As a family man I can’t believe how busy our lives can be. There are many families today with schedules that are packed, overflowing, with activities. There seems to be almost nothing that people will not take on and plan into their daily calendars. The one thing that people will forgo is eating meals as a family.
My schedule of running my own business, being a father and a husband, along with the everyday activities, makes for full days. My wife and I insist that we always eat together. Of course there are times when this can not happen, but when you make the effort to do it as often as possible you will see the benefits of eating together.
There are many benefits to eating dinner as a family, here is a list of what I have seen as the most important.
1. Obviously you will keep in contact with each other. It is almost impossible to not talk to one another as you sit at the dinner table.
2. Because I work full days I miss a lot of what happens around the house on a daily basis. I take the time at dinner to catch up with everyone’s progress in school and with my wife’s work. Many people do not take advantage of this time to follow everyone’s day, I could not imagine wasting this meal time.
3. With all of this time devoted to talking, one of the benefits is that you will keep the lines of communication open between everyone. It is very easy to shut down and not deal with your family, but by using this time to talk, everyone will be more open to communicate.
4. When people eat together as a family they will usually eat less and have a healthier variety of food. Studies have shown this to be true, they have also shown people that eat alone will over eat and will eat unhealthy food. A parent that has their children’s best interest in mind will cook good, healthy food.
5. With a family that has eaten together for years usually friends and family will be invited to share dinner. Parents want to see who their children spend their time with, and this will be made easier when the dinner table is a welcome place for all.
6. As the kids grow into adulthood they will be more open to talk over issues with their parents because of the openness and communication that they have grown used to. The family can grow closer and be helpful to each other.
7. Parents that will sacrifice to have the entire family dine together on a daily basis is showing their children family values. The idea of sacrificing for loved ones, making time to talk and communicate, opening their dinner table to friends and family is teaching the kids what is important in one’s life.
There are so many benefits to eating dinner together that the list could be much longer. Each family should make the effort to at least try to eat as a family whenever possible.