With Thanksgiving around the corner, you might be busy making plans to travel, braving the grocery lines, and setting your DVR to record football showdowns. Between keeping up with old traditions, and starting new ones, it can be hard to slow down, and savor the moments with family and friends. But what if there’s a new tradition that makes room at the table for what matters most: togetherness?
This year, as you prep the turkey, we invite you to try a device free Thanksgiving Table.
Sound intimidating? We get it. Some family members and friends might think you’re nuts. But for others? It might just be the nourishment they need in a season of loneliness.
So. Perhaps you ease in— make the first year optional, with the hopes that after everyone gets a “taste” of unplugging, more people will opt in next year. Awkward silence? Try planting a table game, like Top Four. (Instructions here.) Need more ideas? We loved this tip sheet from our friends at The Family Dinner Project and Common Sense Media.
And if it goes well? Maybe the device-free table tradition begins popping up throughout the week! It is one of START’s top five Rules of Thumb because studies have shown that children who regularly eat dinner with their families are less likely to engage in risky behavior, less likely to develop mental health disorders, and more likely to do better in school and be happier overall. Thankfully, it’s not dependent upon a gourmet, homemade meal—the most important thing is unplugging and connecting with each other. Looking for more activities to fill that new screen-free quality time? Check out The Family Dinner Project’s website or their new book, Eat, Laugh, Talk! The Family Dinner Playbook, which contains hundreds of conversation starters and table game ideas for all ages to help families make dinnertime work for them.
Happy Thanksgiving from the team at START! We’ll be taking the Trim-the-Tech challenge with you this year—believing the good old days are yet to come!