Mealtime is Family Time

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December 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Family

Research has proven it. Experience has long supported it. Eating meals together, as a family, improves the communication lines and strengthens family relationships. It is small wonder why our kids now are so different in terms of attitude, dress, and speech to the kids decades ago. “Teens who regularly [and frequently] haves meals with their family are less likely to get into fights, think about suicide, smoke, drink, [or] use drugs,” (Child Trends, 2005, p. 1) and there’s a bigger chance that they will do better in school. But nowadays, children and even parents give reasons why they don’t eat together.  Differences in food preference, a hectic schedule, need for independence and unhappy relations with family members are just some of the reasons they cite on why they cannot eat meals together. But given all the advantages of family togetherness in mealtimes, these reasons shouldn’t be made an excuse. Its about setting our priorities straight. Eating even just one meal together can greatly help your connectedness as a family. And the most convenient mealtime would be dinner. It’s the time everyone is at home. Dinner can be a time to relax, to learn something new, to check in on the happenings on each other’s lives, and possibly a time to refresh the mind for a good night sleep. Joining a dinner group debunks all the reasons for not eating together stated above. Having different dishes from different people can make your family appreciate different tastes. Cooking only once a weekday can surely be done even on a busy schedule.

Eating together can renew the bonds that were weakened with time. It may involve a change in your schedule, it may involve some awkwardness at the start (and possibly some sulky faces) but as you get used to it and have it as a part of your schedule, you can be sure that the small sacrifices, at the beginning, are worth it. You can also check out this article on dinnertime as the perfect time for togetherness.

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