Your Children Want You

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January 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Family

My friend grew up in a broken home. She had to shuttle every month or so from one house to another. She used to be so hurt and despondent but now she has accepted the arrangement and is quite a jolly person. This is a common scenario nowadays of course. But what is uncommon is how my friend managed to cope up with the situation because it’s a lot more traumatic and damaging for some.

“The number of those who report that their “whole family usually eats dinner together” has declined 33 percent. This is most concerning because the time a family spends together “eating meals at home [is] the strongest predictor of children’s academic achievement and psychological adjustment.” Family mealtimes have also been shown to be a strong bulwark against children’s smoking, drinking, or using drugs. There is inspired wisdom in this advice to parents: what your children really want for dinner is you.”I can’t resist quoting this from Good, Better and Best.

Going back to my friend’s story, she now has a family of her own and there are scars but she has been healed. She has 3 kids and a loving husband. They’ve had their share of rough times of course. One nearly threatened their marriage. There wasn’t someone else. It was because they had no time for each other. My friend was working, her husband was working, and the kids were suffering. Their grades were low, they went home late, they were withdrawn and often had shouting matches with each other and even with their parents. My friend and her husband began pointing fingers and blaming each other for their kids’ behavior. Then, she read about a study on the importance of mealtimes for family togetherness. And at that time, her friend was persuading her to join a dinner group. She didn’t hesitate and decided to join despite her busy schedule. The rest, they say, is history. It wasn’t an overnight change of course, but things picked up from there and she is very thankful for having a dinner group. But the most important thing she learned was to arrange her time around her family and not the other way around. And of course, let me quote it again “What your children really want for dinner is you.”

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