To-Go - Stashed inside a disposable sippy cup are a fork, spoon, place mat, and bib -- everything you need for dining out easily. Quiet toys - coloring pages, stickers, Etch-a-Sketch or a drawing pad. 22 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • July 2012

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