Panera-ramic Vision


One of my favorite things to do is to have lunch at Panera Bread–just me and a book to read.

And you know, as I sit there alone in Panera Bread stores, from the east coast to the midwest, I can’t help but notice something.

A lot of young mothers like to take their child/children out to lunch. Love this!

I remember taking my boys out to lunch–sometimes at sit-down restaurants and other times for fast food service.

I have three of them, so it was always a bit of a juggling act. Still, I made sure to do this and often, too. Why?

Because sitting down for a meal together is the best time to talk to your children–really get to know them–and also teach them how to behave in society.

It’s the same rationale behind child development experts promoting “family dinner time.” 


Many of us grew up at a time when “family dinner time” didn’t need promotion–it was sacrosanct. You knew what time to be home and exactly where to sit by the time the food hit the table.

But, those of us who have raised Millenials and/or Gen Z’ers have to wonder what happened?

That electronic elephant in the room is separating parents and their young children more effectively than an ugly divorce.

You know the one I mean. The one that’s all in their hands.

The number of young mothers who go through their entire lunch with their small child/children while texting or scrolling on their phones is astounding–the kids look bored out of their minds and in some cases start acting up.

Makes me wonder if moms act this way in public, I can only imagine what it’s like at home. 600-02332631

As I flip pages and dig into my soup, I can’t help but look over at the children at tables where nobody is talking or interacting. My heart goes out to them. Their mothers find more excitement in their hands than right in front of their faces.

What kind of message does that send?

How about Mommy loves her phone more than me?

And it’s not just in restaurants. It’s everywhere.


Obviously the jury is still out on the effects of cell-phone interuptus parenting. I do know that children have a knack for blaming themselves for problems in their families.

And as a teacher I can tell you if kids can’t get positive attention, then negative wins out.

Of course, some might say there is a way around this problem:

As one mother ate lunch with her Mini-Me in Panera the other day, each of them had 550_102508726.jpgtheir own cellphone in hand. The little girl couldn’t have been more than five, and I could tell by the phone case it was all hers. Parenting 2.0?

Not sure which is worse.

Thanks for reading!


Susan J. Anderson

Foxy Writer Chick


6 thoughts on “Panera-ramic Vision

  1. You know Susan when we go on vacation and there is a family at the next table for dinner, it’s a miracle if they haven’t got there kids plugged into some sort of electronics to keep them quiet, really ANNOYS me, how will they learn anything??? xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely! I see the same thing w families in restaurants and also vehicles about town w DVD players running. Would it kill people to actually interact with their children? I think we’re going to see a generation in therapy over detachment issues. It’s right out of a sci-fi novel.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Honestly it really is! we used to look out of the car windows at the scenery and play eye spy etc..! Susan if you live in California I would love any tips about san diego and the pacific coast highway, we’re planning a trip next year xx


      2. Lilly Eve Christie, I moved back east in December 1983. All I remember about San Diego and PCH was how beautiful it was. I’m sure many things have changed since then, but I’ll bet it still is gorgeous! PS Eye Spy rocks!


  2. It happens at the Grocery Store too. I rather see a screaming kid reacting to what their parents said. than the screaming kid reacting to not being paid attention to.
    Fox on🦊!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true. I never judge parents who try to parent (albeit sometimes unsuccessfully) since a toddler can make anyone act like a fool. It’s the apathy of parents that sticks in my craw.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s