Growing up we didn't have family dinner for a variety of reasons but we didn't eat many meals together. My childhood home had a living room and a den. It also had a dining area off the kitchen that didn't see much use as near as I can remember. On the whole I ate alone in the living room especially once my sister got her own TV in her room. We all kind of went our own separate ways for dinner. It's sounds terrible but it wasn't. It was actually fine. It was when I meet my husband and ate at his parent's house that I realized that families do, in fact, eat dinner together at a table and not in front of the TV. It was something new for me. So dinner time became a much more together time. We've almost always had dinner time together and with no TV since we've lived together. There are always exceptions but as a rule.
Somehow lately I've let dinners take a downward turn. It began when BT started working nights as a special now and again thing that Bub and I did. Then it very slowly wound down into him where he could see the TV and then ended up with him eating at a TV tray while I ate dinner with Button at the table. GASP! I know, such poor parenting. I realized late last year what was happening and that I was letting it happen because it is just easier. But I let the year play out since he was vacation and all. But I explained to him what was going to happen when school started again. He was going to eat dinner with us at the table with no TV and no electronics. The same would go for me. Because along with letting him eat in front of the TV I was playing on my phone while I ate.
School started on Tuesday. He was not happy. He was doubly not happy to find me making him sit at the table and eat with me and his sister with nothing to entertain me. And you know what? It was fine. He talked to me and told me about school and his friends. It was really nice. Last night BT was home and so we all sat down at the table. Bub wanted to play on his new tablet but I told him no. He pouted but it was good. I think once he realizes that this is a permanent thing he will be cool with it. He's a fairly adaptable child. And eating in the living room can go back to being a special treat instead of the norm. This might turn out to be the easiest goal of them all.