Since I can remember, my family has always eaten dinner together at the table. Sometimes my dad had to work evening shifts, but usually he was home for dinner. As my sisters and I became teenagers with a much busier schedule full of sports, school activities, church activities, etc., we still knew we needed to be home for dinner and tried to be there as often as we could.
I don’t ever remember my mom saying that it was something we had to do, but it is something that became a tradition that we did do. And now that I’m married and my daughter is eating solid foods, we all eat together as a family. And that’s often what our extended family invites us over for – dinner. Or we invite our siblings who live by us over for dinner. It’s also a great way to get to know your neighbors better – have them over for dinner. In fact we had some of Alan’s work friends over the other night for dinner. It was a great time to chat and catch up on things.
My husband found an article in the NY Times Magazine about eating together as a family. It said, “It is an article of American faith that family meals are important. Social science underscores our secular belief. Children who eat with their families have stronger vocabularies than those who do not. They do better in school. They are less likely to suffer from obesity. Family meals prevent teenage pregnancy. They are a bulwark against depression. Those who eat chicken around a table with kin tend not to sneak off to the park later to huff paint.”
It seems so simple because it’s something my family and my husband’s family have already done, but it may not always be easy for everyone especially when both parents are working. The author of this article works nights and so his family chooses one night a week to eat together and to really make it special.
I love eating with our little family! We turn the TV off and just talk. About our day, things we learned, things we need to do, religion, family, anything that comes to mind. And it’s great that our daughter can get involved too. Although she may not be able to talk yet, she usually has a lot to say. 🙂
This is a tradition that I always want to have with my family. It strengthens your family, allows times to talk about problems your kids may be having, allows time to talk about morals and values, and allows you to know what’s really going on in the lives of your family members.