The hardest part about dinner used to be choosing what to eat. Now it's choosing whether to change your children's clothes to the ones that can be thrown away afterward -- or just stripping the kids naked to throw directly into the shower when it's all over.
Perhaps it's time to establish some basic "Rules of Civility" for technological use. These are circumstances in which you will absolutely, positively damage your relationships if you are on your phone.
Of course, scheduling regular family dinners together is an important ingredient for raising well-adjusted children. But after the last two weeks, I also believe the same principle applies to watching the Olympics as a family.
It's dinnertime and my 4-year-old son is deep in play. When I announce that dinner is ready he makes his own announcement: "I don't want to eat, Mommy." I tell him five words that avoid the food battle that he wants me to engage in.
Just because well-intentioned parents forced their kids to eat foods they loathed or sent them to bed without supper, doesn't mean we have to perpetuate the madness. Our generation also grew up with lots of obesity, anorexia and other food disorders.
All busy moms have faced this all-too-familiar scenario: it's 6:00, the kids are starving, you're exhausted and you have no idea what you're serving for dinner tonight! Couple that with an empty pantry or fridge and a picky eater and it is a "recipe" for disaster.
It was a dangerous idea, inviting people to my house weekly for dinner while raising three young boys. But when my husband left for a year-long deployment in November 2011, I was one dinner shy of total desperation.