The Rewarding Importance of the Simple Family Dinner
I’m sure at one time or another since you started a family, you have heard that “eating dinner as a family is important”. Sometimes when we get lost and swept up into the flow of life- dinner is an afterthought. It can get rushed, overlooked, and can lose its power as being one of the best times ever to connect as a family. Homework, housework, extracurriculars, hard days away from home of work, and the ever-constant stream of entertaining electronic devices all pose a challenge to Family Dinner Time. The Rewarding Importance of the Simple Family Dinner is powerful and I want to help you understand and make it a priority in your home.
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Why is Eating Dinner as a Family Important?
First things first- we all have to eat! Having dinner together and around the same time every night models and begins healthy habits for everyone in your family. My youngest daughter has Celiac disease and we take the chance to talk about how we eat differently to follow her diet. She will have to be on that diet all her life so its a great time to teach her about it!
We talk about trying everything on your plate even if they know they don’t like it. I always tell them, “your taste can change.” We have also modeled saying “that’s not my favorite” instead of “I don’t like this!”. It is so much more polite.
Other lessons that can be modeled and taught include how to sit politely, chew with mouth closed, and how to have polite connecting conversations.
Connecting with your kids is special and important for their confidence, self-esteem, and happiness. Read more aboutConnecting with your Kids here. Sitting down and eating dinner together with no distractions creates a very organic moment to make those important connections. I even have a list of open-ended questions to get kids talking about what they do for school each day in the Connecting You Your Kids Blog. Also, another resource for having kid-related discussions is Would You Rather Questions for Kids.
Where Should You Eat?
I already mentioned eating at the table and together. This is a wonderful practice for table manners and even patience- waiting for others to finish eating or have their turn speaking. It is the perfect time to connect and without the phone distractions. That’s right parents- put those phones down and I don’t mean on the table. Sometimes my family has a special dinner in front of the TV night but we work hard to have that time to connect without technology.
When Should You Eat?
The confidence boost kids get from consistency is also a very organic way family dinner is amazing. Having dinner at the same time and place every night or almost every night helps kids learn what to expect and to have confidence in you and themselves! Having big families and extracurriculars make this a challenge. Just do your best to eat at the same time and place. Or at the very least eat at the same location.
How to Make Eating as a Family a Priority
Add it to your schedule. Check out how I schedule my day for more mom productivity here! Another way is to make food fun! Everyone will be excited about dinner with the prospect of good stuff to eat. Bonus Tip: Always make sure you have one thing on the plate that your pickiest eater will eat. If they have one thing it can be easier to try talking them into trying something new. Just for reading this post, you get a Freebie!- My tried and true Meal Planner. To make yourself ready to cook some yummy family meals.
The Rewarding Importance of the Simple Family Dinner comes with giving your children yourself. Taking the time to make them and dinner feel important. It builds a family connection and teachers them about being a part of a community. That it turn helps your child’s self-esteem and happiness grow!
Check out some of my other ways to connect with your kids and even get them playing independently using Busy Boxes! Busy Boxes for Preschoolers
I am a mom of two sweet kiddos. One boy who is 6 and one girl who is 3. Before kids, I was a Kindergarten teacher. My purpose here is to build a positive place for Moms (or any parent for that matter) to learn, share and support each other in our life quest for Happiness!