How to prevent your child from sitting on the phone at the table: 3 actionable tips (plus a game)

 If you want to wean your child from playing the phone at the table and want to instill in him other good manners, then first of all you will have to sacrifice your habits.


How to prevent your child from sitting on the phone at the table: 3 actionable tips (plus a game)

According to the rules of table etiquette, as soon as food and drinks appear on the dining table, then all foreign objects - phones, toys, books, etc. - should be put aside. This rule is a real challenge not so much for children as for parents, because it is adults who break it most often. Moms and dads are sometimes so strongly attached to gadgets that they don't even notice that they are setting a bad example for children. 


If you really want to wean your child from playing the phone at the table and want to instill in him other good manners, then first of all you will have to sacrifice your habits. 


How and where do adults break the rule of appropriateness at the table?

Foreign objects not related to eating or serving: phones, keys, glasses, gloves, documents, books, handbags and other similar things should not be on the table while eating. Let's take a closer look at the situation with the phone. To do this, we will briefly take a break from raising children and talk about the adult world.


Example # 1

Imagine that you have come to a restaurant to meet with your friends. Planning to chat, laugh, have a delicious dinner. All in all, have a good time together. However, having taken a table, none of the women put the phone away. 


This means that almost an evening of "communication" will definitely turn into aimless viewing of social media feeds, correspondence and calls with their husbands or boyfriends. Friends will endlessly post stories to Instagram, showing subscribers how they are having fun.


As a result, the entire friendly company does not communicate, but "hangs" in the phones. Question: why did you have to get ready?


Example No. 2

Now let's take a business meeting as a basis. In the process of discussing issues, representatives of both sides will not even think about putting their phones away. Someone justifies this with the phrase: "We are all busy people, and we may need to call or check mail." Such a statement automatically nullifies the importance of the person sitting opposite. This means that negotiations with him are not so important. To avoid such situations, it is better not to reach for the phone. 


Example No. 3

With friends and partners sorted out. And what about family and relatives? Some people believe that the rules of decency are created only for communication with outsiders. With loved ones, we can supposedly demonstrate any behavior, not always tactful or frankly boorish. However, it is not. Family respect is the key to harmony and understanding. 


Therefore, adults should also control their actions while eating at home. In this case, do not use the telephone. Otherwise, the child and other household members will feel that their presence is of no value to you. After that, the children will definitely begin to behave in the same way. And there will be nothing to blame them for. 


How to teach a child not to use foreign objects at the table

  • First, try to convey to your child everything that I wrote in the paragraph above. Let him know that the phone is not more important than the person.

  • Secondly. Agree with the family that while you are eating, phones, gadgets, and indeed any foreign objects can wait. This also applies to dads, as they sometimes think that all these "etiquette troubles" do not concern them. Such reasoning is fundamentally wrong. Parents need to work together. 

  • Third, socialize at the table. Pay attention to all family members, be interested in each other's affairs, talk on different topics, ask your child about what interesting things happened to him that day, dream together, plan the next weekend or family vacation.

A game that will help children learn this rule

When setting the table, deliberately lay out a few inappropriate items among the dishes and cutlery. What could it be? Anything: house keys, board game chips, notebook, mittens, dad's phone, mom's lipstick, and more. Then ask your child to find these items and remove them from the table.

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