Table Talk!

Dinner table conversations are now making the news! Moms today are reporting all different styles of talk that they experienced at their tables when they were growing up. Here are some fond remembrances:

  • Oral math games about the speed of different planes, trains, and cars
  • Debates about economic policies and civil rights issues
  • Everyone reporting on how well their day went
  • Eating and watching the news on TV

A new book called The Family Dinner by Laurie David includes almost as many discussion starting points as it does recipes. She explains that it is important today to teach kids how to have a real conversation and not just a texting one.

Guess who brought to Americans the most popular mealtime ritual we have today? If you said the Obama’s, you would be right. They created a simple fail-safe method in which each family member talks about his or her low and high points of the day. Is this really new? It turns out that the 1998 film “Stepmom” featured a family talking about their daily highs and lows.

This high and low idea is not only good for children. It is also good for parents. Educators point out that as parents share their ups and downs of the day, they seem more real to their children. “Be a person not a god” is a major tenet of guidance discipline. Here is an example of it from Wednesday Evening Wine that parents really like: Ohhh… the Good Old Days!

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