As a SAHM, I have the luxury of having dinner ready by the time my husband gets home from work. However, busy schedules of both parents and children in other families don’t have the same luxury. My family was once in the same position. These days I am thankful for the opportunity for us to have “family dinners.”
Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have regular dinners with my family. Having my own children heightened my awareness of the benefits that come with regularly eating together at the table.
Having dinner together at least five times a week has had three main benefits: child development, increased conversation, and nutritional benefits.
My husband and I are hopeful that the togetherness and security provided by family dinners will have a lasting impact. In turn, nurturing our children into becoming well-rounded adults.
The dinners also teach our children to understand, acknowledge, and follow the boundaries we set as their parents.
Eating together without the distraction from T.V.’s, mobile devices, and computers provides the opportunity for conversation. This allows us as parents to demonstrate healthy communication skills. Engaging the children in conversation teaches them effective listening skills, and to openly communicate their opinions. Discussion about the kids’ day and current events (appropriate for age) spark healthy conversation, enabling improved vocabulary and comprehension. As parents, we have to be active listeners and make sure our children learn too.
Family dinner has encouraged healthy eating habits and created a model that the kids can carryover into adulthood. This also allows for increasing our intake of fruits and vegetables. We have the opportunity of trying new recipes and even having themed food nights. Our favorite is Taco Tuesday!
I know having family dinner requires effort, but can be very beneficial for both parents and kids. The fondest memories are in the simplest moments!
Live. Love. Laugh.