Let’s Commit to a Device-Free Dinner!

It’s no secret that smart phones, tablets and the like have taken over our lives. It’s my hope though that we can all agree to keep one sacred place device-free, and that’s the dinner table! Today’s post is mainly about kids, but parents and other adults – let’s be sure we lead by example here.

Let's commit to a #devicefreedinner on 100 Days of #RealFood

My Recent Observation

My family and I went on a spring break trip earlier this month and at our one “fancy” dinner out I couldn’t help but notice what was going on a couple tables down from us. Call me judgmental if you’d like, but this was a beautiful setting in a really special place and both elementary-aged children were plopped down at the table with headphones on and i-pads. Props to the parents for ensuring the use of headphones would not disturb others, BUT as a result – they couldn’t even speak to each other! I can already hear some of the comments now, “What if it was just one special night on vacation and they don’t normally do that?” or “What if the parents were having a really bad day full of their meltdowns and desperately need some peace?”

I TOTALLY hear ya. No, I most certainly don’t have all the information and I do like to give people the benefit of the doubt. But, I can pretty much guarantee that not all the kids I’ve ever seen glued to a device at a restaurant (and this would be A LOT) were due to a rare and special occasion/situation. I think it’s safe to say for some it’s more the norm than the exception. And my big question is this…

Is it too much to ask our children to ditch the distractions and simply learn how to have polite conversation during one meal of the day?

Even little toddlers are old enough to begin to learn and participate in this wonderful pastime! A friend and I were recently joking that apparently we are the “mean” parents that make our kids actually interact with us and maybe do a little coloring when we’re out to dinner. I do also sometimes bring little activities in my purse like hangman or glow sticks, but even with these extras I still feel it does not shut anyone out and, if anything, encourages us to interact with each other. The point is – your children (and you) can still have fun!

Screen Time Is Off The Hook!

I think it’s safe to say children these days are getting plenty of screen time even if they were to take a dinner break. “The Kaiser Family Foundation puts media use among 8- to 18-year-olds at more than 7.5 hours a day.” (Say whaaaat???) Some experts are concerned this can cause a host of issues including low self-esteem and even losing the ability to read nonverbal communication. But I also think it simply makes good common sense to know how to function without your phone in your face and instead to know how to hold a face-to-face conversation. I do believe this is an area where lots of practice can make perfect, and our children need us to teach them how!

If you haven’t seen this video yet, it’s funny – and a good reminder that we’re not alone.
FYI – from what I can tell this is not a real product that’s actually for sale at the moment!

 

 

Where Do You Stand?

Do you agree this is a growing issue that needs to stop? What do you do to encourage your children to interact with you (and others) at the dinner table? I’ve heard of some people making a “drop box” where they drop their devices before dinner time so it becomes almost automatic, which sounds like a great idea to me. So how many device-free dinners can you commit to each week going forward?

Mollys SudsOn a completely different note I want to make sure you know about a wonderful product I love, Molly’s Suds! I love how much cleaner it leaves our clothes compared to store-bought “green” laundry detergents (that aren’t always as good for you or the Earth as they claim). Have you tried it yet? They now have lots of options to choose from including cloth diaper, all sport, and whitener so be sure to check it out – enjoy :)

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but 100 Days of Real Food will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us spread our message!

169 thoughts on “Let’s Commit to a Device-Free Dinner!”

  1. As a teacher for 29 years, I can tell you we are seeing the effects of this constant “screen time” and lack of conversations going on in homes now days. We have an abundance of students, especially in the lower grades, with language disabilities. Please please parents talk, interact and read books with colorful vocabulary and language to your children. Again, please TALK to them, from birth, all the time. It’s so important in helping them as they are forming their language skills.

    1. Martha – This is so important. These children will be at a disadvantage for the rest of their lives if they don’t get a good start learning language and interpersonal skills at home. Study after study has shown that children whose parents don’t talk to them are already behind when they enter kindergarten.

    1. We were never allowed to have the TV on or be on the phone at dinner time. It was family time. When I raised my kids, it was the same. Not so much with my grandchildren. I think that all devices should be put in the middle of the table during dinner. The first one to grab a device must do the dishes…all the dishes even if you have a dishwasher. That means to either wash, dry and put away or load, unload and put all dishes away.
      All pots and pans washed, dried and put away too. This is the rule at our house when we host family dinners. I never lose because I am only attached to my computer and it is turned off and put away at dinner time. If you don’t talk to your kids, how will they develop the art of conversation? They will need this in school, the workplace and in life. Nobody needs to be in contact with someone else 24/7. Put the devices down and enjoy the person/people you are with because they will not always be there.

  2. I completely agree with you! I have 4 children under the age of 6 and when we go out to dinner no one is allowed phones or tablets even mom and dad. It is hard and hectic sometimes but I feel like in our busy lives we need time to just be with each other and talk. Growing up dinner was my favorite time of day and already if we have a busy day and don’t all eat together my 6 y/o complains that she misses it.

  3. completely agree with you Lisa. The table is a place for building relationships, checking in with each other, and enjoying good food. It’s hard to enjoy what you’re eating when you’re multi-tasking on a device. And you want your kids to remember meals as being sacred and time that brought your family together, even if they don’t want to turn off their phone at the moment, they’ll be thankful someday.

  4. Hey Lisa, I completely agree with device free dinners. We have taken this a step further and implemented device free Sundays, which impact us parents as well. There are no devices allowed on Sundays and we find that time as well as dinner time to reconnect. We have dinner family cards we read and answer. It’s fun and we learn more about our 11 year old son. Family is the core in shaping who they will become. You’re amazing. Thanks for the blog!

  5. We have a game called Rory’s Story Cubes that is the size of a deck of cards and consists of 9 dice with pictures on them that you roll and then use to spark a story. We keep it in the car and play together at restaurants while waiting for the food– and sometimes it comes too soon! We love it so much we’ve given ot to all our friends as gifts.

  6. I couldn’t agree more. We never have any electronics at the table. And since we never have them, it is never an issue. We usually talk, but we also play games when we have the extra time. It’s just fun family time.

    One thing that my husband and I have noticed recently is that all of the restaurants that we go to have TVs in them. This is an issue which is causing us not to want to go out to eat. Going out used to be a fun family get together where we could always just hang out without having to worry about cooking and cleaning up. Now when we go out, the kids just stare at the TV. It’s not worth it. Is anyone else having this experience?

  7. Thank you for the post! I could not agree more. It is one of the most disturbing things I see at restaurants. At our house, meal time is family time….no television, no music, no phones.

  8. I totally agree! In fact I started this rule when my kids first got cell phones over ten years ago. There is something to be gained from learning the art of conversation, when to listen to others, and feeling valuable by contributing verbally! They are thankful for it now ❤️

  9. My total pet peeve… I agree with you 100%!!!! Like we discussed on our super cool uber car ride back to our hotel at Mom 2.0- I travel (A LOT) with 5 kids. We love… no we cherish the unplugged dinners, discussions and discoveries we are able to make. When it becomes your norm you are engaged with your kids… and they in turn with you. You are connected, understand each other and have a greater appreciation for each other. So many benefits I could go on and on and on…

  10. Absolutely agree with this one! I am one of those ‘cruel’ mothers that limit their childrens screen time to half an hour a day! Most days they don’t get any screen time at all, as we are usually too busy with sports and after school activities! :-)

  11. I agree. None of us use any electronics at the table nor would our children be allowed to read at a family meal (that’s just rude!). We don’t answer the phone either. For fun, we play roses & thorns (list a high and low about your day), ask questions from a deck of cards designed to stimulate conversation ( such as: if you could have a different name what would it be and why? or tell about a time someone did something nice for you and how you felt.) and often talk about future plans such as what things would you like to do over summer break or Christmas break etc…. I am always saddened by seeing kids and adults on their phones at restaurants. Another disturbing trend I see every time I am grocery shopping is little children and even toddlers watching a movie on a phone while the parents shop. I wonder how it effects them? How will they be able to get through other situations without stimulation ?

  12. I agree too….it’s a perfect time to reflect on the day and share some quality time together. When my boys were little we used to play the high / low game. Everybody would get a chance to express something good and something not so good that happened to them that day. You learn a lot about each other!

  13. I agree with you. Dinner is a time to catch up to touch base and discuss the day. You won’t find an electronic anything in my kitchen during dinner. It is sad really when those things become more important that talking and associating with people. For me nothing is more important.

  14. Thanks so much for taking this stand!
    I agree 100 % as a mother of 3 boys now in their 30s and 3 young granddaughters. Some of our best times are spent sharing food and conversation around the table. What memories !!

  15. We always have no devices at meal times. We do ‘Highs’ and ‘Lows’ and just talk as a family. We actually don’t allow our kids media or devices during the school week. They get to have those things on Friday-Sunday. Instead, we read, play outside, play board games, go for walks, or generally spend time together. I think Andy Stanley said it best when he said, “Our kids today are ‘experience rich’, but ‘relationship poor’. We make it a priority to prioritize the relationships in our family. In addition, we have no device zones for mom and dad (bedroom)…

  16. My son is 20 now but when he was little we had a “no toys at the table” rule. Now that he’s older it’s a little harder. Thanks for the reminder-we could all use a tech free dinner, even us!

  17. We also try to keep dinner as a time without other interruptions or distractions, so nothing else at the table but us and our meal. I completely agree with what you’ve written in this post.

  18. We take it as far as NOTHING at the dinner table. No electronics, toys, books. Nothing. It’s the one time of day we get to spend together as a family with no running, rushing or distractions. It’s time to talk about how the kids did at school, lessons, practice. While we didn’t have electronics as a distraction, my mom always made sure that we sat down for a dinner every day. I hope that my kids pass the torch when they have a family.

  19. My son (now 18 years old), and I talk during dinner. The other day, my son had a friend over who ate dinner with us. My husband had the TV on to listen to a sports game. Then, my husband had enough nerve to ask my son’s friend to put away his cell phone ! So, sometimes the adults need reminding to unplug from electronics too !

  20. I recently saw a quote by Albert Einstein: “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots”. Idiots may be too strong of a word, but we definitely have a generation of people that are totally disconnected from each other. I have seen whole families sit in restaurants playing on some sort of device and not one of them are talking to each other. How sad.

  21. We have always had a no technology rule for meals, no matter if we are at home or eating out. This includes the adults too. Our children will even make guests put their phones away! :)

  22. We have a really hard time with this because my stepdaughters are allowed to be on their phones everywhere they go (except school) at their mom’s house, in addition to having a TV, computer and tablet in each of their bedrooms. We get texts from them saying they’re at dinner, at a movie, etc., and they just keep texting through whatever they’re doing, or they face time with us while watching TV or playing on their computer in their rooms, so trying to pry them away from them when they’re here is a constant battle.

    My oldest stepdaughter (13) is by nature an introvert, so letting her be on her phone so much has made it even more difficult for her to have face to face conversations, identify her and others emotions, know what she wants to do (other than be on her phone), etc. I’ve offered to arrange a day long job shadow for her this summer for a job she thinks she may like to do some day, and she doesn’t even know what she would like to try but she thinks she needs to go to college as soon as she graduates high school in five years (she will be paying her own way if she doesn’t know what she wants to go for when she gets to that point but still chooses to go!) :-p

    But every meal time they have with us, whether home or at a restaurant, phones are banned. If they take them out of their pocket/purse, they lose them for the rest of the meal. We often get a lot of silence and pouting the first few meals, but after a couple days with us, they will start engaging more, and it’s great to see. We also only have one TV, so if they want to watch, they have to watch with us. I love the summer the most because we get eight full weeks, so we see a lot more openness and growth during those times. Then it’s sad because there’s a big gap between then and the next visit (they live across the country, so only major school breaks), so they tend to lose that by the next visit, and we have to start all over. I just keep praying they make the decision for themselves to step out from behind their screens and spend more face to face time with people.

  23. For me I think it depends. I am pretty strict about “screen time” and monitor like crazy, which is increasingly difficult since kids on play dates are pulling out ipads now too. Even at the park! We are very committed to family dinners at home, making sure they are device free and we talk as a family, but when we go out and are waiting for our food we do allow the kids to play with our phones. The deal is after we order, they can play until the food comes. Here’s the thing, sometimes my husband and I would like to talk to each other. On the rare occasion we are out, it is so nice to order a glass of wine and have a conversation for the twenty minutes it takes for the food to come. I don’t expect the kids (5 and 7) to sit by quietly while we talk about his work or my SEO blog problems. When our food arrives, they hand back the phone and we all enjoy each others company:)

  24. Not only do I not allow eletronic devices at the table, the television is off as well. We all sit at the table and carry on a conversation. My 2 boys, 13 and 11, do not take electronics to restaurants to occupy their time. They have learned thru the years how to act and behave out in public.

  25. Electronic devices have become the most intrusive and detrimental toy of the century. Families have forfeited true communication/ interaction to engage in an unreal world unfortunately. Meal times are a good place to have real communication with one another. Life is short and family is important so put down all electronics and have a conversation!

  26. I totally share your opinion on this one. We do eat out sometimes too, and I think it’s really sad to see so many adults and kids glued to their respective devices not having any interaction with eachother whatsoever. To begin with, my girls, 5 and almost 7, don’t own any kind of video games, sometimes they are allowed to play educational games in my ipad, but NEVER at meal times. For me meal times are sacred, we give thanks for our food and have conversations. I plan on sticking with this rule until they’re grown, and I sure hope more parents do the same.

  27. Today I see too many of my daughters’ friends and my friends’ daughters not even having a dinner time. They let their children eat something from the microwave any time of day and each child kind of eats whenever and has no sense of nutrition or of what constitutes a family dinner. Their kids play sports that usually occur at dinner time – soccer, skating, football, etc. My granddaughter, who babysits for many of these parents, says they never have food in the house. The moms are usually doing something like Nutrisystem and the kids get mac and cheese. or take out almost every night. So never mind having devices at the table. How about having a family at the table!!!

  28. This is one of the most important conversations we need to have as parents and families these days!! I could not agree more that the dinner table should absolutely be a device free zone!! My kids are now 21, 19 and 13 and no one has EVER been allowed to bring any device to the table (among other places). Dinner together every night was our chance to talk and laugh and discuss the day. It was and, when they are home, still is our time to really connect. My 21 year old daughter initiates the same device free zone when she is out to dinner with friends. They put their phones in the middle of the table and, if anyone picks up their phone before dinner is over, they have to pick up the entire tab. I am shocked at the number of parents that put no limits on their kids and cell phones and other devices.

  29. I have a 2 year old son and he is allowed to play games on a Nook when we are out to eat. He is not allowed to play the Nook at home and never has any technology at dinner time (we always have family diners, no technology). However, he is very difficult when we are at a restaurant despite our best efforts. Therefore, we don’t go out often but when we do the Nook works like a charm and keeps the peace. Could we come up with other ways to keep him busy? Yes. That’s what we did in the past. In fact, I would never have bought him a tablet as a 2 year old but a family friend handed this one down to him for his birthday. It is a special treat for him when we go out and I don’t see a problem with it. When he is a teenager of course I would expect him to be off his phone etc and having conversation with us…but my 2 year old is a little harder to reason with at this point. Anyhow, to each their own. We all need to stop judging each other.

    1. You are setting a precedent with your two-year old. At what age are you going to take the device away? What’s your long-term plan?

      1. I don’t feel the need to share my long term plan and I am comfortable with the way we are doing things. I would rather he gets to play with it for 15 minutes while we wait for a meal at a restaurant then non stop at home like a lot of other kids I know (and that’s my preference, I’m not speaking out against my friends for that decision.) When the food comes of course the tablet goes away. I just think everyone can make their own choice and don’t need to feel judged all the time by everyone else. We eat more meals together as a family than most because I am a stay at home mom and my husband is a fisherman and our schedule allows it. My son gets less than the recommended TV time and no other screen time at home. But that’s besides the point, no one should feel the need to explain themselves to you or anyone else, worry about your own kids and be thankful mine is not screaming at the table next to you and throwing toys,because he happens to hate coloring and is a very busy boy.

      2. I’m so sorry that I came across as so judgmental. That was not my intention. I should have been more thoughtful and framed my question better. I was just curious and fired off my comment too quickly. Again I’m sorry.

  30. We eat out a minimum of once a week and we are constantly amazed by how often we see an entire family glued to individual devices for an entire meal. On very rare occasions, we have allowed our daughter to play a game on the phone before food arrives but even then we interact with her by having her show us what she’s doing. Devices are never allowed at home during dinner.

  31. Not only is dinner screen free in our house, but we have a charging station where everyone has a draw to drop off their devices at bedtime for charging. My son is 16 and my daughter is 11. And they are only allowed basic kindles at bed/reading time (as well as real book!!). They both have laptops for school, iPads and phones – so all get left downstairs at bedtime. Also, saturday and Sunday from 9am-1pm is screen free for everyone.

  32. We have always had this rule in our home. It surprises me that others do not, and that this is even an issue. Amazing. Dinner is family time. No tv, and definitely no phones.

    My daughter has never even been told “No”. I guess she knows I would take it. We have never had any problems.

  33. If you don’t talk about this topic, who will? In this day with screens so easy to bring around and hide we are all learning how to teach and train our children in a way we were not raised. It most certinly must be discussed.

  34. I’ve used devices in a restaurant with my daughter when she was 3 but the service was taking abnormally long. I limit device usage for my daughter to one hour a day during the week. That time is for when I’m nursing my son. When she starts to ask for the iPad or TV a lot, I throttle back and they are used even less.

    With all the social media push to not use devices at dinner in restaurants, I’ve made more of an effort to put my phone away. As a result, I have noticed that adults are the worst offenders.

  35. I completely agree with the unplugging while eating. We need to be in tune with our body’s natural signal of fullness. If not this can lead to obesity in some individuals.
    Another reason for me is that dinnertime is family time. All gadgets should not be around the dining area, it would also be a great time to charge our gadgets.
    I raised my children during the 90’s and although it was not as bad as it is now, we all sat at the table to eat and converse and i am happy to say that tradition has been carried on to my granddaughter with my daughter doing the same thing dinnertime is family time.

  36. I completely agree with the unplugging while eating. We need to be in tune with our body’s natural signal of fullness. If not this can lead to obesity in some individuals.
    Another reason for me is that dinnertime is family time. All gadgets should not be around the dining area, it would also be a great time to charge our gadgets.
    I raised my children during the 90’s and although it was not as bad as it is now, we all sat at the table to eat and converse and i am happy to say that tradition has been carried on to my granddaughter with my daughter doing the same thing dinnertime is familytime.

  37. This is something we have always done when it comes to dinner time as a family no phones etc at the table. I support ya 100%

  38. Agree with you 100%. My kids are 10 and 14. No devices allowed at home dinner and definitely none when we’re spending hard earned money eating out. We try not to frequent restaurants with TVs. Why are there TVs everywhere? I’ve complained to management when a child is using a device without a headphone. I also applaud businesses that state they will not wait on you if you’re on a device. Bravo. The U.S. Has become such a rude culture that can’t even enjoy the true pleases of eating and family.

  39. Actually the Kaiser study has the number higher when you factor in the multitasking we all do. Also most kids said there weren’t any restrictions or rules about screen time. Scary stuff.

  40. Im also passionate about this subject and dont believe phones or tablets should be at dinner. However,I do have friends that feel different ( or given in more easily) and so I am challenged with my children now wanting the same as their friends when we are together. My children are younger and so it’s not always easy explaining to them as they feel they are the ones being punished. Im going to stay strong with my beliefs but I can already see it’s not going to be easy.

    1. It IS tough when they see their friends doing/having different things. But it’s not just with devices, it’s all sorts of things. In some families it’s ok to jump on the sofa, in some families you take your shoes off at the door etc. When my kids were little I simply said that other families have their rules, in OUR family, the rule is … Or we do … And I left it at that :) Good luck!

  41. I have two teenagers ages 15 and 18, and our youngest is 9. While they are inundated and connected to media and their devices during the day, Mealtime (any mealtime) is and always has been device free. It has just never been an option. They never bring devices to the table and never ask for them. By not allowing it to start it never became an issue. Mealtimes for us are the best part of our family time, sometimes the only family time.

  42. My kids are pretty much grown up but from the time they had gameboys, phones, or whatever at the time, I did not allow any of it at the table. That is family time and they can use their devices when they are finished eating. I want to talk to my kids and see how their day went, my husband also, and when you are concentrating on other things there is no connection between the people sitting together at all. Even when their friends are over they aren’t allowed to have theirs either. I’m not being mean I just think we disconnect ourselves from everything around us so often that it has become a habit. I’ve seen my kids text the person sitting beside them to keep from having to talk. Seriously we need to go back to having face to face conversations.

  43. I agree completely and am having trouble that I now have a legitimate need to have my phone on my person & turned off silent at all (almost) times. My daughter recently gave birth to our first grand baby, very prematurely (26 weeks). We are 7 hours away and need to be able to be reached 24/7 in the event of an emergency. I’m always thinking people are watching me carrying my phone around like its attached to my hand!
    I understand that most people are not in this or a similar situation but I’m trying to keep my perspective when I see others with theirs.

  44. Agree with you 200% Lisa. If you get any flack from anyone it’s probably because they can’t even imagine their lives without it. ACTUALLY having a conversation with their family is so foreign to them that YOU seem like the goofball.

  45. Yhe only time we use our phones is when a question comes up that we need to google. That way, we don’t sit there talking about “I wonder why…”, but we can avtually look up the answer! The best is when I can prove my husband wrong.
    My family actually did this when I was a kid, except we had to go to the shelf and pull out an encyclopedia.
    I think pen and paper activities or small toys (toddlers) are fine in a restaurant.

  46. The reason so much judging goes on between families is that we are judgmental creatures. It is how God made us. We are constantly making judgments all day long. We judge what is right and wrong. We judge what is good and bad for us to do or say or think in every situation that we encounter. WE JUDGE. It is what we are supposed to do. We are supposed to look at the family who allows their children to be in front of media 7.5 hours per day and judge whether that would be a good thing to allow our kids to do. Especially when they are doing it in public in front of our children. I look at the family across the way allowing their children to be on social media during dinner time and I think to myself, “Is that a good thing for kids? Would it be a good thing for my kids? Does it teach them how to converse with others? Does it teach them good manners? Is it healthy? Does it promote learning and growth?” I am required as a parent who is responsible for the eternal souls of my children to make these kind of judgments. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes and poor choices. But that comes from doing our best to make good judgments for our children. And we have every right to make those judgments. I’m not going to tell a family that I don’t know in a restaurant that they are making a poor judgment for their kids. But I will judge them. I will judge the example that they are setting for my sake and for my children’s sake.

    So, to answer your question Lisa…I think you are right to make judgment calls. Should you write an article about it on your site? Your call! It depends if you desire to tackle hard, controversial issues that may cause you to lose followers? Is the venture worth the price to you? Only you can answer that. ;)

  47. Most people I know who have kids don’t usually let them use devices at the table, whether they are at home or at a restaurant. Exceptions are judgement calls that are made depending on the circumstances. Our kids aren’t allowed to use devices at the table, but if we are out with another family and want to have conversations with our friends, we will OK the use of phones and tablets just until the food is served. The kids usually end up watching videos or playing games together, so they are still interacting with each other.

    Around the dinner table, tech is a no go and the tv is off. I was raised eating TV dinners and Happy Meals off a TV tray in the living room while watching Dukes of Hazzard and The A Team, so I think eating as a family almost every night of the week gives us a little wiggle room with the devices when we do go out and decide to let the kids entertain themselves that way.

  48. Wendell Holland

    Lisa,

    Basicly I agree with you. However, there are a couple exceptions that I am very familar with.
    I have a grandson who is autistic. Loud noises, especially crowds, are very difficult for him to handle. Using an electronic device with music or some other soothing activity enables my daughter and the rest of the family to go out to eat and my grandson to survive in that environment. He does not use a device at home during meals.

    The other exception I make is this: My wife and I are both on a relatively strict eating plan. We both just got plain fat and needed to do something to combat it. When we are home with just the two of us, we each keep an eating diary and it is convenient to have our tablets at hand to record things during the meal. But we never do this when anyone else is with us.

    We are also both information junkies. Again, when we are home alone, often subjects will come up in conversation where we would like to verify the facts immediately. Again, this is only when the two of us are alone.

    Thanks
    weh

  49. I totally agree with you. My kids are grown…….my daughter has 2 boys, 7 & 10 – (my angel grandsons) ❤️ – they never, ever are allowed to take along their electronics to a dinner or an outing of any sort and believe me, they go a lot! They do not use them at all during the school week either, only weekends at home. #smartdaughter

  50. My kids are grown and while they were growing up we sat dow to eat dinner. Just us and conversation…sometimes tears but never any other distractions. We didn’t have as many devices but had we they would not have been allowed at the table.

    Back when I was growing up there were no devices (60’s/70’s) but we had tv and it was NOT allowed on during meals and absolutely no phone calls. While I wasn’t happy at the time to miss a phone call (plus no answering machines so you weren’t sure what you were missing!) I am SO grateful now. I also wasn’t allowed to eat at fast food resaturants. My dad believed in fine dining only. No getting up and running to the bathroom either! Again, I am SO grateful for the lessons I learned. May sound terrible to some but believe me a little etiqutte goes along way! I work at a high school and I am SOOOOO thrilled when a student is polite and courteous! It makes my day because it can be a rarity. I always make a big deal and tell them their mom would be proud! Thanks for sharing this important topic. Be kind, courteous and mind your manners!!

  51. Here’s another thing to blow holes in this whole thing: when the phone rings/buzzes/chirps/vibrates, a novel idea would be to NOT FREAKING ANSWER IT.
    Wow. what a concept. We used to have these things called regular telephones with cords, no less! And even some people had cordless phones! But guess what? If it rang during dinner, no one answered. Ya know why? Because it was dinner time!!! With FAMILY! They could either call back later or leave a message.
    So, why is now any different? It shouldn’t be.
    As to the going out with your phone/ipad (yours or for your kid), didn’t have those then either. Learn to deal with life. It’s kind of your job as a parent. Instead of thinking you can just coast through it by handing them off to a device because you want “adult time”. Then have adult time on your own & get a babysitter. If you can’t find one, guess what? You don’t get to have a date. Why is that such a crime? My parents & millions of others did it before all this. This shouldn’t be anything new.

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