Initially, in a family with toddlers it is much easier to get them to the dinner table every evening. However, the true nightmare begins as the children grow into young adolescents and teenagers. It becomes increasingly hard to get them to the dinner table, and when you can, they are all busy on their phones; just like that, an important family tradition is eroded.
Close your eyes and picture what makes you happiest. For me, its food overflowing from wooden bowls; a loaf of warm, crusty bread peeking out of an old red hand cloth; and the sound of laughter muddled with clinking glasses. Simply put family dinner.
Most parents will agree with the fact that dinners are among the most fun, important, and natural bonding moments for families. Often, grownups will look forward to the end of the day to enjoy the peace of a family dinner. Nevertheless, children will underestimate the role of family dinners, but it has enormous benefits for children too.
The research shows that the more meals together, the better, meaning that two is much better than none and four is much better than two are. Obviously, it is ideal if both parents — when they live together — can have dinner with their kids every night. However, we do not live in an ideal world, and none of us is a perfect parent. Therefore, we do what we can, which can often mean one parent is holding down the fort at many weeknight dinners. That gives Friday, Saturday and Sunday a celebratory tone as everyone sits down to savor the meal together.
It is interesting to note that family dinners are so important for your children that parents are continuously encouraged to try more often to make it home early.
Dinner is the best predictor we have of how kids will do in adolescence. The more frequently kids eat dinner with their families, the better they do in school, and the less likely they are to get involved with drugs or alcohol, suffer depression, consider suicide, or become sexually active during high school.
Why? Maybe because families who eat together talk more, which helps them stay connected and build better relationships.
Maybe because parents who show up to eat with their kids are more likely to express their love constructively in other ways, too, in the form of both attention and supervision.
Maybe because families who offer kids more structure are more likely to keep kids attending to their homework as well as out of trouble.
Maybe because dinner transforms individual family members into a “group,” which gives parents more clout to rival the power of the peer group.
Alternatively, perhaps because children, even more than the rest of us, need something to count on every day, the physical security of belonging and being nurtured that is represented by the ritual of sharing food with those we love.
Whatever the reason, dinner is an easy insurance policy to build into your home life. If you are too busy to have dinner as a family on a regular basis, it is worth re-examining why, given how important it is.
The important of family dinners especially in showing love and fostering understanding with each other is one of the most valuable benefits of family dinners. Therefore, turn off your television, spare an hour, and allow your family to enjoy each other’s company over a meal
Does it make you feel more connected to your family? Not as much as a conversation, I suspect, so the short answer is No. Unfortunately, most American families routinely watch television during dinner, indicating how challenging it is to make dinner fun and relaxing when everyone is pressured and tired. It can be a lot easier to turn on the TV at the end of a long day than to interact with your kids. However, eating in front of the TV builds your relationship with the screen, not with each other.