When my three oldest grandchildren were young, my daughter occasionally brought them to McDonald's to eat. Going out was a treat for them, because they seldom had money for anything. But they were kids, and kids play hard and loud.
Kids are also filled with so much energy, parents find it difficult to settle them down for any length of time – especially when they go someplace fun.
But Keeley, my daughter, wanted them to have memorable experiences, so she found inexpensive places for them to go. She also wanted them to behave, and she didn't want to have to chase them around, so she devised a plan that worked very well.
On one of her visits, she invited me to accompany Amanda, 6, Sarah, 5, Travis, 1, and her to a local McDonald's.
We sat down and it wasn't long before I noticed how well-behaved they were. I couldn't help but comment about how like little angels they were acting, and I wondered what magic she performed to keep them securely in their seats with no bouncing, crying, jumping, leaving their seats, or anything.
They were the picture of perfection, children who other parents of rambunctious, out-of-control kids would sigh and say, "I wish my kids acted that way."
I was so proud of them and her for her superb mothering skills.
Until she told me about her warning – that if they didn't behave and eat all of their food, the McDonald's police, who were watching them from cameras on the ceiling, would rush out, grab their Happy Meals, take the Happy Meals away, and make them leave McDonald's and never come back.
Thanks to Kelly, who has an online business degree and has supported this blog.