I have always been a fan of eating dinner together as a family. It is one of those rare moments in our hectic society when I feel like I’m not living Alabama’s song, “I’m in a hurry to get things done. I rush and rush until life’s no fun”.
In our house, it is a time to talk and share what we are grateful for that day. Now, after reading some statistics, I believe dinner together may be the most important thing you can do as a family.
According to a study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, children who eat dinner with their parents five plus days a week aren’t as likely to get addicted to drugs & alcohol, perform better academically, eat better, and report being closer to their parents than children who eat dinner less often.
I don’t necessarily believe the meal has to be dinner. Schedules can be crazy and eating dinner together may not always be an option. Try sitting down for breakfast or even a snack before bed.
The important thing isn’t the meal, the important thing is to sit down together. Talk. And become closer as a family. Learn about each other.
Here are three simple rules when implementing meals or snack together.
1) Be Present
Leave behind the phones, iPads, and computers. Turn off the television. The point is to be together…not with your technology.
2) Be Grateful
The best thing we started doing a few years ago was saying what we are grateful for that day. It is great to hear the exciting things happening in your kids lives. This is also a great way to start conversation.
3) Be Consistent
Do this often. If you seldom sit down together to eat, try doing this at least twice a week. Your family may look at you like you have four eyes, but after a few meals together everyone will enjoy it.