Our new SimplySmartDinnerPlans radio spot (if you haven’t heard it, listen here) ends with a funny comment about trying to get the family to put their cell phones away at the dinner table. This got me thinking…
But, at the same time, I’ve been to dinner at folk’s houses where four kids are plugged into cell phones, ipods, ipads, you name it, and never lift there eyes from the screen through the whole dinner.
Well, what’s the point of having a “family dinner” if every one is hiding in their own little digital world?
To quote one friend, commenting on this subject: “Talking, texting, or listening to your ipod during a family dinner is just rude. When having a meal, one is supposed to enjoy/cherish the other party’s company. Engage them in a conversation, laugh about things or just sit, eat and drink while appreciating each others presence.
“Appreciating each others presence”…I like that.
No, I love that.
Of course, as the chief cook and foodie of my family, I also enjoy seeing some respect and appreciation for the food I’ve cooked and served (and so should show the same respect and appreciation when my spouse cooks) as well.
Frankly, if you’re going to just grab a spoon and hork it down while “lol”ing with your “bff”, uncaring of what you’re putting in your mouth, I think I’d rather just slop something into a bowl and let you eat it off the floor, as that’s the behavior I expect from the dog.
Actually, that’s not fair – our dog is always clearly appreciative of her food. Sorry…that was the chef in me expressing moral outrage, lol.
Finally, from those foremost authorities on good manners, at Emily Post.com:
“If your meal is just about nourishment and you are by yourself in the kitchen, text away. No problem! But if you’re having dinner with friends and family, be with them.”
The dinner table is, or should be, that place where as a family we reunite from our various daily adventures to re-connect, to share, to ask and answer, to seek and give help, and to grow closer as a family. It is where we, as a tribe, commune and break bread with one another, affirming the importance of each member to the whole, where we love, and laugh, and make memories.
While this really isn’t that big of a deal at my house (yet), I do have a six-year-old daughter who is watching and learning, and it’s probably never too early to start setting a good example. I think I’m going to put a basket on our dinner table, and anyone who brings a cell-phone, tablet, etc., to the table, has to put it in the basket.
First one to take their phone out of the basket, before dinner is over, has to do the dishes!
Yes, that includes myself.