In Action: Benefits of Babywise II


The other night we went to dinner as a family. The restaurant was rather busy. It seems restaurants try to sit children in booths (at least that has been my experience), but there were no booths available for us. They put us at a table.

The immediate problem I saw was that this table was in the middle of a large room. There were booths all around the room with some tables in the middle. We were on display for everyone in the room to see. My children are typically quite good, but you just never know what is going to happen. Children can be unpredictable. Even children who are generally good have their bad moments. I was admittedly a bit nervous. I scanned the room and saw an elderly couple sitting in a booth rather close to us. I had the thought that I hoped the children would not be disruptive to them.

As it turned out, the children were really good and well behaved. When we were almost done eating, the elderly couple walked over to our table. The woman told me that I had the most beautiful children and that they were “so well mannered.” I thanked her. This was such a compliment for me. In my experience, most elderly people have a higher standard for good behavior than those in my generation. I appreciated her taking the time to tell me the things she was thinking. This is something we as a society don’t do often enough, and I am certainly guilty of it. I often think nice things but don’t say them. It was one of those moments you get as as parent that reward you and tell you all of your hard work day in and day out is worth it.

That night as we sat in the middle of the room for all to scrutinize the behavior of my children, I was very happy for all the things we had taught them. I was glad Brayden knew and accepted that he needed to sit in his chair and that running around was not acceptable. I was glad Kaitlyn knows she needs to stay in her highchair if I tell her to even after she is done eating. I was glad I could take crayons away from her because she was trying to chew on them without her throwing a fit. I was glad we were able to go out and have a nice evening together as a family and leave the restaurant happy rather than embarrassed. I was so happy I had chosen to follow the principles of Babywise.

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Reader Comments:

  • Maureen said…
    Congrats! Isn’t it so great when that happens? We go out to eat quite a bit (more than we should) so my kids know what is expected of them and almost always behave pretty well. We went out to eat the other day and were seated very close to a couple who was out without their kids. I didn’t want to ruin their experience (they probably paid a sitter), so I made sure my kids behaved especially well. The woman even enjoyed the conversations my 4yo struck with her. Aside from the three pieces of silverware that ended up on the floor (accidentally), it was a good experience.
    November 13, 2008 11:19 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    Thanks Maureen–it is always nice to see your hard work pay off 🙂
    November 19, 2008 3:00 PM
  • Christie said…
    I agree! Babywise has benefits in all areas, even in restaurants. We went to the Olive Garden the other day and our 16 month old girl was excellent, she ate her pasta (even though a little messy!) and told me “uh-oh!” when she dropped a piece of bread on the floor. She loves Chick Fil A as well. There are a few restaurants she does not do as well in, but for the most part, an enjoyable experience!
    November 13, 2008 12:48 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    Thanks for sharing Christie!
    November 19, 2008 3:00 PM

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6 thoughts on “In Action: Benefits of Babywise II”

  1. Hello! Thank you so much for this blog! It has been a lifesaver to me! I have a 6 month old and he is doing fantastic with the Babywise principles. I had a question that I would like your insight on… Can you help me understand why Babywise is so controversial? I have had people tell me that it’s borderline abuse and I just don’t get it! We have the happiest baby who is a great eater, gaining weight well, takes naps with no problem and is sleeping through the night from 7:30pm to 7:30 am. I don’t understand why this is considered controversial? Just thought I’d see what your thoughts are on that. I don’t have anything to respond with except for my own experience- which has been nothing but amazing. It’s been hard at times to get to where we are, but I would so much rather it be hard now and have an easy going baby than let him determine his own schedule. I’m not doubting that we are doing the right things for him, I’m just not sure what to make of the Babywise controversy. Anyways… any thoughts would be great! Keep up the good work! I’m on your blog almost daily and LOVE it!!

  2. Jessica, I’m sure Valerie will give you a great answer, but until she does you can check out the label “myths” on the right hand side of the page. She has written about some of the misconceptions people have of BW, which I think is the main reason people have problems with it.

  3. Jennifer, That actually helped a lot! I didn’t even see the ‘myths’ section so thank you so much for pointing it out! I just don’t get why people bash it the way they do. I’ve had nothing but success in it and knew several other moms who have as well! Thanks for your help!!

  4. Jessica,Your guess is as good as mine 🙂 I find it really interesting also. I tend to just ignore it, though sometimes I do step in and try to explain the truth to people. I intend to do even more to combat these myths, but people will believe what they want to believe. With most things that are good and yet controversial, people just don't understand it. There are a lot of myths out there. Rather than research themselves, they just believe what they have heard and continue to spread the rumors. I think it is a good lesson on tolerance. You just don't know the truth until you go straight to the source.Thanks for pointing out the myths section Jennifer 🙂

  5. I have a question about behavior in restaurants and thought this would be the ideal place to post. I've turned to your blog in the past for ideas on scheduling and sleep and I really love all your advice! I admire your patience for your children and strive to do the same for my son!My son just turned 12 months 2 weeks ago and I'm having trouble with him in restaurants. We just had an unfortunate experience a few days ago where he refused to sit in his highchair quietly during the meal, he kept dropping food on the floor (which we've been working on for weeks now!), screaming loudly…I was so embarrassed, and after getting dirty looks from those around us, I ended up taking him on my lap where he immediately reached for a full glass of water and turned it over on me. Needless to say, we left a nice tip and left quickly!We have also had the experience where he just wants to get down from his highchair and play (he is just learning to walk and wants to walk/crawl everywhere instead of sitting in his highchair). I take him outside to let him roam, but it almost defeats the purpose of going out to lunch/dinner and socializing with other couples! I guess I just want to know if I'm expecting too much of him at this age, I understand he is not going to sit quietly for an hour while I chat, but I just wanted to get some ideas for what I might try so we can at least enjoy a dinner out every now and then (with minimal embarrassment!) I guess I am frustrated because he has always been great out in public and very easy-going. I don't think I'm looking forward to toddlerhood very much!!! Thanks for your help…

  6. Hopefully this is just a situation where he is really excited about this new walking thing and he can go back to his normal self once the novelty wears off.The first place to work on this is at home. Keep in mind that behavior in public is not going to be any better than it is at home, so anything you let happen at home will happen in public, too. You might be more apt to correct in public, and if he isn't used to it, you will be met with resistance. So first work on it at home until you are sure he can be good. Until then, consider a baby sitter so you can go out with others.Also, be sure to bring lots of things to distract him while you are out. Bring finger foods you know he likes. Bring some toys he might enjoy playing with. Bring a sippy with some water or whatever you want to put in there. Also, remember consistency and not giving in. But you also have to keep in mind context and being courteous to those around you 🙂 Always a fun balancing act. Good luck!


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