Full Curriculum Situational Awareness Restaurant Rules (Mealtime Behaviors)

Restaurant Rules (Mealtime Behaviors)

Sharing meals together is the most repeated social gathering of our lives. The Restaurant Rules discuss the importance of maintaining self-control, using hygiene, and polite manners, not just when one is at a restaurant, but for every meal with our families and friends in all environments.

Sample Video:

Going to a Family Party

SOCIAL SKILLS IN ACTION (SSIA)It can be stressful when we go to a party, but there are certain strategies we can use to make it easier. This lesson models how to use the Topic Radar, Restaurant Rules, and Self-Controller strategies to help anyone know how to act at a party with others. This can be used for Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthday parties, family functions, or any time you’re eating at somebody’s house.

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Narrator: When we go to a party with family or friends, there are a couple of skills we can use to help us know how to act. At parties, it can be hard to know what to talk about with other people. If we use our topic radar, we can remember what other people are interested in.


People like talking about topics they enjoy, so we think about topics the person is interested in and pick one to ask them about. When eating a meal with others, there are certain behaviors we should follow so no one feels uncomfortable. 


The restaurant rules remind us how to use our manners during a meal with others. If being around lots of people makes us feel nervous, we can activate our self-controller. The self-controller helps us keep control of our emotions. We think of helpful strategies and find the best one to help us enjoy the party. 


When we go to a party, we should remember to (1) Use our Topic Radar when we talk to others, so we’ll know what to talk about with them; (2) Think about the Restaurant Rules to help you know how to act at the table; (3) Use our Self-Controller to keep control of our emotions and use strategies to stay calm.


Let’s watch Connor use these strategies when he goes to a family party.


Connor: Hey!


Liz: Hey, how are you?


Connor: I’m good. What’s up?


Liz: Not much! Do you know when everyone else is coming?


Connor: I’m not sure, but hopefully soon.


Liz: Yeah, I’m excited to see everyone!


Connor: (internal thought) I want to keep talking with Liz, so I need to talk about her interests and things we both like. I’ll use my topic radar. Hmm… I think she likes video games and hiking. I know she’s into soccer. She plays on the school team.


Connor: (out loud) I heard you were picked for the school soccer team.


Liz: I was. Tryouts were really hard. I’m amazed I made the team.


Connor: Congratulations! What position do you play?


Liz: I play forwards. It’s fun because forwards score the most goals.


Connor: Oh, cool!


Narrator: Connor wasn’t sure what to talk about with his cousin, Liz. He used his topic radar strategy to think about what Liz was interested in. Liz had fun talking with Connor because soccer is one of her favorite things.


Connor: (internal thought) I’m really hungry, but nobody’s sitting down yet. I don’t want to start without everyone. I guess I should wait.


Narrator: Connor really wanted to eat his food, but he thought about the restaurant rules and table manners. It would be rude to start eating without everyone sitting down, so Connor waited. This was polite and showed respect to others at the party.


Connor: (internal thought) I’m starting to feel nervous. There’s a lot of people I haven’t seen in a while. I know! I can use my self-controller. Stay calm and think about a strategy. Which strategy should I use? I could either take deep breaths, squeeze my fists, or go for a walk. I don’t want to be rude and leave, so I’ll take a few deep breaths.


Narrator: Connor was feeling nervous by being around so many people, but when he activated his self-controller, he was able to think of a couple of strategies he could use. Not all of his ideas were the best fit for a family dinner party, so he decided to pick a strategy he could do at the table. Connor took some deep breaths and was able to stay calm.


Connor: (internal thought) I used to have a really hard time going to parties with a lot of people, but it was really helpful when I remembered to use strategies.


Narrator: Connor was able to find a strategy each time he had trouble at the party. 


Let’s review what we learned. The skills we can use when we go to a party are: (1) Use our Topic Radar when we talk to others, so we’ll know what to talk about with them; (2) Think about the restaurant rules to help you know how to act at the table; (3) Use our self-controller to keep control of our emotions and use strategies to stay calm.


Using all of these strategies can help turn a party from a scary or stressful event, to a positive one. Try to use them the next time you go to a family party.


Companion Worksheet:

Every video comes with a companion worksheet for students to review what they just learned. This helps assess comprehension and promote generalization by reinforcing the concepts covered in the video.

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