Device Overload. Everywhere you look, people are heads down looking at their phone, iPad, and/or iPod. The art of conversation – face to face interaction – is becoming less and less prevalent. My children don’t like to talk on the phone, “It’s awkward! I don’t know what to say!” and yet they can text their friends faster with one finger than I can type with two hands. If speaking in person is hard now, how will we tackle the truly hard stuff that is a part of growing up?
Reading people’s faces and learning social cues can’t happen over text. We are creating – we have created – a world where everyone can be self centered constantly by placing their own take and emotions on whatever words appear on their screen. Maybe “Yes,” means Yup! or yesssss or YES! but we don’t know because we aren’t putting our devices down and seeing each other.
Enter Tiffin Talk.
“What’s Tiffin Talk?” you ask. The first thing I thought of when I received our Tiffin Talk boxes was the reading system I used during elementary school. Color coded, ordered folders in a little box. I opened each box (one for each age category of my girls) and dug in. The simplicity of the system is genius. A card. A question or prompt. And something fun on the back. Color coded by week and organized neatly.
I’m so very thankful I’ve had the opportunity to use Tiffin Talk with my girls. At first, my oldest thought it was cheesy. (I’m being completely transparent here.) She rolled her eyes when I asked for her phone, handed it over with a huge sigh, and said, “Okay – let’s do your thing.” It was slightly uncomfortable at first and felt like we were doing homework. But then the magic happened. After day four, she got day five out herself. She read the card in the morning and when we drove to softball that night, she got in the car, turned OFF the radio, and started talking. Willingly. To me. And it was awesome.
My middle daughter takes cues from both her older and younger sisters. She forges her own path but is always watching, aware of what’s happening around her. I put her Tiffin Talk card in her lunchbox the first day. She quietly asked if I could just slip it in her planner. She is still finding her way with her lunch crowd and didn’t want to pull it out at lunch time. I understood her needs and anxiety and started tucking the card, with a note, into her backpack each morning. She is my chatty one. She’ll come find me while I’m folding laundry and plop down and listen to whatever music I have playing or watch whatever show I have on in the background. Now…we turn off the television or streaming music and talk. She has always confided in me and this is reinforcing our connection.
And my baby. She is all in for this. ALL IN! She makes sure I didn’t forget to put her Tiffin Talk card in her backpack. She loves the facts and tidbits on the back of each card. Even those tidbits have spurred conversation. One card had translations for a few words. I took Norwegian and Russian when I was a kid so I struggle pronouncing French words properly. I asked my husband how to say a French phrase and all three girls were surprised to learn that Daddy took French and Spanish! We had a fun few minutes talking about college and high school with our children.
One of the coolest side effects of using Tiffin Talk is hearing the girls ask each other about their cards – seeing the oldest help the youngest with questions. Having the middle give her unique take on her sister’s cards. And watching them interact, smile, even disagree. They didn’t break down into arguments when they had different opinions, but LISTENED to each other. Not only are we talking more, we are all becoming better listeners.
I love one on one time with my children. It’s hard when there are four of them, one of me, and only 24 hours in each day. At first we were conscious and I ‘scheduled’ time to make sure we did this. Now…we are grabbing extra minutes to talk each day. I’m so very thankful.
This is a sponsored post. I received Tiffin Talk at no charge.