Posts Tagged ‘family dinner’

Family Dinners

One of the most important and gratifying things that I do most days is sit at the dining room table to have dinner with my family.  As busy as life gets, it’s a blessing to spend quality time together.  We debate random topics, tell silly jokes, laugh at one another’s antics, and share stories about whatever is on our minds.  Phones go unanswered,  televisions are off, and video games and laptops sit idle.

I cherish each family meal that we enjoy together, because the children won’t live at home forever.  In our case, because 3 out of 4 of our children are teens, the clock is ticking and fast! 

Father,

Thank you for slowing us down enough each day to make family mealtime a major focus.  It’s easy to forget about what’s important when we’re slaves to the busyness of things that really shouldn’t be priorities.  I pray that the children will look back upon family dinnertime with fond memories and perhaps someday choose to continue the tradition in their own homes.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

CC

Let’s Eat!

 

Guys, come eat!”  Those are the words that my family eagerly awaits to hear each evening at dinnertime.  The patter of nearly a dozen feet can be heard on every floor of the house as everyone makes their way to get cleaned up for our last meal of the day.

One of my teens is usually in, or near, the house with two friends.  Routinely, I invite them to stay for dinner.  Inevitably, both teen boys decline.  I began to wonder if my cooking abilities could have been the reason for the repeated rejection.  So, to my surprise, when I offered to have them join us for take-out, the invitation was once again declined.

How could this be?!  Teen boys…love…food! 

Question: What could be the reason teen boys would turn down an offer to eat – even if they’d already had dinner at home? 

Answer: Family habits.

Let me explain.  I later learned that neither boy’s family enjoys mealtime together.  Everyone eats at different times and not always at a table.  One friend admitted to my son that he eats dinner in front of the television every night – alone.  Why?  The table in their dining room has a glass top and has been deemed too fragile for use.  It’s just there to fill space and no one can use it.

That story made me sad.  I can’t imagine not regularly having dinner with my family.  Sure, we have nights when one or two of us are absent from the dinner table due to a class or some kind of practice, but we still dine together nearly every evening. 

I love hearing about what’s on everyone’s mind.  I love seeing their faces.  I love the silliness that’s expressed in every prank, comment, or joke.  I love taking turns praying over our meals.  Simply put, I love the time that we spend together. 

In a household with one tween and three teens, we are well aware that our days together as a nuclear family are numbered.  Soon, our oldest will be leaving for college.  Two years later, two more will also leave for higher education.  And two years after that, we will become empty-nesters.

Time is not on our side, so for us, dinnertime is a sacred gathering where stories are shared, questions about life are asked and answered, manners are taught, jokes are played, and silly faces are made.  Families bond are tightened and memories are made at the dinner table.

Dinnertime togetherness is one of the most blessed gifts we can give to our children.  I pray that the values we’re passing along to them will be passed down by them to our grandchildren and that the tradition of family togetherness doesn’t become lost in conflicting schedules or the simple awkwardness of needing to be alone.

What’s dinnertime like in your house?  Is the dinner table a place for laughter and sharing?  Do conflicting work or activity schedules keep everyone from dining together?  Does a museum-like status of your furniture trump use of your family’s dining area?  

Share with us!

CC

Family Dinner

How many times per week does your family have dinner together?  With busy work and activity schedules, it can be difficult to sit face-to-face with everyone each night of the week.  However, having dinner with your family creates memories that can last a lifetime. 

I’m the super silly one in my house, so antics like kicking my husband (gently) under the table, making funny faces, and saying long prayers while everyone eagerly waits to dive into dinner lightens the mood for an event that could sometimes seem too formal for children.

I love having dinner with my family, because it allows us to spend undivided time together to discuss what’s on our minds, and pray together.  Speaking of praying, one tradition that we established is for one person at the table to give thanks, offer praises, and pray for the needs of our family as well as those of others.  We work our way around the table until we begin the rotation again six days later (we’re a family of six).  Another tradition that we tried was to for each person present to compliment someone else at the table.  Initially, we tried to do that for every person every night.  Needless to say with six people having to compliment five other people each night, dinner was cold by the time we were done.

How to Make Meals Enjoyable

  • Ask about each other’s day
  • Get input from each member of the family for meal plans
  • Ignore the telephone and turn off the television
  • Keep your meals simple and save the multi-course meals for the holidays
  • Save serious topics of discussion for family meetings
  • Set mood music; in our house, it’s Christian music

Family meals are believed to positively impact your children’s grades, bring about lower levels of stress, instill better table manners, and encouraghealthy eating habits.  So why not begin the tradition of family meals in your household today?

Let’s chat!

Love to all!

CC