Dining Out Strengthens the Family Bond
One of the most traditional, even ancient ways of coming together is over a shared meal. It’s human nature. However, these days, kids schedules can be just as complicated as the ones for adults. After school activities, sports, meetings, and so on make it hard for everyone to stay on the same meal schedule. Extracurriculars aside, upon arriving home kids are often immediately consumed by a screen, whether they’re watching TV, playing video games, or on their phones. With all of that going on it can be hard for parents to figure out a way to work in a family dinner. If each member functions as an independent unit, connecting as a family becomes difficult. Dining out is a good way to bring your family together. It forces everyone out of their element and into a setting of social interaction.
Enjoy Less Distraction When Dining Out
Mealtime is family time. It may be hard to prevent your children from tuning out when eating at home, but when you’re dining out it becomes easier to set a technology boundary. Choose a restaurant without video games and avoid televisions. Set a limit on the use of cellphones or tablets for when the meal is completed, or exclude them entirely.
By ensuring the limited distractions, you’re provided with a solid chunk of time where you can talk, share, and connect. You can get a pulse on your family’s life with limited interruption.
Dining Out Provides Opportunities for Education
There are things about human interaction that can’t be learned from a screen. Dining out at a restaurant presents the opportunity for some social interaction and education for your children. Most restaurants today have ingredients of all meals listed right on the menu. You can teach your children the difference between healthy choices, and not so healthy choices. Have them order their own food to promote interaction with servers. Promote and reinforce good manners, like saying “please” and “thank you,” and show them how these simple words can brighten a server’s day.
If you have young children with a creative flair, and you’re at a restaurant with crayons and paper, challenge them to draw you a picture. You can even join in. Plus, dining out gives everyone the opportunity to try new foods that they normally wouldn’t have at home.
Get Kids Involved
Allowing your children to choose where to eat may not always sound like the best idea. However, giving them a choice of where to go involves them in the experience, and it may generate additional excitement. If you have a child that’s initially reluctant, or they roll their eyes at “family bonding,” then letting them choose where they would like to go will help ease them into the idea. The opportunity to eat their favorite food will lure them in, and they may end up actually enjoying themselves.
Affordable and Convenient
Some parents may be reluctant to dine out with any regularity because they’re worried it will be too expensive. However, lots of restaurants daily or weekly specials, reduced prices for children under 12, and some even run promotional nights where kids eat free. It doesn’t have to cost a small fortune to feed your family – all it takes is a little bit of research.
Possibly the best part about dining out is that the mess isn’t yours to worry about. We all know that meal preparation can sometimes be a hassle, and no one looks forward to the dirty dishes afterward. When you dine out, you can use the time you would normally spend chopping, mixing, and pan frying to bond with your children instead. When the meal is over, you can linger and enjoy the social interaction without those dishes in the sink hanging over your head.
Give It a Try!
Sharing a meal has always been an important custom in human nature. When people come together and break bread, they share conversation, moments, and interaction that links them together, if only for a little while. These moments can certainly be had at home around the dinner table, but sometimes the change of scenery is refreshing and brings everyone slightly out of their element.
If you’re looking for an interactive experience for your children, come out to Tuscan Bistro Bar. Going beyond simply choosing from the menu, kids can actually build their own pizza by spreading sauce, layering on cheese, and choosing their own toppings, all of which they can apply themselves. It’s arts and crafts that they can eat, and it’s a fun way to get them involved in their own food. If pizza’s not your thing, check out our menu to see what else we have to offer. Got questions? Contact us today!