04/28/2012 08:56 pm ET

Table Talk: The New Family Dinner

GROWING up in the ’70s, I sat down to a family dinner that was consistent with my parents’ child-rearing philosophy at the time, which my mother likes to call “benign neglect.” Over dinner, my father briefed my mother on the ins and outs of his day at the office, while my siblings and I zoned out or piped up or fought over why my older sister always got the corner seat. We sat down as a family to a good, healthy meal, but dinner was not what you would call child-centric — which was fine with us, and definitely fine with them.

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