Do you know the benefits of eating together as a family?
It is one of the best things to do if you are trying to create more quality time. If you have noticed a disconnect from your family.
The one thing that you can do (short of quitting your job, buying and RV, and hitting the open road) is to eat dinner together, when trying to have more quality family time.
Eating dinner together has many benefits for the entire family. Numerous studies and research has proved time and time again, what our mother already knew, that eating dinner together as a family is a good thing.
Take a look at just a few of the benefits of eating dinner together as a family. The quality time that we can etch in our busy daily lives to take the time and eat together, has many bonuses and perks that bless each member of our family.
BENEFITS OF EATING TOGETHER AS A FAMILY
Better academic performance
Greater sense of adaptability
Motivated to do better in all areas
Helps to develop better family relationships
Lower risk of substance abuse
Lower risk of teen pregnancy
Lower risk of depression
Lower likelihood of developing eating disorders
Lower rates of obesity
Tends to lead to making better food choices
Helps to develop stronger connections and help forge long-lasting bonds
More money in the bank, especially if you’re eating at home
More teachable moments (you have the time and the audience to teach your children the things that truly matter)
Learning how to work together, especially when you involve the prep, actual cook time, eating together, and clean up.
TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL MEAL
(TO HELP YOU BENEFIT FROM EATING TOGETHER AS A FAMILY)
- Eat together whenever you are able to.
- Turn off cell phones and electronic devices.
- Turn off the television.
- Don’t answer the phone.
- Sit at the table, not on couches, but at an actual table.
- Use these conversation starters with your teens to get the ball rolling.
- Take turns talking and sharing one fun or interesting fact about your day.
- Smile, laugh, and have fun.
- Tell about the struggles of your day.
- Make the meal together, if possible. Even though time may not always allow for this.
- Don’t focus so much trying to create the perfect meal, that you lose focus of just spending time together.
- Begin each meal with saying grace, a prayer of gratitude and thankfulness for the food and your family.
- Don’t allow the annoyances and frustrations of the day cause you to vent, speak unkindly, or react in anger at the dinner table.
DON’T LOSE FOCUS
The most important thing to remember is that the dinner table should be a time of togetherness. The food and the fellowship are added bonuses of being together.
In today’s world, most people are rushed in their daily lives trying to accomplish everything on their busy schedules. Sports, jobs, schooling, and other priorities have taken the place over family time. When we don’t spend time together it is so easy to become disconnected from each other.
It becomes easy to lose that family focus. Marriages and parent-child relationships are the first to suffer when there is a disconnect. We should be doing all that we can do to prevent this from happening, which is why eating together is important.
WHAT DOES THIS LOOK LIKE?
Make a point of connecting with each member for a meal as often as possible. It may be impossible to do this daily for many families, but make the point to connect on the days that are you able to with your own family.
This may mean breakfast instead of dinner. This may mean lunch instead of either breakfast or dinner for some families.
Maybe your family does not get home until 7:00 at night, but if you are all together, make the time and commit to eating-even a late dinner is better than no time together as all.
DON’T LOSE HOPE
Ladies, there is not one ideal situation that fits all families. Each family is different and every scenario is different.
However, as keepers of the home it is our responsibility to speak life into our home. One way we can do this is by promoting and working toward family togetherness, whatever that may be like for your unique family.
Maybe your family is not extremely close. Or perhaps, there is tension that may prevent family members from even wanting to sit at the same table, let alone even be in the same room.
Don’t lose hope!
Pray and ask God to help draw your family (whatever that is for you) closer together.
Be merciful. Have grace. Forgive each other.
Be kind to one another. Love each other.
Above all, be grateful for your family.
His works can redeem us. He seeks to do good in all situations. Even in those situations that seem impossible, believe in the possible.
Stephanie, Training Keepers of the Home