Restaurants – The perfect place to teach children manners and social skills


I have pretty good kids!

Not being a bragging mom or anything, just I get people stopping me all the time and complimenting me on how well behaved my children are. They say they are friendly and polite and always helpful.

I laugh because if they saw them at home they may think differently. But I do appreciate the compliments and I do take credit for my children being decent human beings. Having an adult daughter I have said this before and feel 100% committed to it. “The best compliment any parent can get, is having their child grow up to be a good, decent person” I sometimes think my children live in a bubble. They love hanging out with us and we live in the country. So not much hustle and bustle.

Kids learn from example.

When it comes to parenting you really can not have a “Do as I say not as I do” attitude. Because if you do, you will have them behaving around you, and not when you are not around.

At home my children laugh, joke around, make mistakes and even have said the odd swear word. Kids will do that. Life goes on. We fight, they fight, we all make up and move on.

Again, life goes on.

But when you are in public, you often only have one chance.

Once chance to make a great first impression. Once chance to get that job, get the sponsorship, the out of school training needed for college or that one chance to impress a friends parent. I have seen my childrens friends act out at school and I would not be offering to have them over to my house after their blow up. If they act like that at school, how will they act at my home? Without their parents or teachers?

I have been asked before what my secret is.

There is no secret.

Lately we have been taking our youngest out for lunch or breakfast. Just her with us. I find it is great for her social skills. She gets to talk to people she would not normally. Interact with people asking for her order, having small talk about the day, school, plans etc. Plus at the same time use her manners. Since it is a casual setting we will guide her.

It is always nice to see how they will act when not in the comfort of their home.


“No wiping your hands on your pants.”

“Use your manners.”

“Look at people when they are talking to you”

“Speak up to be heard “

Do not talk with food in your mouth


I know it all seems like common sense. However when you are not in a public setting it is not always the easiest to teach these things. You do not want to embarrass your children, but you do want to guide them. Seeing them having a respectful conversation with strangers makes me proud to be their mom. Our youngest is just in grade one, but I know when we are not around she will take these skills and confidence to hold her head up and make a great impression. Her confidence grows with each outing and conversation.

In my opinion, Restaurants are the perfect place to teach children manners and social skills

What do you think?


  1. Robin Masshole Mommy says

    I couldn't agree more. My boys have been going to restaurants since they were toddlers, so they learned young.

  2. These are great Tips and I agree. Restaurants do help kids to hone their Social Skills. It's important to start them at home so when they go out they know the do's and Don'ts

  3. I'm glad you are teaching your kids manners at restaurants! Some parents let their kids run wild, which makes it hard for me to enjoy my meal. Good job, mama! 🙂

  4. My biggest pet peeve is watching families out to dinner and the kids are on their devices.
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  5. loisaltermark says

    I wish all parents taught their kids manners like you're doing! It's important to teach them early!
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  6. We started taking our daughter out to restaurants even when she was a small baby. By the time she was eight months old, I could expect her to be reasonably well-behaved at the Arcadia Room at the Bay in Toronto, with the linen tablecloths, etc. She knew going out meant people would smile at her and bring her treats if she was good. By the time she was six, she could go to Subway on her own and order her own supper, and by the time she was seven, I was sending her to the local tearoom to pick up my lunch, after she'd ordered her own for eat in, and paid and left a tip. Stranges will come up to me now and tell me what a delight my twelve-year-old is. All those years paid off!

  7. becca112971 says

    I agree my son has been going to restaurants since he was a baby. He learned young how to behave in a public place.

  8. kimberlysavingmorethanme says

    A restaurant is a great place to shape children's social skills. I wish more parents did this 😉

  9. Good for you, You are doing a fantastic.

  10. You are so right! We found that the more we took our kids out to eat their social skills and table etiquette did improve.

  11. I agree with you. It is so important to teach our kids how to socialize outside of the home. It drives me nuts when I am out in public and someones kids are going crazy. We always took my kids out to restaurants when they were little. They learned young the importance of manners.

  12. Kids definitely learn by example. I think that most people try to act a little better in restaurants than they do at home, too.
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  13. I think this is a really good idea. Social skills and manners are really important.
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  14. I used to waitress and I really enjoyed waiting on tables with well mannered kids. Thank you!
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  15. It definitely take time but repetition and reinforcement are key!

  16. Restaurants are definitely a good place to teach etiquette and manners. It can be taught in such a natural way too.

  17. I always used to cringe a little when we had to take our kids out to restaurants. But I also knew that it was good for them, too. It's all a learning process.
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  18. My kids have been going to restaurants with us for as long as I can remember and maybe that's where their manners came from, but they're well behaved. A lot better than when they're at home.
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  19. You are so right – I too think restaurants are a great way to teach manner,

  20. I agree, restaurants are a great place to teach these lessons. The children learn in the real world and can see examples all around them.

  21. I love this idea. It is something that not enough people know, and teaching your kids early is super important.
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  22. This is so true. My son is very well traveled and has been going to restaurants since he was a toddler. He knows what is expected form him whenever we go out to eat.
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  23. shaunatorres says

    I think a major way to teach manners is to have them, you know. When kids see their parents have great manners, they just think it is just what it is… you know 🙂 We always lead by example and table manners is a must 🙂 thanks for posting

  24. We've been eating out since they were tiny and I think that's helped their manners!

  25. I agree with you! WE have taught our kids a lot while out for dinner.
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  26. I totally agree. Maybe I should print up this blog and post it in the washroom. Not all parents see this as a social building skill, but a chance to let their kids run around.

  27. I too am a stickler for manners, but like to teach at home and hopefully they remember when we are out in public!

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