Years ago sitting around the dinner table was a tradition for many families. It was usually the only time of the day when everyone would gather in the same place. Over the years, this tradition has slowly faded away. Between crazy work schedules, after school activities and modern electronics, it’s can be harder than ever to eat dinner together.
However, sharing meals with your family is very important and offers many benefits that you may not be aware of.
Here are three reasons to make time for family dinners.
It Helps to Create a Regular Routine
Having a regular routine is very important for kids. It gives them structure and a sense of security. Kids learn how to follow rules and it teaches them self-discipline, which is something they’ll need throughout their adult life. Eating dinner together at a certain time gives kids something to depend on in a world that is constantly changing. Children will begin to expect and even look forward to spending dinnertime with their parents and siblings.
Family Dinners May Help Prevent Obesity
When you eat meals together as a family, you tend to eat healthier. Instead of grabbing a burger and fries or snacking on junk food, you can plan your meals ahead of time. This allows you to make healthier choices for the whole family. You can introduce a wide variety of foods to your kids to help expand their knowledge and give them a chance to try new foods in a safe environment. This is your chance to teach them healthy eating habits that will stick with them throughout the rest of their lives.
It Encourages Conversation
Sometimes it can be hard to get your kids, especially teenagers to talk about their day. However, sitting around the table creates a relaxing environment where you and your kids can talk about the highlights of your day and share your experiences. It’s a great opportunity to learn about any problems your kids may be having and to share your values and expectations with them. You can learn a lot about your kids when you eat dinner together and it makes them feel special to have this time to share their experiences with you. We use dinner time for family devotions to build our children’s faith and make meal time memorable.
Make it a priority to have dinner together at least four times a week. It will help to create a positive environment that may bring your family closer together. Turn off the TV, leave the cell phones in another room and take advantage of this great opportunity to spend quality time with your family. Having family dinner together is just as important today as it was when your parents were growing up. In fact, it may be even more important.