Going Out to Dinner: Before and After Toddlers

What used to be a relaxing way to unwind has now become an hour of cutting up food, cleaning up messes, and being interrupted 374 times. But it’s OK. What toddlers lack in manners they make up for in adorableness. Here are nine ways going out to dinner is different once you have a toddler. Bon appetit!

Going Out to Dinner Before Toddlers

You casually peruse the menu while chatting with your dinner companion, and you don’t even notice that the waiter hasn’t come over to your table for 20 minutes. What’s the rush?

Going Out to Dinner Now

You politely flag the waiter over to your table two minutes after sitting because your child is hungry NOW.

Going Out to Dinner Before Toddlers

You always BYOB if it’s an option.

Dinner Now

You always BYOSC (bring your own sippy cup). Because a cup without a top is a cup that will be spilled.


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Positive Reinforcement: 9 Things You Shouldn’t Say to Your Child

I was trying to do two things at once—cook (in the kitchen) while deciphering some paperwork (in the next room). I’d been interrupted a thousand times with requests for snacks, shrieks over spilled paint water, questions about what squirrels like to eat, and arguments over whether clouds could be blue and flowers could be green. And did I mention that a ruptured disk in my back was throbbing even worse than my head?

Still, nothing can excuse my behavior that afternoon.

I erupted like Mount Momsuvius: “Enough! Get out! Stop bothering me!” The look on my daughters’ faces said it all. The 2-year-old’s eyes widened. The 4-year-old furrowed her brow and jabbed her thumb between her lips. Immediately I wished I could stuff the hot-lava words back into my mouth. They certainly hadn’t come from my heart, or my brain.

We all say the wrong thing sometimes, leaving our kids feeling hurt, angry or confused. Read on for some of the most common verbal missteps moms and dads make, and kinder, gentler alternatives.

“Leave Me Alone!”

A parent who doesn’t crave an occasional break is a saint, a martyr or someone who’s so overdue for some time alone she’s forgotten the benefits of recharging. Trouble is, when you routinely tell your kids, “Don’t bother me” or “I’m busy,” they internalize that message, says Suzette Haden Elgin, Ph.D., founder of the Ozark Center for Language Studies, in Huntsville, Arkansas. “They begin to think there’s no point in talking to you because you’re always brushing them off.” If you set up that pattern when your children are small, then they may be less likely to tell you things as they get older.

From infancy, kids should get in the habit of seeing their parents take time for themselves. Use pressure-release valves—whether signing up with a babysitting co-op, trading off childcare with your partner or a friend or even parking your child in front of a video so that you can have half an hour to relax and regroup.

At those times when you’re preoccupied (or overstressed, as I was when I exploded at my girls), set up some parameters in advance. I might have said, “Mom has to finish this one thing, so I need you to paint quietly for a few minutes. When I’m done, we’ll go outside.”

Just be realistic. A toddler and a preschooler aren’t likely to amuse themselves for a whole hour.



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Child’s Safety

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After your child’s safety, the second most important thing is that your child will be challenged and engaged during his or her stay. Your child will never get bored at New World’s fun and engaging facility featuring playground areas and a multitude of activities.


When you leave your child at A New World Christian Learning Centers, you can rest assured knowing that he or she is in safe hands. Your child will be monitored by childcare professionals who are First Aid and CPR certified in a facility that is secure and equipped with surveillance cameras.

3-Year-Old Birthday Gift Ideas

Third birthday

A third birthday feels like a graduation of sorts. Your toddler is becoming a preschooler — he’s feeding himself, talking up a storm, and getting ready to potty train (if he hasn’t done so already). This is the first year he will truly anticipate, understand, and revel in all the attention he’ll receive on his big day. Shopping for toys changes a lot once your child turns 3. All the toys with smaller pieces labeled “choking warning” are now safer for your child, so a whole new universe of play opens up. “Three-year-olds explore things with their hands instead of their mouths,” explains David Perlmutter, M.D., a board-certified neurologist and author of the book Raise a Smarter Child by Kindergarten. “While small pieces are still theoretically a hazard, it’s less likely that a 3-year-old will actually choke.”

For those with younger siblings in the house, small pieces should still be a concern, but there are plenty of toys labeled 2+ that are interesting and won’t pose any threat. Continue to exercise common sense: A toy labeled 3+ with no obvious small parts is a better choice than something that has a lot of little pieces. As the owner of Magic Beans, a children’s toy store in the Boston area, I spend a lot of time researching toys and development. Read on for the types of toys I would recommend to enhance your child’s skill set for this age.

Keeping Reading

Online Safety

Many of our families have kids who are or will be teens very soon. With cell phones for kids being the norm these days, so are predatory apps that target young children inexperienced in the ways of adult manipulation. From the Kids Safety Network there is a new service that help parents protect their teens. If this is something that you are concerned about check out their website.

Our classrooms!

Our Infant room is getting ready for fall!

Our pre-schoolers explore within themed centers and participate in dramatic play. Your child will learn to spell and letter sounds, and learn though a curriculum to get them ready for kindergarten.

Our school agers work on homework and have free time here, once they are picked up from their schools and brought back to the center. During the Summer season, we provide a summer camp for the school kids that attend the full day.