We celebrated Valentine's Day in a fun way this year... with our kids.
Ryan and I learned early on in our dating journey that eating at a restaurant on February 14th at 7pm for a date night is not our cup of tea. Everything is packed. Everything is priced higher. We prefer to celebrate the week before or after.
So, in the life stage we are in, we decided it'd be fun to treat our kids to some one-on-one solo time. It was delightful.
So at 5:00pm on Feb 14, Oliver and I had steak and pie at one restaurant and about 3 min down the road Ryan and Eleanor had salad and chocolate cake (both their request). We were home by bedtime and the one-on-one time was extra special. Here's a look into our evening.
Something extra special for Oliver (our newly 4
year old) was a place to practice confidence and consideration. Ryan trained him how to ask for a table and how to pay with cash given. We talked many days before how we ask questions and use a calm body while eating with someone.
I cannot say it enough: Practice in private so they have confidence in public.
Our car is a mobile classroom. On the way to the library and church and play dates and in this case dates, we are rehearsing and quizzing the expectations of behaviors. Does that mean they get it perfectly? OF COURSE NOT. But the more you go over behavior expectations as manners, how to be kind to yourself and others, they start to stick.
And that is why this date was SO special. I sat there with my 4 year old for 60 min and watched him blossom.
He initiated conversations on his own
He ordered his own food
He said thank you unprompted to the waitress
He even noticed the elderly lady eating by herself and asked to talk with her to give her a friend.
This is 90% an exceptional child but I'd like to think it's also at least 10% parenting. 😉 It's 4 years worth of day in and day out training. Saying things like
Do you see him sitting by himself? Let's say "have a good day" as we leave the restaurant. I'm sure a smile would mean a lot.
Oliver it's your time at tea today to come up with a game we can play sitting down at the table.
Oliver thank you for letting Eleanor go up the stairs first. You are such a gentleman.
Again, this is not done perfectly, but it is done consistently.
Let's raise little gentleman. Let's raise little ladies,
*Don't forget...the Cirkles are cheering you on!
PS Video Content
Eleanor changing dresses 5 times before her date and me having to tell her a dress is too small. I suppose it starts young 😂
Oliver requesting our table