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#1 of 29 Old 03-08-2010, 01:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Do you make your gifted reader(s) put down their books while eating? Why or why not?
I'm trying to decide if this is a battle worth fighting or not. Thanks!

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#2 of 29 Old 03-08-2010, 02:40 AM
 
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We don't read at the dinner table together. It is a time for being together as a family. Reading a newspaper or book or letter or whatever cuts off conversation and, IMO, is rude.

Reading in a room with others when you aren't all gathered around the table for supper - sure, that is fine and friendly. But to me reading during supper is on par with talking on a cell phone to someone noone at the table knows, throughout dinner.

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#3 of 29 Old 03-08-2010, 02:43 AM
 
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Dinner time is family time. No one reads in our family. Family relationships are far more important, IMO. I also agree with Tjej -- it's just rude.

On the other hand, if it's just one kid sitting at the table chowing down on a sandwich or a snack, sure, it's fine to read, so long as the reading hand is kept clean and it's not a library book (risk of spills, etc.).

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#4 of 29 Old 03-08-2010, 03:57 AM
 
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Books are down during family meals. Even the most avid reader needs to practice conversational skills, and what better forum than a supportive family dinner?

I'd discourage eating while reading in general just because I think it's possible to eat more than you realize while reading (ask me how I know ). But for things other than family meals, I probably wouldn't fight that battle. I read the newspaper during breakfast, why not a book?

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#5 of 29 Old 03-08-2010, 07:04 AM
 
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Generally we don't read at the dinner table. I won't say we never do, because I've been guilty of picking up the newspaper if it's still there from breakfast. I'll read out an item and we'll discuss it.

Occasionally, we'll have pizza in front of the television too. I'd probably tolerate a child who was so absorbed in a book that they brought it to the dinner table more than one who was glued to the tv. I'm not sure why though - both exhibit poor social behaviour.
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#6 of 29 Old 03-08-2010, 08:12 AM
 
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We only read at the table if it's not "family dinner"---like if one of us is out, and it's just me and DD or DH and DD. We do read at breakfast and lunch.

I just want to say that I don't really see what this question has to do with being gifted. It's an etiquette thing that you either practice or don't. Is it *not* rude for *non-gifted* people to read at the table?
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#7 of 29 Old 03-08-2010, 09:27 AM
 
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We allow newspapers and magazines at casual weekend breakfasts, but no other reading at the table.

In addition to the reasons mentioned above, the breakfast reading has to only be on the weekends or we are late to school.

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#8 of 29 Old 03-08-2010, 09:40 AM
 
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No reading during supper.

I would see it as similar to playing a handheld video game or listenning to music with an earpiece during supper, which isn't what family suppers are about.

Moreover, I try to encourage balance in addictions (or passions/obsessions) - and the need for something other than family and food at the table seems a little out of balance.
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#9 of 29 Old 03-08-2010, 10:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by waiflywaif View Post
I just want to say that I don't really see what this question has to do with being gifted. It's an etiquette thing that you either practice or don't. Is it *not* rude for *non-gifted* people to read at the table?
I'd say it's about what kathymuggle mentioned - if reading is an addiction/passion/obsession (and that I think is a common gifted thing), it makes it so much harder to do the non-rude thing here - or to listen to what your parents tell you what the non-rude thing to do is. I have a hard time to not read whatever I am doing, and only good dinner conversation makes me not want to read then, and only strong habits of politeness stop me from reading when the conversation leaves something to be desired. my husband is always taking reading material away from me as it is.

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#10 of 29 Old 03-08-2010, 11:15 AM
 
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I would see it as similar to playing a handheld video game or listenning to music with an earpiece during supper, which isn't what family suppers are about.
agreed.

Reading at the table was a much bigger issue with my austic but gifted child than my *just* gifted child. It's really not a sign of balance to be more interested in books (or video games or whatever) than interacting with real people.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#11 of 29 Old 03-08-2010, 11:56 AM
 
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We don't read at the dinner table together. It is a time for being together as a family. Reading a newspaper or book or letter or whatever cuts off conversation and, IMO, is rude.

Reading in a room with others when you aren't all gathered around the table for supper - sure, that is fine and friendly. But to me reading during supper is on par with talking on a cell phone to someone noone at the table knows, throughout dinner.

Tjej
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
No reading during supper.

I would see it as similar to playing a handheld video game or listenning to music with an earpiece during supper, which isn't what family suppers are about.

Moreover, I try to encourage balance in addictions (or passions/obsessions) - and the need for something other than family and food at the table seems a little out of balance.

all of that

And for us, if you're eating, you're eating. We don't allow other things with eating. That being said, nobody here ever eats alone.

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#12 of 29 Old 03-08-2010, 01:53 PM
 
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Gosh. I think reading at a family meal is not polite. Why would a gifted kid get a pass on that?
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#13 of 29 Old 03-08-2010, 02:26 PM
 
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its just my dd and me. i remember doing that as a child. so i let her read. i dont stop her. however in our house it is not a daily recurrence. we end up both reading our own individual books. and somehow doing it at the dinner table opens up the conversation. if one giggles or says wow they have to share what happened. and before we know it, we have put our books down and are merrily chatting away.

dd is also allowed to read on the street, but not while crossing the road.

however i also know her personality. when she is into something she is REALLY into it. almost like she has to keep at it to get it out of her system or there is no peace.

i dont insist on the no books on the table because we get lots of time together apart from mealtimes since its just her and me.

but i remember as a child doing that too and we didnt have to stop reading. somehow i remember putting my book down to join in the conversation at the table.

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#14 of 29 Old 03-08-2010, 03:44 PM
 
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No, we don't allow it, even if she is eating solo (this is really because she's almost always reading library books, and she's a messy eater).

Now, second poll: do you let them read while walking? (Yes, this is an issue here.)

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#15 of 29 Old 03-08-2010, 05:04 PM
 
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Now, second poll: do you let them read while walking? (Yes, this is an issue here.)
Not near stairs or the street or in parking lots. The hardest place to enforce it is the parking lot outside the library.

I try to discourage it in general, but I think he is more likely to stop doing it because he has tripped too many times than because I have told him to stop.

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#16 of 29 Old 03-08-2010, 05:19 PM
 
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No reading at the table, except for very rare occasions, like when Daddy is watching baseball at the table (Not thrilled about this, but he grew up in a house where the TV is ALWAYS on, so he meets me more than halfway). Walkign with a book is fine as long as there is nowhere you need to get to in a hurry (like when I have asked you to pick up the stuff strewn all over the living room), and you don't fall over.
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#17 of 29 Old 03-08-2010, 05:24 PM
 
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I do it... and I can remember my mother gently tolerating it when I was a kid. (Actually I can remember her doing it too. I remember me and my mom and my brother all eating together and reading our books, and occasionally looking up to share what we were reading about.) DH and I have always read at the table, too. I only have one out of my three (DD1-- she's 5) who can read independently, and I let her read at the table if she wants to.

I come from a long line of bibliophiles, and it's just what works for us. To me, there are WAY bigger fish to fry, and I'm not willing to give it up myself, so I can't prohibit my kids from doing it.

Our rules are:
1. We don't read at the table when there's a guest.

2. If a person is so absorbed in their book that they don't notice when they've been spoken to, and don't look up to answer, then that book is probably too absorbing for the table, and should be put away. I give one chance on this one, and if you're rude a second time, I ask you to either put the book away, or go in the kitchen and sit there and eat with your book.

Reading while walking I would allow unless there was a clear and present danger to the child's life. Heck, I used to prop a book on top of the double stroller, and put the twins in there, and push them up and down the street while they napped and I read and read and read.

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#18 of 29 Old 03-08-2010, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I just want to say that I don't really see what this question has to do with being gifted. It's an etiquette thing that you either practice or don't. Is it *not* rude for *non-gifted* people to read at the table?
The only reason I asked it in the gifted forum, instead of the general parenting forum, is because my dd (age 12) is obsessed with books. She'll say things like, "just being able to touch a book calms me down." So I wondered whether or not that needed to be taken into consideration.

I've generally considered it rude, too, so I tell her to put her book down. Five seconds later, the book is back in front of her face again. Repeat, repeat, repeat. She's such an easy child in general, so I wondered how much to push this issue.

And LOL at reading while walking. My dd does that, too. I always tell her to stop because it's such a safety issue!

My niece actually admitted to me that she has DRIVEN and read before!!!! Which prompted me to tell my dd--when you get your driver's license, any and all reading material WILL be locked in your trunk!!

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#19 of 29 Old 03-08-2010, 09:12 PM
 
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Gosh. I think reading at a family meal is not polite. Why would a gifted kid get a pass on that?
Thanks. No Ipod or texting at the table, either.
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#20 of 29 Old 03-08-2010, 09:15 PM
 
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I was never allowed to read at the table. Dinner time was FAMILY time, and reading is just as much an escape as TV.

This is from a "gifted" child bookworm, BTW. Doesn't matter how much I loved to read, you need to have balance and family life too. Heck, as an adult, I'd often rather read than interact with DH and DS. I am glad my parents taught me there are more important things, like relationships with your loved ones.
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#21 of 29 Old 03-08-2010, 09:22 PM
 
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I do it... and I can remember my mother gently tolerating it when I was a kid. (Actually I can remember her doing it too. I remember me and my mom and my brother all eating together and reading our books, and occasionally looking up to share what we were reading about.) DH and I have always read at the table, too. I only have one out of my three (DD1-- she's 5) who can read independently, and I let her read at the table if she wants to.

I come from a long line of bibliophiles, and it's just what works for us. To me, there are WAY bigger fish to fry, and I'm not willing to give it up myself, so I can't prohibit my kids from doing it.

Our rules are:
1. We don't read at the table when there's a guest.

2. If a person is so absorbed in their book that they don't notice when they've been spoken to, and don't look up to answer, then that book is probably too absorbing for the table, and should be put away. I give one chance on this one, and if you're rude a second time, I ask you to either put the book away, or go in the kitchen and sit there and eat with your book.

Reading while walking I would allow unless there was a clear and present danger to the child's life. Heck, I used to prop a book on top of the double stroller, and put the twins in there, and push them up and down the street while they napped and I read and read and read.
This is very similar to my household. We do read at the table some of the time. We are unschoolers and dp works very long hours at certain times of the year for months at a time. There is no shortage of interaction around here. In fact, lunch is often a kind of quiet oasis when we all enjoy some peace with a book.

Maybe we are this way because I have a tendency to read at the table when there is no reason not to. No one really seems to have a problem putting the books away for whole family meals or guests, so I don't worry about it.

At least I don't have to worry about anyone reading and driving. Both of my girls get motion sick and throw up if they read in the car.
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#22 of 29 Old 03-08-2010, 09:28 PM
 
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We try to have no reading at the table. I'd call it a rule, but it doesn't always get enforced. Generally, if I make dinner and we eat together as a family, it's expected that we are not reading at the table. We call DD a reading machine. DH reads all the time too (unless he's playing computer games) so it's something that kind of applies to them both.

Once in awhile we all might be in the mood to read or watch TV. Then it's not a big deal. But if it's family dinner/time, then no reading.

We also try to keep DD from reading during bedtime snack because she eats so slowly when she is absorbed in a book. (She is almost 7.) But even if she puts down a book, she'll pick it right back up again as soon as we're not looking, or put a book on the chair or something to read it - or any other book that is handy. We even have family reading time in bed together so I am not sure why it's so hard for her to put down a book long enough to eat something.

As for walking while reading, I've caught DD doing this once. I told her not to do it and she said "well, Dad does it!" I'm still trying to convince him not to do this. We don't have sidewalks and he has been known to read while walking on a very busy street after the bus drops him off sometimes. This behavior makes me very nervous.

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#23 of 29 Old 03-08-2010, 09:41 PM
 
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I sometimes do -- as does my son. Typically its just the kids and I (DH travels most weeks) having a very informal meal. It doesn't really bother me in that situation. When we have company or we are making an effort to spend some time connecting, it is not allowed.

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#24 of 29 Old 03-09-2010, 01:56 AM
 
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At least I don't have to worry about anyone reading and driving. Both of my girls get motion sick and throw up if they read in the car.
we have like 4 reading lights in the car and one at home. my yapper toddler has turned into a silent little girl. i cant listen to music or talk to her if she is engrossed in her book in the car. it makes me smile. i can soooo relate... except that i throw up if i read ina moving vehicle.

bad example - today while she was with me i read from the parking garage to childcare and then my class while she watched for traffic on a short stretch.

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#25 of 29 Old 03-09-2010, 02:12 AM
 
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Do you make your gifted reader(s) put down their books while eating? Why or why not?
I'm trying to decide if this is a battle worth fighting or not. Thanks!
my child would read from when he got up in the morning, until the last lightbulb burnt out... so yes, we tell him to put the book down for dinner.

but I get notes from his guides saying that he reads too much

But A & A, I think there should be times when your dd puts the book down, regular times that she can anticipate, that happen every day.

We allow reading at lunch (at home) and breakfast (but this is limited because they typically have to get out the door.) But dinner is a time we talk.

I love books, so I understand the sentiment that it just feels good to touch/hold a book.

But meals have a whole ritual/ cultural purpose that at least equal the richness of reading.

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#26 of 29 Old 03-09-2010, 02:25 AM
 
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Do you make your gifted reader(s) put down their books while eating? Why or why not?
I'm trying to decide if this is a battle worth fighting or not. Thanks!
Crashing in to say I came from a family of readers at the table haha. Literally everyone had a book, magazine or even laptop. My mom was the worst of us all but she devised a way to allow everyone to get their reading fix...we could read all we wanted during lunch but dinner when Dad was home from work = family together and no reading allowed.

I still remember special occasions like Thanksgiving, where my mom would tell so and so to raise her plate up b/c she was hiding a book under it. And she'd say, "This is a special occasion! No reading!"

Ah, good times!


To this day I cannot eat without reading something.

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#27 of 29 Old 03-09-2010, 02:29 AM
 
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No, we don't allow it, even if she is eating solo (this is really because she's almost always reading library books, and she's a messy eater).

Now, second poll: do you let them read while walking? (Yes, this is an issue here.)
This thread is transporting me back to childhood. We have a hallway with a corner in it and I swear every one of us has slammed into someone b/c we'd read while walking around the corner. (And one time I was running one way, my brother the other, and we each got a black eye but that's another story )

Now let's a poll about reading while in the bathroom...that's the one that drove my mom nuts. We'd hole up in there for hours haha.

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#28 of 29 Old 03-09-2010, 10:56 AM
 
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Dinner is time for the family to sit down, talk, visit and laugh together over a good meal. We do not read at the table, much as we love reading.
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#29 of 29 Old 03-09-2010, 12:15 PM
 
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reading the different responses has been fun. I think part of it comes down to YOUR family. For our family, dinner is about the only time during the week that we all talk. It's a unique chance to connect. On weekends we make a point of having a "family fun activity" together.

I can see how in other families that wouldn't the case -- a homeschooling family who reads during lunch is very different, or a family that is 2 people and have more time to talk just to each other.

I think that in situations like ours -- where it is the only time during the day that we all connect -- a child or teen not being willing to put their book down for 15-20 minutes to connect with their family is a problem. It really isn't asking that much and zoning out with a book really isn't different than zoning out with a handheld game.

Rather than making it a power struggle, I would explain to my child *why* it was important to me and try to get to the bottom of why they were resisting spending a few minutes together soooo much. Do they not want to spend ANY time with their family? Do they feel like they spend plenty of OTHER time with their family? Is dinner too long? Are the conversations unpleasant for them? What would need to change for it to be part of their day that they looked forward to? Are the parents really negative at dinner or nag the kids?

But like I said, I can see how in other situations it wouldn't be important.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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