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A new game could be the secret to getting your family to connect over dinner

Justina Huddleston is an editor and the head writer for TDmonthly Magazine. She has been a freelance writer for several years, though her real passion is cooking. You can see the recipes she creates on her vegan food blog, A Life of Litt...

The Phone Stacking Game is exactly what your family dinner is missing

Is there anything more frustrating than trying to connect as a family over dinner when everyone is staring at their phones?

Having access to friends and games at the touch of a button has made it easier than ever for kids (and parents — let's be real) to check out of family time. This is especially apparent at the dinner table. How many times have you been faced with an awkward silence as your dining partner checks their phone, prompting you to take yours out too? And then you're trapped in a game of phone chicken, because we're all somehow terrified of being the only one without a phone in their hand.

More: How to make family meals happier

Luckily there's a new game that could combat all that: It's not a smartphone game or an app — it's a game that gets everyone at the table to disconnect from their devices so that they can connect with the other people around the table. It's the Phone Stacking Game.

Originally started as a game for adults dining out, the Phone Stacking Game is perfectly adaptable to meals at home. Everyone stacks their phone in the middle of the table. The first person to reach for their phone faces the consequences, which at home could include doing the dishes, cooking the next dinner, clearing the table or some other undesirable household task.

More: Why I really, really hate family dinners

The first few times you play, you can expect that someone will reach for their phone. After all, our obsession with checking email, texts and social media feeds runs pretty deep. Even the threat of chore time might not break through the unconscious reach for the stack of phones. But the more you play, the better everyone will get at resisting, until the urge to text at the table has vanished completely. Well, that might be a little optimistic, but at the very least you could have the kids doing dishes for you on a regular basis thanks to the Phone Stacking Game!

More: How to establish family dinners

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