How often does your family sit down for dinner? When you sit down together at the table, is the TV on? Is your daughter texting under the table back and forth on facebook? Is your son wolfing down his food so she can get back to his video games on Xbox or Wii? Are you answering calls from your boss or working on office paperwork at the table? Are you thinking you’re schedules are too busy to sit down and have a family meal?
It’s time to call, “ FAMILY TIME OUT”!
It is so important to spend that quality time with your family at the dinner table. Studies show that the family dinner hour is an important part of healthy living. When families dine together, they tend to eat more vegetables and fruits — and fewer fried foods, soda, and foods with trans fat according to research. It’s important to start your children on a lifetime of good eating habits. Studies also show that children who eat dinner with their families are more likely to do well in school and less likely to try dangerous behaviors like smoking, alcohol, and drugs. A side benefit is that your children learn better manners, social skills and become adept at adult conversation.
Our kids love to talk, about their day in school, what’s going on with their friends or just simply asking questions about a variety of topics so conversation is never a problem at our dinner table. They even like to help in the kitchen, which is a good thing. Kids in the kitchen helping is a great learning tool and experience for them.
However, I know that there are those families who struggle with how to get their kids talking. Even to the dinner table. There are many helpful Family Table Talk ideas like these listed below that are very helpful. Here are a few of my favorites:
- If you could be a cartoon character for one week, who would you be?
- What is the scariest dream you’ve ever had?
- If you could decorate your room any way you wanted it, what would it look like?
- What is the most interesting/exciting thing that has ever happened to you?
This is time for listening to each other, sharing the day’s stories, and nurturing the family connection. It will make a huge difference!
What great Dinner Conversations have you had this week?