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No Toys at the Table

techatdinnertableDinner table talk can be the key to your child’s future.

Did you grow up with everyone sitting around the dinner table looking at their devices? That might be commonplace now, but it wasn’t a generation ago—even for Gen Y.

Over the past several months, I’ve spent a lot of time talking about how technology addiction can be detrimental to your sales career. But just as importantly, it can also negatively impact your kids’ future careers.

Stop Texting, Start Talking

Our kids need our help understanding what’s happening in the world and applying it to their own lives. They need to hear about challenges we’ve faced and problems we’ve solved. They need to understand the importance of integrity, and to know that hard work (and sometimes a little luck) lead to success. They need to engage in conversation, no matter what their age.

You want your kids to be confident, trustworthy, and successful. You want them to know how to forge relationships that matter—on the school playground, in romantic relationships, and in their future jobs. So put away the toys. There’s plenty of time for electronics, but not at the dinner table.

Conversation Is Key

In Beth Kuhel’s excellent article, “Dinner Table Talk Can Jump-Start Your Kid’s Career!,” she explains:

You can positively influence your kids by consistently initiating and encouraging stimulating discussions at the dinner table. Don’t underestimate the impact these discussions have in shaping your child’s intellectual curiosity and their confidence to pursue a career later in life: Lively discussions that allow for everyone in the family to freely voice their opinions develop a host of transferable skills that are valued by college admissions officers and hiring managers.

Read the rest of this article for tips on how to have important conversations with your children—whatever their age.

I’ll leave you with the timeless Eleanor Roosevelt quote that Kuhel uses to start her article: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

Couldn’t have put it better myself! Discuss the things that matter with your children. You’ll be glad you did.

Comment Here

What was the best career advice your parents shared with you at the dinner table (or anywhere else)?

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7 Responses to No Toys at the Table

  1. We have always gotten compliments on our kids. They interact well with people of all ages. They have always needed a damn good excuse not to be at the diner table and they are expected to be involved in the conversation. It just works.

  2. Totally agree. We never have the TV on during dinner and my kids (now 16 and 19) typically engage with us about the day’s activities and any future plans we have. I like Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote as that could expand our discussions further.

  3. Great topic Joanne!

    Agreed that good communication and conversation skills need to be developed.

    People laughed at us years ago when we implemented two house rules regarding electronics (we had to come up with the whole broad category as saying, ipod, cell phone, GameBoy, and all the other various potential pieces of gadgetry became too long to list.)
    1. No electronics during meal time.
    2. No in-house texting. If we are in the same building and you need to communicate – find the person and talk with them – no texting messages!

    My best career advice from my parents? Be good at whatever you do – whether it is assembly work at a factory or running the world 🙂

  4. Beth Kuhel says:

    Thanks for all your great comments! My parents stressed at many dinner table discussions the importance of having a good name. They said that no amount of money can buy a good reputation. It has to be earned and protected.

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