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Monday, October 15, 2012

The family that eats together...

Often overlooked in today's society is a simple family ritual known as the family dinner.  I know, everyone's too busy to sit down to a meal regularly but before you dismiss the idea, think of the benefits.

It might be the only time in the day when the whole family is together.  How can a family be close to one another if they rarely even see each other?  A meal, eaten together, anchors the family.

A meal is about, ideas, funny stories, events of the day.

Good manners are taught and reinforced at the dinner table by both instruction and example.

 In general, a family meal prepared and eaten at home is more nutritious and less expensive than everyone doing their own thing whenever or wherever they feel like it.

Studies have shown that teenagers are less likely to have social problems, like smoking, drinking, and drug use when they regularly eat together with their family.

You might now be saying, "That's not the way it is at MY house!"  That's ok.  You can always start where you are right now.  The first item of business is to make time for at least one meal a day a shared one.  Most often that will be dinner but if your schedule doesn't allow that, breakfast might have to do.  Make it a priority.  We make a lot of choices and have more discretion than we give ourselves credit for.

Decide to make dinner a pleasant time.  Save confrontations, problems, arguments etc. for another time and another place. 

Put a little effort into atmosphere.  Set the table nicely.  Turn off the TV.  Put the cell phones in another room.

Enlist the children to help you, either with food prep or table setting.

If you make eating together a priority, you and your children will be able to build stronger ties and create lasting memories and traditions.   The benefits far outweigh the negatives and everyone has to eat so why not make the effort to eat together?


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