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HIP-WITCH Posts: 9,534
12/7/13 5:01 A

i always had eating competitions with my dad as to who could eat the most pizza

BLUENOSE63 SparkPoints: (108,021)
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Posts: 2,954
12/5/13 3:58 P

Very rarely do we go out for dinner as my husband is a fabulous cook -- chef like! Yet when we do, our son orders whatever he would like to eat but he would always rather have his dessert at home. He is 11 yrs old.

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,065
12/5/13 3:07 P

I would let my kids order as soon as they were able.

If they wanted to order desert and we were there for lunch/ dinner. I would not let them do that.

GOLDEELOCKS SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 1,425
12/5/13 11:34 A


CPRCINDYC SparkPoints: (10,043)
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Posts: 200
12/5/13 9:18 A

I don't have children, but I remember growing up and my parents let me order myself when I was comfortable doing so. My parents encouraged us to eat healthy and didn't allow us to have soda all the time so when we did rarely go out, we could get what we liked because we usually ate what my mom cooked at home. Going out was a "treat" so if we ordered french fries, it was ok.

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
12/4/13 12:59 P

I, too, was raised to (what was then considered) standard social etiquette. I was not only allowed, but expected to function in those circles. Naturally, my parents guided me in selections - but I was then responsible to communicate with the wait staff, and to behave appropriately during the meal.
I would never have DREAMED of rising from the table or disrupting the meal while others were still at table.
I was raised to be polite to the servers.
I was expected to learn what utensils were correctly used - and if I didn't know, to observe first and ask if I couldn't work it out.
I knew what correct "service" was from the wait staff... which even the wait staff doesn't know these days!
I was not allowed to entertain myself with toys or coloring books or stuffed animals and blankies from home.
I was expected to either converse politely or to be silent (not sullen).
I did not find any of this onerous.

I was saddened, if not appalled, when my husband's nephews were invited to holiday meals in "nice" restaurants (ie, not a cafeteria or fast food), because they didn't even know what a menu *was*, much less how to use it, or what the items listed were. They weren't babies - they were young teens. No, their parents' financial situation didn't stretch to cover expensive meals out, especially with growing and hungry boys! But I find no excuse in that for not teaching them how to function in a "regular" restaurant (I'm not talking the especially "high end" sorts - something like Red Lobster, perhaps). They had no idea how to eat, what to use, how to interact with the servers... how to behave during the meal, what to do with your finished course plates and silverware... I was embarrassed for them - as future men, how could they possibly expect to host a date (which you would assume would be someone they'd like to be appreciated by) with no concept of how to even arrange a dinner out?

I have no children, and so my offerings here are both inadequate and probably out of date. I don't think they're invalid, though... and I hope parents will provide this sort of education to their children so that they might have the respect of others later in life.

EMPRESSAMQ Posts: 5,077
12/4/13 9:08 A

I was brought up learning how to order properly in restaurants; it's a skill I think all children should learn.

JEFFGIRL Posts: 10,682
12/4/13 8:12 A

Yes, but my kids are older.

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
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Posts: 2,744
12/4/13 8:08 A

My parents gave me the option of ordering for myself as soon as I could talk, but I was pretty shy as a kid so I didn't really fully order for myself until about 5. By the time I was 8, I was highly offended if I was offered the children's menu at sit down restaurants. :D

SUNSET09 SparkPoints: (497,986)
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Posts: 125,771
12/4/13 1:21 A

Oh, emoticon , that's how they learn and my parents taught us this way as well!

1LADYLEO SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 665
12/4/13 1:13 A

soon as they were able

ROXYCARIN SparkPoints: (95,965)
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12/4/13 1:11 A


ANARIE Posts: 13,162
12/4/13 12:27 A

I would say that a child old enough to read and understand the menu is old enough to order if s/he wants to. For younger children, I would reduce the menu to three or four options and let them choose from that subset. Although, as a previous poster said, in a fast-food place it's easier if one person orders for everyone-- that's true even for a group of adults.

ERINTFG SparkPoints: (45,448)
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Posts: 563
12/3/13 9:57 P

At a sit-down restaurant, all my kids order for themselves. They are (almost) 11, 9, and 4 1/2.

At a fast food place I usually order for everyone. It's just easier that way.

MMK113 SparkPoints: (17,862)
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Posts: 464
12/3/13 6:15 P

I always let them get what they wanted in restaurants They ordered for themselves at about 10.

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (11,923)
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Posts: 3,691
12/3/13 5:17 P

At what age did/do you allow your children to start ordering for themselves in restaurants? Do you allow them to order whatever they want or do you help them order something healthy?

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