Each Friday, at least for the foreseeable future, I will be sharing a blog post from the past. These will be posts from other places that I have retained the rights once again, or from this blog. I hope you enjoy these entries. I know they are ones that have made me smile.
This post originally was posted January 17, 2014.
This year I made a goal for my family, and that is to get back to the dinner table. It seems that we’ve gotten too lax in our dining habits and we are often found parked in front of our computers or the television or dare I say it…BOTH…with a plate of food. We have become digital diners. Oh the horror!
I remember the days of yore where we all sat at the table together and feasted on whatever delectables I had managed to throw together that day. We actually spoke to one another and knew more about what was happening in the lives of each family member. We conversed. We smiled. We laughed. Oh the good old days….
I miss those family moments and we are just going to do better. This means I have to actually find my kitchen table. I know some of you think I am joking here. I am not. I lost it long ago under the guise of our homeschool. Come to think of it, this is probably why we became digital diners. It was for survival.
In any case, I will be shoveling off my table and making it all shiny new and usable. We will once again be dining there. To get us in the mood, I insisted we have a sit down and dine meal at my parents house for the New Year. We had to remember what it was like to actually dine at the table.
So here is my challenge for each of you. If you have become a family of digital diners, then I challenge you to get back to the dinner table this year. Here are some interesting facts for why this might be a good idea:
Two researchers at the University of Minnesota investigated the potential benefits of family mealtimes on children and found that families that dine together tend to have healthier, more well-adjusted children. Their studies indicate that the more often children and teens eat with their parents–and the happier, more structured these mealtimes are–the more the children gain these benefits:
- Better nutrition
- Better language and literacy
- Fewer eating disorders
- Fewer risky behaviors
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (Sept. 2005) found that compared with teens who dine frequently with their families (five to seven dinners a week), teens who have fewer than three family dinners per week are:
- Two and a half times likelier to smoke cigarettes.
- More than one and a half times likelier to drink alcohol.
- Almost three times likelier to try marijuana.
Dr. Harold Koplewicz, director of New York University’s Child Study Center said, “Mealtime becomes a way for families to bond. It shows children they have access to a caring adult.”
Those reasons are more than enough for me to want to make this change. I invite you to join me.
Each month, I will be sharing updates on how our Family Dinner Table Project is going in our home. I’ll share pictures of us at our table and not my parents. I’ll share ideas of what you can possibly talk about as a family during dinner. And I will most likely even share a favorite recipe or two along the way.
I hope that we can all work together to reclaim our children, our tables, and family dinner at the table. Do I expect things to go perfectly? Absolutely not. I’m human. But the point is that we are going to try to improve and strengthen our home and family by dining together. And we are going to like it. I promise.