I find the key is communication.... and lots of distraction. Prepare your child for what is coming by talking to them about it, 'oh look this is a waiter, a waiter is someone who looks after us in the restaurant, he is going to ask us what we would like, maybe we could order you this, then he has to go and tell the chef....' etc etc etc....
Distraction between these moments is wonderful, so BE PREPARED! Bring crayons, bring cars, bring dolly, bring books, bring magazines (these I find to be most wonderful - they are like a new book to a child... that they are allowed to draw in.... that usually comes with some wonderfully naff toy that should entertain purely for the novelty of being new!)
This is also the time to fine tune your 'quiet but firm' voice. We all know you don't want to shout at your child in a restaurant (and we don't want you to either!) but sometimes, you have explained the child several times that they mustn't touch Daddy's wine glass or that you can't rip the menu or that you shouldn't stand in your high chair because it is dangerous (and then hopefully explained what dangerous means). I have found this voice to be a wonderful tool for all the children I have worked with and my own son, I also know it to be a favourite of teachers. It is the voice that is very quiet but the child knows you mean business. It is far less stressful for everyone than shouting and doesn't produce an uncomfortable or embarrassing environment for the child or anyone else around!
It is crucial to manage your expectations when you are somewhere that is relatively new to a toddler, they aren't going to 'get it right' every time and they will try your patience, but remember to think about how you learnt these 'social rules' and that everyday is a school day... right from day dot...
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