- Tuesday, January 2, 2024

It’s no secret that millennials and Gen Z love their cell phones. But failing to unplug regularly and be fully present can take a noticeable toll on interpersonal relationships. That’s a big part of why Charlotte Pence Bond hopes younger generations will read the new book she co-authored with her father, former Vice President Mike Pence, titled “Go Home for Dinner.”

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The book is based on the former vice president’s longtime motto, “faith makes a family, and family makes a life,” and is described as an “in-depth, practical guide to balancing the demands of life with the long-term satisfaction that only a commitment to your family can bring.”

“We really hoped that people would not just take these [principles] to heart and put them into practice, but that it would bring people closer together and hopefully inspire people to get back to the dinner table,” Mrs. Pence Bond recently told the Washington Times’ Higher Ground. “I think people in my generation, and even younger and kind of Gen Z are really seeing this too where they’re just never unplugged from work and it does take a toll [on] the people around you.”

It’s a reality that the 30-year-old writer knows well, having worked on “Go Home for Dinner” right after giving birth to her daughter in February 2023. She admitted that it was difficult to put down her work and prioritize her family. But just because things are hard, doesn’t mean they aren’t worth the effort — and that’s where the dinner table can be the perfect vehicle for reconnecting.  

“You reconnect with your family obviously and it’s a place to put your family first and share time together,” Mrs. Pence Bond explained. “I think I had to take it to heart, even working on this book, I didn’t want to be doing interviews like this and [without] actually living out the ideals in the book or try to live them out imperfectly. And I think my parents just emulated that very well even before iPhones were such a distraction.”

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But as much as the Pence family has championed this idea of being home for dinner, the reality is that there are times when life simply gets in the way. The difference is when a family makes an effort and habit of being together when they can.

“My parents did a very good job of communicating that they wanted to be with us [even when] my dad couldn’t,” Mrs. Pence Bond noted. “I mean he wasn’t home for dinner every single night because he was a member of Congress. So I think that the times when he wasn’t, I knew he wanted to be.”

And putting family first isn’t just about the gathering at the dinner table. The idea, Mrs. Pence Bond said, is to be present with those you love most and make time to connect with one another.

“When you can’t be there necessarily every night for dinner, finding ways to [reconnect with your family] is really important,” she said. “If it’s just connecting on trips or it’s connecting in car rides and on the way to school… [take] time to be with your family and put your family first.”

Marissa Mayer is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her work has been featured in Christian Post, The Daily Signal, and Intellectual Takeout. Mayer has a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Arizona State University.

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