Food For Family: How Dinner Time Brings Families Together
The fact is that there are many benefits to having dinner as a family. In addition to the chance to fulfill our appetites, eating healthy meals can also help our mental health, and of course, it builds that essential sense of community. Today we will talk a bit about the importance of family dinners and how you can get back into the tradition.
The Importance Of The Family Dinner
There are many reasons why it is important to gather for dinner as a family and enjoy a good meal while you talk about your lives. For starters, it is hard to connect when we are either watching TV or out doing our own things. Some families rarely see one another because of work, sports, and extracurricular activities. Of course, it is fine that you have those needs and interests, but if you have a pre-set time where you can reconnect as a family, then you can be sure that you get at least one opportunity per day to bond and talk.
Family dinners are especially important for young children as they grow and mature. To begin with, when you take the time to intentionally talk to your children, you help to promote their language skills, and you can teach them valuable lessons that they can’t learn on television. You can also help them with their dexterity and patience as they learn to use utensils. Youngsters are also less likely to experience depression when they always have someone to speak to, and they know that their parents care.
This time together can also be instrumental in helping your kids to learn new things and even excel in school. Of course, when you are preparing dinner, you can also teach them to cook. The ability to prepare their own meals will be instrumental when they grow up and start to take care of themselves. Your child’s grades might even improve since you have a time where you can ask about school, and they can tell you if they are struggling in a class. All-in-all, family dinnertime is good for everyone.
Now that you know the importance of family dinner time, you need to take advantage of this opportunity to bond and enjoy one another. Creating quality conversations can be difficult at times, but there are different tactics that you can try. Start by simply asking about everyone’s day. Ask about their favorite part of the day or ask about any challenge they might have faced in a class or during a work assignment that they were able to overcome.
Another idea is to talk about weekend plans, and if you don’t have any, consider using dinner time to make plans for the weekend that the whole family can enjoy. If you do this, then it is important that you let everyone make suggestions, even the little kids. They will be grateful to be included.
It may seem funny at first, but you can actually learn a lot about each other by trying fun conversation. If you need help thinking of them, then here are a few to get you started:
- What is your favorite vacation memory and why?
- What is your dream vacation?
- What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
- What is your idea of the perfect day?
- What is your favorite holiday and why?
Start with questions like these and see where the conversation goes. They are a great way to have some time while you bond around the table. Search online for other fun conversation starters.
How To Set Up A Good Dinner
In order to have the most successful family dinner possible, you need to set the stage. First, you need to designate a comfortable area to have your meal. In most cases, that will be the dining room. Since this will be your new routine, consider buying a proper dinner table and matching chairs. Also, consider painting the dining room in bright colors that will put everyone in a good mood.
Many families often eat together, but they do so while sitting in the living room in front of the television. This is a bad idea because the chances are good that just about everyone will be distracted by the show, and there are benefits to having family dinner conversation. You want to avoid screen time as much as possible around the dinner table, and that includes having a “no phones” policy. There should be no texting or watching videos during dinner as that defeats the purpose and can even be considered rude.
Parents should make it a point to limit screen time in general by setting time restrictions or blocking distracting websites. If your kids are less addicted to their phones, then it will be easier to peel them away come dinner time. You can also minimize screen time by having your kids help you to prepare the food or set the table.
As you can see, there are many benefits to a dinner routine with your family. Consider the tips and advice mentioned here, and this can become a tradition that your kids will continue for generations to come.