'Well-behaved kids' discount: Tips for taking children to restaurants

'Well-behaved kids' discount? Yes, $4 was taken off the bill of a family in Washington State after a meal at a local restaurant. Should families get a discount for well-behaved kids? Here are some tips for taking children to restaurants.

The King family found themselves with an unexpected discount at a local Italian restaurant: $4 off and a free bowl of ice cream.

How did they qualify?  Good behavior.

Rob Scott, the owner of the Sogno di Vino in Poulsbo, Washington, told Today.com that the Kelly children, ages 2, 3, and 8,  were "the epitome of good behavior: they were very polite, didn’t neglect to say “please” and “thank you,” and stayed seated during their visit. That’s often not the case when kids come to his restaurant, Scott said. Many end up shouting or running around the eatery unchecked."

Laura King posted her receipt with the discount the website Reddit, which triggered a viral online discussion about children's behavior in restaurants. In her own blog, Mrs. King responded to all the attention by writing about the discount and why her children earned it. "We eat most of our meals as a family around our kitchen table. It is one of the ways we come together throughout our week to talk about our lives, to catch up and to share our love. We don’t have any hard rules about there not being iPods or laptops at the table, but most of the time they aren’t welcome."

And she offered some tips for other parents on dining out:

* Take your kids out to eat at least a couple times a month.
 * Give your kids a snack before you head out.
 * Be sure they’re rested and healthy.
 * Be ready to engage with your kids.
 * Notice the people, art, music, food in the room and talk about it.
 * Encourage your kids to talk with you just like you would talk with another adult.
 * Enjoy the time you’ve carved out to be with them.

Want more on this? Check out this article on 10 tips for taking your children to a restaurant. They include,

1) Before you go out, make sure there's something on the menu that your child will actually eat -- or bring along food from home.
 2) Visit restaurants at an off-peak time (such as 4-5 on a weekday afternoon) so you beat the rush.
 3) Opt to be seated in a booth whenever possible, so it will be easier for you to keep your child contained.

What's scarier than bringing toddlers to a restaurant? How about taking them on a long plane ride where there is no booth where you can keep your child contained. Every toddler and parent is unique, but there are two of the six tips for avoiding a toddler meltdown on a long (or short) flight, according to Modern Parenting blogger Stephanie Hanes.

 Arm thyself. You need toys. Books. Stuffed animals. Pieces of trash that you can pretend are toys. Collect these items (some traveling parents suggest wrapping them as individual presents to dispense as needed) into a big bag and have them at your ready. And be prepared for the toddler to get bored with all of them in about 15 minutes.

Bring rations. Sure, the flight schedule said your plane was going to land by Toddler’s afternoon snack time. But what if there’s a delay? And what if Child gets hungry and wants food now? Follow this tip and you won’t have the inevitable meltdown. Cut up some fruit and cheese and throw it in your bag. Or, if you’re like us, running late and relatively frantic, grab a bagel at one of the airport vendors. This is not the time to be picky about nutrition.

What's worked for you and your kids?

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