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To want my SIL and BIL to stop using their mobile phones at the dinner table!

(20 Posts)
Lemonsmakelemonade Sun 17-Jun-18 16:59:23

Just spent the weekend with my MIL and FIL. My FIL is quite unwell in fact has been given a year to live following a cancer diagnosis. Anyway DH and I arrived with our youngest DC at 7pm last night. My DH’s DS and her husband (so my SIL and BIL) are already there with their 2 DC who are much younger than our DC (our oldest DC was staying with friends). Their DC were in bed so I put our Dc to bed. By the time I came down everyone was eating/has eaten. I will admit I’ve had a stressful week with the culmination of a major project - website - going live tomorrow. Now I could have easily done some work but I realise I need a work life balance. Anyway I’m trying to relax and am last to sit down and eat. Brother in law gets our phone and is sitting next to me tapping away on phone, then SIL does same. I know I shouldn’t but I start to feel anxious and a not relaxed at all. I just find it so rude. Or AIBU. I didn’t say anything but find it disrespectful of my in laws. We see them a lot more than SIL and BIL and no matter how much work we have on never use our phones at the dinner table. Or is this what people do now?

LeCreusetOrDead Sun 17-Jun-18 17:03:52

YANBU. So rude!

DragonMummy1418 Sun 17-Jun-18 17:05:29

Phones are away at the dinner table here.
Really rude!
You could've said something?

Lemonsmakelemonade Sun 17-Jun-18 17:07:40

Not my house - so I didn’t say anything. If it had been at my DM’s house - it wouldn’t have happened!

soapboxqueen Sun 17-Jun-18 17:08:29

If everybody is eating, yanbu.

If everyone else has already eaten and they just happen to be sitting at the table then yabu.

AppleSalad Sun 17-Jun-18 17:11:31

No phones or TV during dinner, it's rude and interrupts a social time.

DragonMummy1418 Sun 17-Jun-18 17:23:38

My little brother (who is 29!) does this, he can't put his iPad down, it's ridiculous!
I usually make the point with a sarcastic comment rather than an outright complaint...
I'd look around the table and say 'well this is a sociable table' something like that. grin

NewYearNewMe18 Sun 17-Jun-18 17:34:19

You were late to the table - that's rude in its self.

And quite unreasonable to expect everyone to wait for you .

helloworld88 Sun 17-Jun-18 17:43:30

@NewYearNewMe18 late to the table? Wtf are you on, she was putting her kid to bed! What a ridiculous response!

TERFragetteCity Sun 17-Jun-18 17:49:51

New Year New Me - need to work on that 'being nicer' resolution now?

OP they were all rude for not waiting for you before eating.

soapboxqueen Sun 17-Jun-18 17:54:08

I think that depends on what 'late' to the table means, 5 mins, 20 mins, an hour, 2 hours?

helloworld88 Sun 17-Jun-18 17:58:40

I think however 'late' to the table you were, they should have been giving you some social interaction and asking how your day was etc and not staring at their phones

soapboxqueen Sun 17-Jun-18 18:04:28

Disagree. If the meal has been over for an hour then people have the right to relax however they please.

Lemonsmakelemonade Mon 18-Jun-18 09:07:43

I have to say I wouldn't be using my phone at a table where others are eating, especially if said parent who was late to eating had just travelled 5 hours in a car and I agree with hello that I would rather be talking (and I have to have my phone on me all the time!).

StealthPolarBear Mon 18-Jun-18 09:12:49

What kind of job do you have where you have to have your phone on all the time? How does that fit with sleeping? Having a day out with the children? How did this job get done twenty years ago?

WalkingOnAFlashlightBeam Mon 18-Jun-18 09:16:36

YANBU to prefer that they don’t, but YABU to try and enforce your own preference on them.

If it’s a stressful time for you, it’s probably also a stressful time for them too and it’s up to them how they cope with that. For all you know they could have been upset and distracting themselves, updating a friend on the situation who is supporting them, whatever. Even if they were just scrolling through Twitter it’s not really your business.

In your home you get to make the rules, so when they come over for dinner you’re more than entitled to say you have a no phones at the table rule and expect that to be adhered to. But at someone else’s home you have to accept it’s down to them and if the host doesn’t object it’d be rude for you to openly do so.

gamerchick Mon 18-Jun-18 09:18:32

Every household is different. Right from nobody being allowed to start eating until everyone is seated to not bothering to use a table at all and not eating together. You can't dictate what goes on in other people's houses.

All of use can describe something thst happens in others houses as stressful I think. I don't like talking over a meal so prefer everyone didn't talk to me. Takes all sorts

WalkingOnAFlashlightBeam Mon 18-Jun-18 09:22:22

I have to say I wouldn't be using my phone at a table where others are eating, especially if said parent who was late to eating had just travelled 5 hours in a car and I agree with hello that I would rather be talking (and I have to have my phone on me all the time!).

That’s great! It’s fine for you to have your own preferences around this. It wouldn’t be okay for you to use that to try and control how others behave (unless it’s your event/Home).

I find the handwringing over the use of phones at the table a bit excessive tbh, it’s such a recent development in human history you can’t expect everyone to have the same preferences on it already. For decades people have been watching tv while eating dinner. Before that there was probably families where someone preferred to read a book while eating. Personally if I’m having a meal out with someone I’d leave my phone in my bag as that’s my preference, but it’d be rude of me to try and enforce that on others.

If the hosts in this situation didn’t have a problem with it you’ve just got to suck it up.

BottleOfJameson Mon 18-Jun-18 09:25:23

YANBU to dislike that they do this - I would much prefer dinner tables were screen free zones too and in my house they are! YABU to try to enforce your (perfectly reasonable) rules in someone else's home though. They were probably stressed to after FiL's diagnosis and whatever else is going on in their lives and perhaps that's their way of distracting themselves.

Lemonsmakelemonade Mon 18-Jun-18 09:46:51

Good point Bottle I know I prefer to talk, hence maybe why I find the phone a 'don't talk to me' signal.

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