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Dinner With The Family: It’s More Important Than You Might Think

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Growing up we ate together as a family, but I never realized how important dinner with the family was until I had my own family.

Every night it was the same growing up.

We sat together at the dinner table.

There was no television or phones allowed, not that we had cell phones or even cordless phones back in the day.

We were there to eat and share time together.

This is the same tradition I followed when my kids were born.

Dinner With The Family Changes As Kids Grow Up

Kids grow up though and now I find myself eating in front of the computer or television while talking on the phone or working.

When was the last time you had dinner with your family?

It is the meal we often skip because we work late, we are busy, the kids have sporting events or we get tired from daily activities.

But, skipping dinner with the family is detrimental to the family dynamic.

Cooking with the Kids
Cooking with the Kids
 

The Importance Of Dinner With The Family

Family dinners are more than just a meal.

It is about the only time that families have to share time through the week.

Whether you sit down to the dinner table or enjoy a meal on tray tables and a movie in the family room, the important thing is that you are together.

However you may find that taking the time to set the table and enjoy your meal time together as a family is so much more enjoyable without the distractions of the television or phones.

Interesting Facts About Family Dinner Time 

There are some interesting facts surrounding family dinner time.

For instance, teens that spend dinner time eating with their family are less likely to get involved in drugs, alcohol or other illicit activity.

This is a point many parents will find interesting.

Out of all of the things you do to try to keep your kids away from bad influences, the one thing that is the greatest influence is still the event that we skip routinely.

Why Eating Dinner Together Is Such An Essential Part Of Family Life

Why is dinner so important? For one thing, it is a time to share thoughts and feelings.

All day, kids are influenced by teachers, friends and the outside world.

At the dinner table, they get a chance to connect with their parents on tough issues like schoolwork, peer pressure, friendships and other things.

They can each share and help one another with helpful suggestions.

Parents can even talk about work or family finances over a meal.

The main point is that conversation is taking place.

Families Are Busy But Dinner Together Gives Time To Interact With Each Other

The average parent talks to their child less than 40 minutes a week.

It takes a second to say “hi” when you come in at night, but that isn’t effective communication.

When dinner is shared by the family, you spend at least 45 minutes to an hour talking about everything and anything that may be on your mind.

Even if you are watching a television program, engaging questions can arise from topics addressed in the program.

Dinner With The Family Can Change Behavior

Young children learn how to communicate with their siblings and parents.

They are the center of attention with questions about their day and it makes them feel happy.

You know that kids always want to be in the limelight when they are a certain age and this helps them learn to share the spot with others.

For teenage girls, body image is everything.

Learning to prepare and eat healthy meals with their families is a sign that eating right will keep their bodies in shape and not avoiding food.

Teen girls are less likely to become the victim of an eating disorder but develop a healthy view of food and their bodies when they eat dinner with their families.

There are many benefits to eating dinner with the family.

It is a time for meaningful communicationtime for meaningful communication that leads to stronger self-images that resist the urge of drugs, alcohol and other destructive behaviors in your kids and teens.

Give dinner together at the table a try and see how much better things work in your family. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Family And Kids

It is important for parents and caregivers to learn the right ways to have quality conversations with children.

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