Articles by Anne K. Fishel, Ph.D.

Anne K. Fishel, Ph.D. is the author of Home for Dinner: Mixing Food, Fun, and Conversation for a Happier Family and Healthier Kids (Amacom, January 2015), and a founding member of The Family Dinner Project. She is also director of the Family and Couples Therapy Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, and an associate professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School.

5 Ways To Avoid Becoming A Helicopter Parent As You Send Your Child Off To College

February 7, 2020

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5 Ways To Avoid Becoming A Helicopter Parent As You Send Your Child Off To College

Emily, a college freshman, strolls from her dorm to her biology class and en route, she calls her mother so that she doesn’t appear aimless and lonely as she passes by her peers. She barely notices that almost all them are also on their cell phones. In class, she takes notes on her iPad, although […]

Making Family Dinner Possible, featuring Anne Fishel, PhD – Shrinking It Down

December 4, 2019

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Making Family Dinner Possible, featuring Anne Fishel, PhD – Shrinking It Down

There are many emotional benefits that come from connecting over a family dinner. But with the competing demands of reality, like busy schedules, technology, and picky eaters, this simple idea isn’t always so simple. On today’s episode, Dr. Anne Fishel, executive director of The Family Dinner Project at Massachusetts General Hospital, joins Gene and Steve […]

Putting A Little Thanksgiving Into Your Nightly Family Dinners

November 27, 2014

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Putting A Little Thanksgiving Into Your Nightly Family Dinners

https://player.pippa.io/5bd86d4944cdf3c60b93898e/episodes/5bd86d5544cdf3c60b9389b7?theme=default&cover=1&latest=1 Intro and outro written and performed by Dr. Gene Beresin. When my colleague Kiley told me recently about her Thanksgiving tradition, she gave me some new ideas about family dinners—a subject I think about every night around 7pm, and with every patient I see in family therapy. As a family therapist, I sometimes feel […]

Why It’s OK To Be Unplugged At Summer Camp

July 7, 2014

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Why It’s OK To Be Unplugged At Summer Camp

Camp provides time to be in nature and to practice living away from family. And, other than time spent asleep, camp is one of the few extended periods of time when kids will be away from their screens and devices. To better understand why it’s hard to unplug for summer camp, we interviewed Michael Thompson, […]

The Holidays: Unplugged

December 18, 2013

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The Holidays: Unplugged

We like to play on our computers as much as anyone. But during the holidays, solitary screen time squanders the chance to play with siblings, parents, grandparents, cousins and friends who are also on vacation. Taking a break from work can also mean a chance to recharge without being tethered to our computers. But, many […]

Do As I Say, Not As I TXT: Tips for Parents to Manage Technology Use at the Dinner Table

November 26, 2013

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Do As I Say, Not As I TXT: Tips for Parents to Manage Technology Use at the Dinner Table

In 21st-century America, where we no longer quilt on the front porch, play musical instruments together, or plant beans side-by-side in the field, dinner is the primary occasion we use to connect with one another. It’s also an important time to tell family stories, teach social skills and model good manners. There is so much […]

3 Things Technology Has Taken Away From You

September 18, 2013

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3 Things Technology Has Taken Away From You

Since there are only so many hours in the day, we figured that all the hours spent on the Internet must be subtracted from some other activity. Are those eight hours a day of screen time costing us some snooze time? Are we having less sex? We decided to ask a group of over 200 parents the […]

The Very First Family Dinners

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The Very First Family Dinners

None of us can remember our very first family dinners. I’m thinking of the meals we had in the dark, cozy confines of the womb, where we swallowed the flavors of chicken curry or matzoh ball soup, or whatever our mother had eaten for dinner. There is intriguing research suggesting that a mother’s diet during […]

How To Make Your Toddler An Adventurous Eater And Cooperative Diner

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How To Make Your Toddler An Adventurous Eater And Cooperative Diner

Young kids are not the most civilized dinner companions. Dinnertime can sometimes feel like sitting with a group of monkeys who like to throw and smear their food, and who have short attention spans once they are done eating. But, this is a critical time for developing family meals as a ritual. This is important […]

Hit Send, No Wait: The Dangers Of A Hyper-Personal Online Life

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Hit Send, No Wait: The Dangers Of A Hyper-Personal Online Life

Online communication can bring mischief and even serious trouble to peers and colleagues because it invites far more disinhibition than face-to-face conversation.  This pull for personal disclosure was noted as early as 1996 by Walthers in a term he dubbed the “hyper-personal,” or, the tendency to reveal more about yourself to online people than to […]