A friend told me about an experience that left me with very mixed feelings. She and her husband took her daughter, son-in-law and 2-year old toddler out dinner. As soon as they sat down at the table, the daughter whipped out a video player and earphones and plugged the baby in to a Dora the Explorer video. The little boy watched his video and the adults ate dinner.
Nifty idea, right?
I just don’t know. If we invite a child to dinner with his parents, should we expect the young child to be part of the dinner? Isn’t this how a child learns about being sociable and about manners.? And most important, isns’t this one of the building blocks for experiencing the joy of a family being together, sharing conversation, ideas and family stories?
My friend (who is the soul of tact) didn’t say anything to her daughter but she was fuming about it afterwards.
Even though I wasn’t thrilled by the vision of a plugged in toddler at the restaurant table, I did try to see it from the daugher’s perspective. We all remember how tired we were when we had a toddler running around the house. This was one way to have a meal undisturbed.
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