Dinner with the Family: It’s more important that you might think

When was the last time you had dinner with your family? It is the meal we often skip because we work late, the kids have sporting events or we get tired from daily activities. But, skipping dinner with the family is detrimental to the family dynamic.

Having the whole family at the dinner table every night is super important for building relationships. Kids that eat dinner with their families are less likely to get involved with trouble. Find out all the benefits to eating a family dinner and why you should do it.

Family dinners are more than just a meal. It is about the only time that families have to share time through the week. Whether you sit down to the dinner table or enjoy a meal on tray tables and a movie in the family room, the important thing is that you are together.

There are some interesting facts surrounding family dinner time; for instance, teens that spend dinner time eating with their family are less likely to get involved in drugs, alcohol or other illicit activity. This is a point many parents will find interesting. Out of all of the things you do to try to keep your kids away from bad influences, the one thing that is the greatest influence is still the event that we skip routinely.

Why is dinner so important?

For one thing, it is a time to share thoughts and feelings. All day, kids are influenced by teachers, friends and the outside world. At the dinner table, they get a chance to connect with their parents on tough issues like schoolwork, peer pressure, friendships and other things. They can each share and help one another with helpful suggestions. Parents can even talk about work or family finances over a meal.

The main point is that conversation is taking place. The average parent talks to their child less than 40 minutes a week. It takes a second to say “Hi” when you come in at night, but that isn’t effective communication. When dinner is shared by the family, you spend at least 45 minutes to an hour talking about everything and anything that may be on your mind.

Having the whole family at the dinner table every night is super important for building relationships. Kids that eat dinner with their families are less likely to get involved with trouble. Find out all the benefits to eating a family dinner and why you should do it.

Young children learn how to communicate with their siblings and parents. They are the center of attention with questions about their day and it makes them feel happy. You know that kids always want to be in the limelight when they are a certain age and this helps them learn to share the spot with others.

For teenage girls, body image is everything. Learning to prepare and eat healthy meals with their families is a sign that eating right will keep their bodies in shape and not avoiding food. Teen girls are less likely to become the victim of an eating disorder but develop a healthy view of food and their bodies when they eat dinner with their families.

There are many benefits to eating dinner with the family. It is a time for meaningful communication that leads to stronger self-images that resist the urge of drugs, alcohol and other destructive behaviors in your kids and teens.

Do you eat dinner with your family every night?

4 thoughts on “Dinner with the Family: It’s more important that you might think”

  1. You make some great points, Erin. While we spend a lot of time together as a family (because we homeschool our kids and they’re not in any outside activities), we still don’t ALL sit down together and eat dinner every night. My husband’s work schedule doesn’t allow this at the moment, but we do make it a priority to share family meals throughout the week. 🙂

    1. That’s great Sandra…I think that the most important thing is that parents spend time talking to their kids, and if that is going on at other times during the day, that’s what matters. Dinner time is probably the most feasible time for most families to spend together, like mine, as my husband and kids are gone during the day. Dinner is when we all catch up 🙂

  2. I can’t imagine only talking to my child just 40 minutes a week. That seems so crazy to me.

    Growing up we always ate dinner as a family every night. Often that would include my grandma and great grandma too.

    Now even though we spend all day together, we still eat dinner as a family. It’s so ingrained in me from my childhood I can’t imagine living any other way. But I do know many families that never eat dinner together, not because of schedule conflicts like Sandra mentioned but because they choose to. Seems very sad to me. It really isn’t good for the kids.

    1. I know…I thought that statistic sounded so crazy! I’m constantly talking to my kids to find out how they are feeling, what they are thinking, how school is going, etc. I’m sure that when my kids get to be teenagers, and start having more after school activities or part-time jobs, we will have less time to talk, so making dinner a tradition now will help us in the future.

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