This is an all, too-familiar scenario that I see over and over. The only thing that changes are the people involved. I'm talking about dining out and spotting at least one table, if not multiple tables where there are people sitting together and it almost seems that without fail, someone at the table is glued to their cell phone, completely uninterested in carrying on a conversation with the other person or persons at the table with them.

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Teens are notorious for this behavior when sitting with their parents. The last thing they want to do is talk to their parents because who knows where that will go? I know from my own parenting experience that ANYTHING I have to say, unless it involves taking them out for ice cream or to their favorite restaurant, is something they totally tune out, deeming it B-O-R-I-N-G.  It has gotten a little bit better now that they are college-aged but not much better. And even though my husband and I know that our kids would rather be on their phones when we have dinner together, as parents, we have a hard and fast rule that cell phones are not allowed at the table.

For our family, dinner time is sacred and a time to connect. I learned that from my own parents who always insisted that we consistently eat family dinners in the dining room and not in front of the tv or at different times like so many families do. Of course, there were no cell phones back then so my parents didn't have to worry about that distraction at least.

I feel that it makes our family stronger, to leave any technology in another room and connect with each other during a meal. I find it very sad to see when dining out, too many examples of people either sitting with each other and not talking (awkward!) or people at a table tuned out to whomever they're with by being on their cell phone.

It's time to put the phones away at the table and bring back conversing and connecting like we were all meant to do! It might be difficult at first, but then who knows what great conversations are just waiting to come out? Just give it a try and see what happens.

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