Have you had any recent experiences dining in a restaurant with a teenager lately? I have. If you’re wondering what it’s like, allow me to share some photos from my lunch with Will over the weekend.
Aside from the fact that Will isn’t much for conversation to begin with, the distraction of his phone means I might have an obscured view of his face… but only until the food comes. And, I ordered his favorite appetizer…Mozzarella Sticks.
At least he still likes to sit by me.
Notice his little brothers are invited to sit at the booth across from us, lest they burp, or spill their pop (which they did), or ask the waitress if they smell like beef and cheese (which they also did).
But, I digress.
Back to the teenager in the booth across from me.
The key to getting the boy out from behind the phone is saying something that is more interesting than You Tube videos.
These conversation starters have worked for me…
- Honey – did I pay you for mowing the lawn that last time in October? I can’t remember….
- I was doing the laundry and found $20 in the wash. Did you lose any money?
- I’m planning to go to Target after lunch. Would you like to spend that Christmas gift card from Grandma?
Notice a theme?
It works like a charm.
Look what happened. He IS there. Engaging. Interested. Such a sweet kid.
Until I bring up homework.
Or vacuuming (his chore).
And then… the phone is slowly pulled up to cover his face like a burqa.
Yes, for the record, I said it first…
The phone is a metaphorical burqa for teens.
I know he’s just trying to grow up.
But I do love seeing his face and talking about his day.
Even in 5 minute bursts.
Enjoy the mozzarella sticks, buddy.