Thanks for sharing your perspective on abolishing the concept the kids’s table at large family gatherings. How timely! However, as I scurry about making last minute preparations for the Thanksgiving dinner I’ll be attending tomorrow along with approximately 30 close family members, I can’t help but wonder why in the name of all things pumpkin spice Huff Post Life published this nonsensical drivel… er, I mean, can’t help but feel a little stuck on a few of your points. In fact, all of them. Let’s go ahead and run down the list, you know, just to be sure we don’t do anything drastic before we’ve really thought this through.
1. “It’s better to pay attention to your kids than your phone.”
You, sir, are a noble man! I commend you and the worthy brigade you’re leading. In fact, I’ll even stand on my chair and “Captain, my Captain” your efforts to banish phones from the dinner table and reinforce our need to repair our dwindling ability to connect with one another, face to face. So much yes. Only… tell me again how placing kiddos at the adult dinner table accomplishes this? I see you’ve linked to a lovely study that points out how too much smartphone usage by parents damages kids, yet you conveniently left out any research indicating a correlation between kids sitting at the adult table and a decrease in phone usage. Because there likely isn’t any, right? Methinks perhaps you’ve begun your argument with a little post hoc ergo propter hoc. You may want to brush up on those freshman year of college logical fallacies before you publish your next argument. (Just Google it on your smartphone!)
Side note: Having my kids at the table with me would probably increase my smartphone usage based on (1) my desire to take photos of my adorable children, (2) their request that I look up something for their li’l curious and digitally native brains and (3) my desire to escape their inevitable assholery.
2. “Kids should be leading the conversation at the table.”
We grownups just talk about our boring old jobs and office politics, you say. OK, but do you know what kids talk about? Poop. And farts. And the wet boogers they are actively removing from their nostrils and slurping down right along with the mashed potatoes. Sure, kids do ask some really cool questions and deeply engaging in conversation with kids can absolutely be refreshing and inspirational. You know what else is refreshing and inspirational? Adults listening to one another’s day-to-day challenges and triumphs with empathy, kindness and generosity.