Look at that picture above, that is my dream! My family all gathered around the dinner table talking about their day and practicing good manners! Imagine it, everyone sitting in comfy dining room chairs and no screaming. I want so badly to make this our reality! Currently there are so many reasons that this is not happening and it saddens me! Everyone has different schedules and I just can not seem to get the time to cook a healthy dinner and get the TV. But I REALLY need to! There is so much research behind family meals and how much of a difference it can make in the lives of children!
You want to know what my reality is at the moment (please don’t judge us!). Currently, we grab whatever we can all agree on, plop down at the table and watch a cartoon…. Oh my gosh! How horrible is that! Also, our table is small. It is actually a table from my husbands “Bachelor Days”… it converts into a poker table!
As I write this I am invisioning the new dining room table I would love to have….
Something like this would be a dream come true…
I have been reading up on the research and look at all the benefits of having family dinners (or breakfast… or lunches!)
Reason #1: Communication – I am sure we all know that meals = talking, laughing and conversations.
Conversations during the meal provide opportunities for the family to bond, plan, connect, and learn from one another. It’s a chance to share information and news of the day, as well as give extra attention to your children and teens.
Reason #2: Model Manners - Family mealtime is the perfect opportunity to display appropriate table manners, meal etiquette, and social skills.
Reason #3: Nourish - Meals prepared and eaten at home are usually more nutritious and healthy than eating out or fast food. So maybe family dinners can help my waist line issue too!
Reason #4: A Way to get your kids involved! Involve the whole family in menu planning, grocery shopping, and food preparation. Give everyone a chance to help prepare and take ownership in the meal!
Reason #5: Now this one surprised me…Research shows that frequent family meals (five or more a week), are associated with lower rates of smoking, drinking, and illegal drug use in pre-teens and teenagers when compared to families that eat together two or fewer times per week.
Reason #6: Improve Grades – Did yo know children do better in school when they eat more meals with their parents and family. That reason right there is enough for me!
Reason # 7: Save Money
Meals purchased away from home cost two to four times more than meals prepared at home!
Ok after all that, I definitely think I am in! Save money, get better grades, have better manners! Wow, I never would have guessed all that could be accomplished by having a family meal!