What is meal time like around your house? Does everyone get their plate and head to their own room? Or does popping a dinner in the old microwave, sitting down in front of the TV, computer or video game and no one gets the opportunity to speak to one another sound more familiar? Given the hectic schedules many families have today, family dinner time has become a lost art.
Years ago, it was unheard of for a family to not have dinner together. Even during biblical times, the fathers of the household would rule the entire family from the dinner table.
They understood dinner time was more than just a time to eat, but it was a time influence the family. They realized this had a profound impact on their family. Many studies have shown the positive force eating as a family can have on a child.
Children who do not eat dinner with their families are sixty percent more likely to use alcohol, tobacco and/or illegal drugs. On the other end of that spectrum, children who eat dinner with their families are twenty percent more likely to drink, smoke or use illegal drugs.
Teens that eat frequent family dinners are less likely than other teens to have sex, get into fights, as well as have a lower risk of suicidal thoughts.
There is a whole list of positive things that can happen when a family carves out time to eat dinner as a family. This is a great time to be involved in your child’s life. Eating together encourages communication!
Allow each member of the family to discuss any problems and/or achievements they may have encountered during the day. This is also a great time to plan family trips, church activities and upcoming events. Engage the children in conversations that lead them to discuss school work, sports and other things that get them to open up and share the details of their life. The most important thing is to keep an open line of communication for each member to share ideas, stories, etc.
Sitting down for a family meal can provide real quality family time and be just plain fun!
Pull up the chairs, serve the casserole and have a laugh with everyone. Make dinner time fun and everyone will be looking forward to eating with the family.
Mix it up, have a picnic in the family room on the floor. When the weather is nice outside, have a family dinner on the patio. Neither you nor your family will regret the memories or the positive impact your family will enjoy around your dinner table…wherever it may be. Bon appetite!