In today’s world, we are all SO busy – busy with work, busy with school, busy with after school activities. And because of it, it’s become increasingly challenging to take the time to eat family meals together. Today we’re talking about the benefits of family meals together and how to take the time to enjoy them.
Sharing family meals around the dinner table is one of the oldest and strongest family traditions. Often when you think back to your favorite family memories, you find yourself remembering Thanksgiving dinners, Sunday meals, and backyard BBQs. This is because family meals leave lasting impressions. Besides the taste and aroma of delicious food, we’re all gathered around the table, enjoying warm conversation and laughter. This creates a feeling of togetherness and belonging.
Take out together
Even if you’re picking up take out, still take the time to gather your family to eat together. The main thing here is that it’s a time to come together, share what happened during the day, and just be together. Your children can be themselves and know that the people around the table love them just as they are.
Eating dinner together encourages communication. Often times our jobs or children’s daily activities leave us hurrying from one place to another with little time to keep up with what’s happening in their lives. The simple benefits of family meals together are the opportunity for everyone to connect and find out what happened during the day. This also helps to build trust and strengthen your family’s relationships. If this is something you haven’t done much of and your children aren’t used to it, it might be awkward in the beginning. The key is to stick with it. Think of ways to keep your children engaged; ask open-ended questions and listen to whatever it is they want to share with you.
Family meals provide a meaningful opportunity to spend time together and simply enjoy each other’s company. Even without hearty conversation, knowing that everyone will be together at a certain time of day creates feelings of familiarity and comfort. This again reinforces those feelings of security and belonging.
Stay in the know
Eating with your family provides an opportunity to learn more about your kid’s lives. The more frequently you eat together, the easier it is for them to open up. They’ll be more comfortable and eager to share what’s going on in their lives or who they hang out with. This will help you to understand their moods and know the best way to be there for them.
Depending on the stage of life you’re in, sharing a meal around the dinner table will look different. Whether you’re rushing through dinner time with toddlers or staying connected to your teenagers, the foundation of this tradition has many benefits that are worth making time for – even if it’s eating take out together.
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