Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Are you making time for family dinners?

Ok, close your eyes and picture family dinner. June Cleaver is in an apron and pearls, Ward in a sweater and tie. The napkins are made of linen, the kids are clean, the steam rises from the freshly baked casserole... {sounds like a great idea for my upcoming photo shoot... thanks Meghan and Courtney for the fabulous idea}  

This however isn't how it looks in our castle. It is more like a whirl wind of craziness. Boys are not so clean, I burnt the dinner and my sweatpants apron has kid germs all over it. Now am I speaking your language? Ok, good. With Coach W in full basketball mode, the boys playing basketball, zumba and the list goes on and on, I am beginning to see how difficult it can be to just sit down and eat together as a family. 

This has always been one thing I said I would make my family do whether they liked it or not. For me this is something I feel will help strengthen our family and helps me to connect with my boys on a deeper level. Sounds weird, well hear me out. 

Studies show that eating together as a family has huge benefits for not only kids but also us as parents. Here are  10 Reasons to make this a priority in your castle.
1. Family dinner is good for the kids. Study have study shows that children who eat dinner with their families, on a regular basis, are less likely to get bad grades and are less likely to have substance abuse problems. {According to a Columbia University study}
2. Family dinner is good for you.  Even though rushing around the kitchen can be somewhat stressful at times it gives you a chance to sit down and just enjoy your family. 
3. Frugal. I will be the first to admit we aren't big on going out to eat. With three little men six and under it just isn't fun for us at this point. However, we LOVE to go pick things up {not good for the budget or waist line} Eating together as a family at home is less expensive than eating out.
4. Helps to develop good eating habits. You have some control in what the kids are eating. You can make it healthy for them. Plus, kids are more likely to try something new sitting at the dinner table versus out in a restaurant {at least mine are}.     
5. Family dinner is a great time to connect. Your kids will begin to realize that this time is special. A time during the day where everyone can talk about their day, listen to each other and connect as a family. If you’re sharing a meal, you are most likely talking while you eat. Kids will often share things and talk while relaxing to dinner. It’s a time to unwind and discuss the day’s events. It is such a great time to check up on what’s going on in their little lives {and by the way, my four year old can tell you all about his day at school, who was bad , who was good... young or old they have a lot going on we just need to talk to them more}  
6. Family dinner can become a great memory for your kids. I am sure you can tell I am big on creating memories for my kids. For me, it just seems like a great way to create a fun memory my boys can have of us a family. Will there be times it's not enjoyable? Yes. Will there be times I make something that is nasty? Yes. Yes. But you know what they will remember it!
7. Family dinner time helps provide discipline. I will be the first to admit this is a daunting task in the upcoming years. It is already crazy now but if you are disciplined to know that this is what you we as a family are committed to doing it becomes a daily discipline like many others areas of our lives. 
8. Family dinner time provides stability. Kids need schedules and routine {at least mine do}. They need thing to be in order and to know ahead of time what is going to happen.   Having a regular mealtime, same time each evening, can be very important. Even if your main course is pizza, try and eat at the same time as often as possible. 
 Don't worry I didn't forget the last two. I wanted you to fill them out for me. Why do you think it's important to eat together as a family? For families whose schedules make evenings together a challenge, try breakfast or lunch. So pull up some chairs. Lose the TV. Let the phone go unanswered and break bread together as a family.

This post is linked up to Top Ten Tuesday at Oh Amanda  


  1. I love this. Early in our marriage my husband and I used our dining room as more of a playroom for our son who was a baby at the time. And when we finally sprung for some nice dining room furniture and made the switch, we said that we would force ourselves into eating there every night until it became a habit.

    We've never gone back to eating in front of the T.V. like we used to. Even at our most exhausted, we've found it's actually more relaxing to sit down to a quiet meal at the table than it is to lounge in bed and eat like we used to pre-parenthood.

  2. I truly enjoy making dinner for my family. We too love sitting down together at the table to have dinner. TV is off, cell phones are out of reach...
    I think it's also a good time & place to teach manners and patience. Most of the time, even when our 3 and 2 year old are finished eating, we have them stay at the table till everyone else is finished eating. They then have to asked me be excused from the table.
    Thank you for sharing a glimpse into your castle!


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