Eating in silence, again?

18 Oct

When my boys were younger, I never would’ve thought this would be possible.  But with one away at college and one deep in teenage thought, I kind of wish we had the hectic goofiness at the table again.  Or, forgive me for saying this… that another chic lived here so we could have a little conversation at dinner.  Sheesh.

So, yes, my husband is at the table with us too, but he’s also a dude.  So there ya go.  I’m really not a chatty person, but also not very content with silence reminiscent of a monastic vow at the dinner table either.  It just gets boring.

And all moms know, the one thing you’re NOT supposed to do is ask your teenager questions.  Right? All the fancy parenting books recommend strategic conversation-starting tactics including…  ‘just sit there in silence’ and eventually someone will speak.  But now that they are nearing the end of their teenager years, my beasts soak up the silence.  In fact, I’m pretty sure they are thrilled to not say a single word, if possible.

So, I break the rules and ask questions anyway.  Not many. Just enough to make sure they still possess their auditory senses.  It is amazing how many meanings there are behind a symbolic shrug and the word, “Fine.”  And that’s in answer to questions that are not answerable by yes or no.

The good news is no one refuses to come to the table.  Which is probably because they are getting fed.  What beast turns away a meal they didn’t have to prep?

So as I type this, I am thinking I need to change the game plan and bring the baby beast into the kitchen sooner so he can help prep.  I’m sure he’ll love that… but as I tell him any time he fusses about a chore, “I’m teaching you this so I can ensure my future daughter-in-law will like me.”  And secretly, hope he’ll accidentally start verbalizing a fraction of what is being processed behind that pensive, deep-in-thought expression.

We’ll see.  It probably won’t work, but why not try it.

1 Peter 4:9  Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

Parenting Tip:  Pick one day a week/month for them to be in charge of dinner at home.  Planning, prepping and cleaning so they not only learn how to cook but also how to appreciate what others cook for them.  (And it could benefit the future daughter-in-law relationship too.)

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