The family dinner seems to have become a forgotten pleasure. It’s easy to see why, since many households lead incredibly busy lifestyles with both parents working-sometimes even juggling two jobs at a time. Work may win priority over family dinners most of the time but regularly having dinner together as a family is incredibly important, especially for young children. It usually is the only time everyone is around to share the same space, time and feeling of togetherness.
Reducing kids’ stress and learning to communicate
Regular family dinners give kids the opportunity to talk to you. You may think you spend every waking hour being there for your kids, but is that really true? The reality is that we cannot give our loved ones the full attention they crave during the day, when chores, work, and unexpected events need to be dealt with. Studies show that dinner time is the top answer when kids are asked the question of when they are most likely to talk to their parents. And research also suggests that kids who eat - and get the opportunity to talk to their mom and dad - have a better relationship with them, and suffer from less stress.
Improved kids’ behavior
Researchers found some correlation between regular family dinner times and lower rate of high-risk teenage behavior. So if you want your kids to grow up with reduced chance of getting involved in risky behavior, depression or suicidal thoughts make the family dinner time mandatory. Additionally, studies show that children who experience bullying are able to deal with it more courageously than those who don’t grow up enjoying regular family dinners.
Kids' mental and physical improvements
Conversation at dinner time boosts vocabulary for young kids. Studies suggest that talking to each other while dining is more powerful in improving vocabulary than reading a book to your children. As this trend continues into the teenage years, regular mealtime becomes an excellent predictor of high achievement scores. There is also a positive impact on the little ones when they share meals with parents and older siblings who consume fruits, vegetables, minerals and healthy foods than those who do not. If you want your children to grow up to be strong, bright, and healthy young adults, a regular family mealtime is the perfect starting point.
Quality family time
However, the reality is few households are ever together long enough to make family time count. Dinner time is the best time to get together, eat well, talk, and laugh - all of which help create stronger connections… once the dishes have been cleared away.
Make the commitment to spend quality time together.