The Village Effect
How Face-to-face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier, and SmarterBook - 2014
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Social contact around the dinner table seemed to promote family cohesion and "problem-focused coping," the auhtors write, which probably reduced the girls' risky antics later... The researchers discovered that Americans relate half as many stories at mealtimes as Norwegians do, but they explain things twice as often. And when they do, they like it to be dramatic. (Norwegian preschooler: Nils wore a green sweater to preschool today. American preschooler: Johnny threw up today and it was orange.) What's common to both statement is that they invite parents to respond - to throw the ball back to the child, who will likely toss it back again, keeping the volley going.
That's why I am suggesting that shared meals offer a head start for picking up the subtleties of language and social interaction. They also help us feel that we belong somewhere. p.120-1
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