It’s National “Eat Dinner with Your Family Day”! What better way to start off the week than planning a family dinner. It doesn’t mean this has to be a “fancy” meal, it can be anything that you choose to serve for the family. So, you can cook your favorite meal or even “bring it home” from the grocery or take out, but your family sits down and eats together.
Unfortunately, the family dinner “hour” that used to be sacred has become more and more obsolete. I ask almost every child I see from age 3-24 years old, the same questions, “who cooks dinner?” and “how often do you eat a family dinner?”. Many of the kids I ask have no idea what I mean?
I miss the days of family meals, as this was the one time of the day that I “Mom” was guaranteed some time with my husband and sons. (as my husband would say, it’s all about Mom). But, seriously, it was about spending quality time together. Studies have shown that families who have dinner together have happier and healthier children. Children who have family dinners were shown to have better grades, were less likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol, and had fewer behavior problems. So to me, this was a no brainer.....if I could roast a chicken, make a vegetable and cut up some fruit in hopes of having well adjusted children, then count me in!
Other studies have shown that it is also not about “quantity” time, but more about quality time. There were nights that dinner was chicken from our local drive through (nothing wrong with fast food on occasion), and a glass of milk before we all piled back in the car to go to a sporting event. But, we did all eat that chicken together. ( and I am sure I said once again, put your napkin in your lap). I am happy to say, all of those boys finally learned about that napkin. Perseverance.
Don’t try to make this more complicated than it need be...but commit to dinner together tonight and then maybe make every Monday “ family dinner night”. Once you get the routine started, it will be easier than you think!