Here is a picture of the start of what was a lovely family meal time. The kids had set the table, and were eager to do so. The husband had cooked the dinner so I could play. We even lit the children's home made candles. I had some good music playing on Stereomood. Everyone used their manners, so we didn't need to nag. And the baby insisted on feeding himself. And yes, I had a nice glass of wine.
What you can't see in this picture is an i-phone. And rightly so! Mobile phones should be banned at the table, right?! The other week in Sainsburys, I was glancing through their mag while waiting at the till and found an article about mothers and their techie obsessions and how to "switch off" so that you are more accessible to your children. I agree that this is the right thing to do. I am aware that I use the computer a lot, for emails, catching up with friends/family, browsing, reading the news etc...
But I don't tend to text at the dinner table. And anyway- I don't have that many friends that I need to text all the time:-)
But you know when you are having a really great conversation with the kids, about anything, and then they ask all these complicated questions? Well, I'm not that clever. And what I do know, I like to back up with some solid information, before I give the kids some answers. The i-phone is great for that. Just whip it out, look it up and carry on with the conversation. You can even do it under the table so that it looks like you know what you are talking about! No, seriously- I don't do this because it's ok for children to know it's alright to look things up or ask questions if you are not sure about something. And nobody knows everything, right? Before the i-phone, if I wasn't sure of an answer, I might say something like: "That's a very interesting question. Let's look that up on the computer/in a book when we get home." And I can tell you that didn't happen very often. Things are too busy. When we "get home" its usually bath and bed, and then they will have forgotten their question.
The i-phone came into use as a translator for this dinner time. I have basic knowledge in a few different languages, but it was great to look up a few words in different languages and we all learned them over dinner.
BTW: Dinner was Kalamata Chicken with Rice. It was supposed to be with garlic butter spinach and orzo, but I can't find Orzo anywhere:-(