The New Rules of Happy Family Dinners

By Leslie Goldman

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teen on her cell phone at dinner table
Ocean Photography/Veer

Make a "No Cell Phone" Rule

Kate Martin of Bloomington, Minnesota, laid down the "no phones allowed" law when her three teenage sons' friends would join them for dinner, only to continually sneak peeks at their cell phones while eating. The rule applies dinners at restaurants as well as at home and to adults as well -- her husband only answers urgent calls on his work phone. "It's hard enough to get us all at the table together," Martin says. "By not allowing phone calls, we're safeguarding that sacred time."


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