5 Reasons to Eat Dinner with Family

We are all busy with so many different things, but taking the time to eat dinner with family is truly important for so many reasons!

We are all busy with so many different things, but taking the time to eat dinner with family is truly important for so many reasons!

5 Reasons to Eat Dinner with Family

 

Growing up there is one thing that I could ALWAYS rely on.  Dinner with family!

 

I grew up in a family of 8 with 1 brother and 4 sisters.  There is one thing I can remember doing often together, that is having family dinner. No matter what was going on with sports, band, work or school we had dinner together at least four times a week.

 

 A home-cooked meal around the table with your family is something special.

 

Here are 5 reasons that family dinners are important for your family.

 

Guaranteed Family Time

 

No matter who you ask there is always going to be a comment about how time goes by so quickly.  Our children grow up in a flash and we don’t realize it until it has passed. There are often regrets about not spending enough time together.

 

Making dinner with family a priority is guaranteed family time!  Everyone has to eat, so why not do it together? This family time gives you an opportunity to check in with each other.  Ask questions about how the day went and what is on everyone’s mind. Be sure to ask your children questions that require more than a yes or no answer.  

 

Even children who can be reluctant to talk will take this opportunity to share their day with you.  These conversations can be teaching moments, discussions about otherwise awkward topics or just plain fun.  This is also a great “no phone zone” for undivided attention!

 

 

Children Feel Safe

 

Family routines and traditions help children to feel a sense of safety and belonging.  They will feel unified as a family. When they feel safe and unified it is the perfect place to be able to come for help and security.

 

Dinner with family can help reduce the possibility of high-risk behaviors like drug and alcohol abuse.  When an adolescent feels safety and security at home it increases self-esteem. When they are secure in their self-esteem the risk of unhealthy behavior is reduced.  

 

Dinner with family helps children get better grades.  They have fewer symptoms of depression, especially adolescent girls.  Having at least one nutritious meal a day, your children are less likely to become obese or develop eating disorders.  We all want to keep our children safe. Dinner with family can be a great start to get them on that path!

 

 

It Teaches Gratitude

 

There have been many moments as a parent where I thought “Wow, how did my child not know that?”  Well, it is because I did not teach them! Sometimes we think that children just know the appropriate way to act.

 

News flash, they don’t! They need to be taught.

 

Dinner with family is the perfect platform to teach gratitude.  From a very early age, they can learn to thank the person who prepared the meal.  You can talk about the farmers who grow the food. Mention the grocery store workers who help you buy the food and the parent who cooked it.  

 

When they are old enough they can contribute, set the table, and help prepare the dinner.  When they are involved in the process they can be even more grateful to those who make dinner happen.

We are all busy with so many different things, but taking the time to eat dinner with family is truly important for so many reasons!

 

Table Manners

 

Table manners feel like a thing of the past.  Dinner with family can help children learn their please and thank yous.  Learning that everyone needs to be seated before you start to eat is a valuable lesson in manners.  

 

Gentlemen can be taught to wait for the ladies to sit before taking their seat.  Even assisting those ladies with their chair like the good ol’ days. Keeping elbows off the table and wiping your mouth with a napkin may impress a potential marriage partner one day.  

 

You can even make a special dinner and teach about fancy dishes and silverware.  If you are a family that prays, dinner with family is a wonderful place to teach about prayer.  

We are all busy with so many different things, but taking the time to eat dinner with family is truly important for so many reasons!

 

Cognitive and Social Development

 

Dinner with family is a great time to teach conversation.  This is not only great for language skills but also development in children.  Learning to socialize and have healthy conversation helps build brain function.  You can help children learn new words and answer questions appropriately.

 

Learning to function in society happens in the home and dinner with family is a valuable tool.  Conflict resolution can also be taught at dinner time. This builds a foundation for healthy relationships and learning to get along with others.  Learning how to listen and engage in meaningful conversation can set your child up to be socially successful.

 

Now you know why family dinner is important, so let’s make it happen!  

 

Eating as a family every night is probably a very lofty goal, so start with two dinners a week and see if you can work your way up.  Pick nights that you know everyone will be there. Even if you are sitting down to dinner a little earlier, or even later than usual.  You are making an effort to be together, that is what matters. Go get your calendar out and start planning your dinner with family time.

 

How do you make it a priority to have dinner with family?

 

Did this make you want to have dinner with family more often?

Share these tips with your friends on Pinterest!

 

We are all busy with so many different things, but taking the time to eat dinner with family is truly important for so many reasons!

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5 Comments

  • Anshu Shrivastava

    Yes it is!!!!and Family customs and cultures are also very important part of parenting. Lovely article…

    January 9, 2019 at 4:13 am Reply
  • Flossie

    True story: when I first met my now-husband (back when we taught on the same campus and had offices down the hall from each other), he used to work in his office til something like midnight most nights. Yes, he had no life, and yes, home was about a 4 min walk from his office – but still! One of the first “ground rules” I established when we started dating was that we were going to have dinner together, several nights a week – a rule I reiterated when we eventually married and started planning for our family. As our girls have gotten older, it’s become harder with their extracurriculars – and there are still occasional nights when he needs to get a batch of exams graded so he’ll stay late in his office – but EVERYONE knows that Family Dinner is a priority, and that is that. This is the best time for ALL of us to catch up on EVERYONE’s stories from the day, not just the ones that I got to hear after school or he’ll get to hear when tucking them in. It helps us stay connected and on the same page. (And, since Daddy teaches math, it is often a time for math games lol…seriously, I’ve gotten used to having some dinnertime conversation revolve around math puzzles #bonding ) #heartandsoullinkup

    January 8, 2019 at 11:23 pm Reply
  • jenniferwise4heritagemakers

    I LOVE this!! I’m a huge believer in the power of family dinners–and for all these reasons you mentioned. It’s often our best “quality family time,” and it’s SO important! Thank you for sharing at #heartandsoullinkup 🙂 Pinning!

    January 8, 2019 at 5:45 pm Reply
  • Alicia

    As my kids get older I am finding family dinner (and breakfast still, thankfully) are some of the only times we can all be together and talk about our days. I also find a lot of important teaching moments pop up. It can be hard to get dinner on the table, particularly during those crazy afternoons, but I’m always glad I did (especially when I got it done earlier in the day and didn’t add quite as much crazy to my afternoon!)

    January 8, 2019 at 2:30 pm Reply
  • Blended Hope

    My children’s friends all tell my kids “wow, you guys have a hot dinner EVERY NIGHT?!”
    These kids tell me they just eat whatever is in the house and different times, never together.

    January 8, 2019 at 12:26 pm Reply
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