Children & Technology at Dinner: A Commentary

Your Kids Don't Need A Tablet To Stay Entertained At The Dinner Table

If you're going to bring your children to dinner, they should be part of the conversation, otherwise, hire a babysitter.

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We've all seen it, a family at dinner with their children, the parents converse, and the children are sucked into the technological void provided to them by the technology their parents give them to keep them behaved and occupied. In my opinion, if you're going to bring your children to dinner, they should be part of the conversation, otherwise, hire a babysitter.

When I look back at my childhood and think about going out to dinner with my family, technology was never a thought, and nor should it be. Regardless of my contribution to the conversations at dinner, I attribute a lot of my conversational learning as well as improved diction to the attentive and inclusive conversations amongst members in my family. Giving your children technology so you don't have to deal with them screams lazy parenting and also shows your children that you'd rather have them out of your hair. When you have a child, that child needs to be your world, otherwise, don't have children!

As someone who works in a restaurant, I see this far too often. In some scenarios, I have seen every member of a family, on some type of technology, only talking when the server came up to take their orders and check on how their food is. Even at a banquette style table, like the hibachi tables at Benihana, I have seen this occur too. It's extremely upsetting to me because when I look back at Benihana dinners with my family, I remember befriending the families at the table with us and laughing the entire time with the people I loved. These are memories that children in more current generations are being deprived of–all so their parents can have silence when going out to dinner.

If you're reading this and are a current parent or plan to be a parent in the future, deeply consider the fact that integrating technology in every facet of your child's life can affect them in a multitude of negative ways you may not even realize. Talk to your children, show them undeniable love, and make them feel like part of the conversation because one day they're going to grow up and be out of your hair for good.

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My Parents Deserve To Be Celebrated 365 Days A Year, Not Just On Mother's And Father's Day

One day a year is not enough to express how thankful I am for my mother and father. I don't think 365 days will do it justice, either.

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Mother's and Father's Day. Days of the year where everyone is expected to focus all their attention on the mothers and fathers of the world. They do so many things that are never recognized, just expected of them. It's their duties as mothers and fathers to take care of, protect, love, and do all means necessary to make their children happy. That's what they signed up for, right?

We use Mother's and Father's Day to step back and thank our parents for all the little things they've done over the past years. For 24 hours, we end up showering them in attention, gifts, and love. It's our turn to spoil them back.

After those 24 hours are gone though, what happens? All the sappy social media posts fade away. The handwritten cards get tossed out. The festivities end. Everyone goes back to their daily routines.

I always found it funny how on these days every year, everyone in the world is all hands on deck, spoiling our moms and dads in any way possible. My siblings and I would always get our parents cards, small gifts, and maybe have a special dinner together that day.

As I grow older, I'm starting to understand how silly a day like Mother's and Father's Day really is. My parents are the greatest superheroes I have ever met, so they should be celebrated, appreciated, and taken care of not just one day, but every day of the damn year.

My parents have raised me from day one, supporting me through all the highs and lows. They picked me up when I fell down and scraped my knee on the concrete. They dealt with me through every temper tantrum and angry episode. They didn't kill me during my teenage years (I was the biggest brat).

They've spent God only knows how much money to support me in all of my endeavors. They sat and let me cry on their shoulders when I got my heart broken for the first time. They continue to pick up the phone in the late hours of the night when I'm having a panic attack about something silly.

They stood by me as I graduated from middle school, high school, and college. They'll continue to support me as I move out and on, getting married and having a family of my own.

My mom and dad have been there for me 365 days a year, every year. I think it's my turn to be there for them 365 days a year, not just on Mother's and Father's Day.

I know it's hard to do so right now as I am at an unstable time of my life, but one day I will be able to give back everything they have given to me, and more.

So, to my wonderful parents, my role models, and my heroes:

Thank you for taking care of me, protecting me, loving me, and doing all things necessary to make me happy. I don't think any amount of words, hugs, or kisses will be able to truly show how blessed I am to have parents like you. I love you both so much, and I promise to celebrate you every day, 365 days a year.

You mean the world to me, and I hope you know that you've done an amazing job raising my siblings and I. I hope to one day be half the parent that you are. Thank you for being you. I love you so much.

Happy Mother's and Father's Day to all the parents out there. Although those holidays are absolutely your days to shine, I hope you get showered in love 365 days a year, too.

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