“No Talking at the Dinner Table,” He Insists, but I Disagree Completely
“My husband and I got into a parenting argument and he told me, “Go ask Reddit.” So here I am,” the post began, debating the topic of family discussions during mealtimes.
“Our son started solids last week and we had our first family dinner at the table last night. My son took a bite of his pureed sweet potatoes, then looked up and said, “Aya ah!” I responded and we had a jolly good time going back and forth. Later in the evening, my husband, who clearly had a heavy issue weighing on his mind, finally said to me, “When he’s older, I don’t want to make a habit of talking during dinner.”
We’ve never been ones to adhere to strict mealtime rules in our family just for the sake of it. Elbows on the table? Who cares? Someone picks up a piece of carrot with their fingers instead of a fork? It really doesn’t matter. Have something you want to share with the rest of us? Go for it, boo. Nightly family dinners are not formal events. Just remember to eat with your mouth closed and don’t interrupt anyone.
So it was with surprise that I read this particular Reddit post about maintaining a silent dinner table with the family. Sure, sometimes that would be handy, like when everyone is talking at once or arguing about what to do on the weekend. But as a rule? There are plenty of other good habits I’d rather try and enforce than a cold, sterile eating environment.
Back to the post: “According to my husband, talking at the table distracts us from mindful eating and can lead to obesity. I told him that family dinner is supposed to be a time for families to talk and connect. He disagreed and was apparently raised in a household that had quiet dinners.
“In my mind, this is ridiculous, but it does genuinely appear to upset my husband and I want to see his perspective fairly,” she wrote.
Plenty of opinions were soon shared with the young mum, who explained that due to conflicting schedules, she rarely ate at the same time as her husband before becoming a stay at home mum.
“I honestly can’t imagine having a quiet dinner,” responded one parent. “It’s the time when our kids share things about their day. We talk, laugh. I would hate for it to feel so formal.”
“Isn’t the whole point of eating dinner as a family to bond and catch up and such?” added another.
“I have teenagers,” began another parent. “We still eat dinner at the table every night and talk. My kids are busy with school and sports and college apps and music and school clubs and friends. Family dinner is a guaranteed time to sit down and catch up. After we eat the kids will often continue our conversation as they help me clean up. I couldn’t imagine silent dinners.”
Is a non-vocal dinner table important to you and your family? Or is it a time for reconnection after a busy day out in the world? Any thoughts?