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Feb 10, 2014

STEP UP TO THE TABLE

Let’s file this in the “Signs of the Times” folder. Then let’s toss it in the garbage because it needs to go there.

My sister took me out for dinner Saturday night. We went to a nice restaurant and sat at a little booth.

Shortly after we were seated a woman came in and was seated across from us at a bigger booth and I heard her asking for a booster seat.

Uh oh I thought. This is an adult type restaurant. No kids menus. No coloring books. Here we go again thinking back to the dinner out we had on my birthday. You can read about that here. I will wait until you get back to continue.

Minutes later her husband came in along with their 4 young boys. The oldest appeared to be about 7 or 8 years old. I tensed up.

Turns out there was nothing to worry about with their behaviour. They were really quiet and yet I am still not happy. Why? Not because I am a grumpy old lady but because when I looked over at their quiet table of 6 you could see every one of them was using a handheld device of some sort.

(NOT THE ACTUAL PEOPLE) Screen-Shot-2013-10-09-at-12.53.25-PM

IPhones, gaming consoles whatever. They were not looking at each other. They were not talking to each other. The parents looked up when the server came to their table for something but other than the odd word here or there they completely ignored each other.

Yes they were quiet and didn’t disturb the other patrons but I don’t think this is a solution. I am really saddened. Sharing a meal with your family and not even looking at them is shameful.

These children should be learning how to engage in conversations with adults and each other. They should be learning to look the server in the eye and say thank you when she brings something to the table.

They should be sharing their day, their ideas, their problems. Instead they are staring into a screen and isolating themselves from the world around them.

The parents are once again taking the easy way out and instead of teaching their children what is acceptable behaviour they are “medicating” them with electronics. taber_No_Cell_Phones_Allowed

Also they are not even communicating with their spouse as both of them had their heads buried in their IPhones. This too is teaching their children how to relate to their spouse later on. Ignore them. Pretend they are not there.

It is a sad, sad thing. Step up as a parent or grandparent. Teach these young people how to relate to each other. How to converse. How to enjoy the company of your family at meal time. Also how to behave yourself. Not just for me of course but for the world at large and mainly for the kids.

8 comments:

Linda H said...

I TOTALLY agree, 100%. Sad. Very sad.

Sigrun said...

That's pathetic. I can see it in my own extended family.

Blondie's Journal said...

This is so so sad. And everything you say is the darn truth. I think meals are the best time to catch up with each other. And restaurants are the perfect place for our children to learn manners and etiquette. Not that hubby and I were perfect, we took our four out with us often (and yes, to family friendly places). I actually think it taught them how to behave around others, especially adults.

Too bad. Parents like this don't seem to have a grip on the consequences of this. Society will have to deal with it in the future.

XO,
Jane

joanne said...

Oh, I agree. It's such a sad statement on our society. No time for the kids, or spouse, or anything. All of our social time is spent on devices and there is no real contact any more. I think it must be very lonely out there.

Jackie said...

Agreed.
I hesitate to ever take my iPhone out when I'm in public. I will take it out to check to see if Mama or Daddy called me. I keep it with me and on 24/7 because of them and their age and their health. When in public, I try to keep the ringer on "silent"...so, I have to take it out to see if I have a missed call from my parents. Other than that, I think it is a shame that someone wants to be with or talk with someone else when in the presence of the "one you're with." Shaking my head....

Maureen said...

Oy.Vey. This is a thorn in my side. I have ranted to my husband about how you see parents walking into the grocery store chatting away on their phones with kids following silently. Talk about missed opportunities. I'll leave it at that or I'll really get on my high horse.

Country Gal said...

I agree , No one has conversations face to face anymore . Love your blog . Following from Ontario Canada looking forward to future posts as to what's going on in your neck of the woods ! Have a great week !

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Did you ever watch that episode of Oprah where the family all lived in the same house but were so involved in their social media that they never talked? The Mom would text the family when it was time for dinner...sigh.

Jen

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