Dinner

 

You’ve seen those families at the restaurants, right?   The ones where the parents or the children or everybody has their faces buried in their cell phones?  The ones were no one is talking to anyone?

That’s not us.  We believe in dinner time conversation.  Even when the food is taking forever to arrive at the table or we can’t think of another thing to say or Katie is starting to forget her restaurant manners.  The phones stay in our pockets, and we play another round of I Spy.

Until this weekend.

Maddie was ignoring us.  Her face was buried.  She wasn’t participating in the dinner time conversation at all.  She was lost in another world.  It was as if we weren’t even there.

I didn’t know what to do.  I wanted her to talk to us.

I just couldn’t bring myself to say the words… Maddie, put the book away.

SOL

This is my Slice of Life Story this week. Share yours at Two Writing Teachers every Tuesday!

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18 thoughts on “Dinner

  1. LOL! I love it! 🙂 We need to get kids talking about books like they talk about video games! Your daughter’s headed in the right direction! 🙂

  2. What a great small moment slice! My family motto should be “Family that travels with books!” The big questions when packing for a trip in my house are: What books should I bring? How many can I fit in the suitcase? We try to coordinate them as well. (If you bring that one, I’ll bring this one, then we can trade.) My son used to evaluate potential clothes purchases based on whether the pockets were big enough to hold a book. I heard a great interview with Neil Gaiman recently and he said his parents used to pat him down to check for books before family occasions. They knew if he managed to smuggle a book in they’d find him hidden under a table somewhere instead of interacting. That said, it’s never easy to say “Stop reading!” Maybe, like so many things, it’s all about balance. Love the photos!

  3. Too funny. I’ve gone from teaching at the poorest Title I elementary school in my district which is majority minority to teaching in a program for the gifted at the wealthiest middle school in my district. Our program is also majority minority, but has different minority groups. At the first school we did everything to encourage them to read. My new school is like multiple Maddies at dinner. You hate to tell them to put the book away.

  4. I would have done exactly what you did! My younger son used to sleep with hard back books tucked under his pillow. Her love of reading and the characters she meets in her books will one day lead to wonderful dinner conversations…serving her well for years to come!

  5. It is hard for children to learn dinner conversation skills when all you see in restaurants is parents so involved with their phones that they don’t talk to one another. I am sure that when Maddie finished her book she had lots to say about it. I applaud your effort to keep conversation alive.

  6. Have your proverbial cake and eat it, too? What about book talks and read-alouds *at* the dinner table? The only downside I see is dried sauce spots on some pages…

  7. We didn’t have the challenges of tech when my children were young, but we did believe it was important that they learn to talk together and with us in good conversations. And sometimes, as you show, there are exceptions. I’m glad she didn’t have a cell phone in the picture! So many (when out walking) are looking down at the phones, don’t talk to their children (if there) or make eye contact with me. Makes me sad to see. I’d like to say hello, but even more, I’d like them to notice the world around them, and help the children notice too.

  8. I am usually a stickler for no “devices” during mealtimes. But as important as it is to have family rules, it’s also important for a parent to sense when that rule can be broken…for a very good reason. Keep up the good work, Mom!

  9. What a great twist to have it be a book that was the “offender” that got in the way of family conversation! So easy to tell someone to put away a device; quite hard to tell someone to put away a book. 🙂

  10. Love how she is caught in the book!
    Our family has always been a family that sits and chats at the table. As our children have grown up and brought partners into the mix these new folks have struggled a bit with how long we sit at the table and chat after dinner. I love that they are learning the art of table conversation as adults at out house!

  11. Too funny. I’ve gone from teaching at the poorest Title I elementary school in my district which is majority minority to teaching in a program for the gifted at the wealthiest middle school in my district. Our program is also majority minority, but has different minority groups.

  12. It’s great to see her caught up in a book. I always had my nose in a book as a kid, it’s somewhat saddening to see that fading with technology. Can’t beat a good book in your hands.

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