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.

Making Family Dinner Possible – Shrinking It Down

December 4, 2019

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Making Family Dinner Possible – Shrinking It Down

Tune in wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for “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 […]

Let’s Talk Turkey

November 22, 2016

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Let’s Talk Turkey

The expression, ‘talking turkey,’ has two opposite original meanings—to speak pleasantly around the dinner table, or to skip the niceties, and get right to what’s important.  It is, of course, this second meaning that persists in everyday conversation, as when we say, “Let’s talk turkey about why you don’t eat your vegetables.” The fact that […]

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

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 that […]

Do Emoji Help Or Impair Digital Communication?

August 26, 2014

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Do Emoji Help Or Impair Digital Communication?

If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, do these little clipart-like images enhance the way we communicate?  “Emoji” was pronounced this year’s top-trending word by The Global Language Monitor, and it was also added to the Oxford English Dictionary (ironic, because it’s a word that describes the concept of communicating using small pictures instead […]

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 […]

iPhone In The Baby Bag

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iPhone In The Baby Bag

With 92% of American children under the age of 2 appearing in online pictures, the United States leads the way in new parents’ use of social networking. But sites such as Facebook are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the technologies new parents have embraced. Imagine Katie, a composite sketch of a new mother of a 6-month-old […]