Families That Eat Together, Succeed Together

August 30, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Parenting

Our family has a dinner tradition that began when I was a child. At a preset time, we turn off the technology – television set, iPad, video games, and computers. And we each do our part in preparing for the meal. The tasks usually include emptying the dishwasher, setting the table, and preparing the food. We enjoy our meal and pleasant dinner conversation. At the end of the meal, each of us assists with clearing the table and moving the dishes to the sink.

As a child, I lived through the Star Trek era. Life was simpler back then. Dinner time was set at 6 p.m. every day. I was raised with six brothers and one sister. My mother had to prepare large amounts of food that was quickly consumed by my hungry father and brothers. My least favorite foods were red beets and lima beans. Leftover food was saved. The leftovers were combined at the end of the week for a meal we called goulash. I have great memories of interesting dinner conversations.

Do you remember the last time you had dinner together as a family? I came across an interesting study on family dinners from the University of Florida. The researchers found that “having dinner together as a family at least four times a week has positive effects on child development. Family dinners have been linked to a lower risk of obesity, substance abuse, eating disorders and an increased chance of graduating from high school.”

It’s often difficult for parents to schedule a time when family can gather together to enjoy a meal. Take control of your household technology. Today’s families have many technological distractions – from video games to countless hours spent on Facebook.
Recent studies indicate that teenagers spent about nine hours a day on some form of media. Some families struggle with children checking their cell phones while eat a meal.I highly recommend a no technology zone during dinner time. The no technology zone would include television, cell phones, tablets, computers and video game players.

Family dinners can provide a boost to your child’s self-esteem. Many children suffer from low self esteem. The average child in school today will receive over 200.000 negative messages by the time they reach their eighteen birthday. Children need an opportunity at home to communicate their frustration, accomplishments and memories. Dr. Mark Hyman, author of “How Eating at Home Can Save Your Life,” wrote, “Children who have regular meals with their parents do better in every way, from better grades to healthier relationships to staying out of trouble.” Yes, families each dinner together experience success together.

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