How often does your family eat together? For many families, dinners on the run due to busy schedules have replaced the act of sitting down at the family dinner table and enjoying a meal together.
But consider this.
Statistics show that families that eat together 4-5 times a week produce kids that are much less likely to be involved in illegal drugs, tobacco and alcohol use, premarital sex, and other high risk behavior. It is a time when children feel connected to each other and their parents, where communication can take place and children learn values in an informal environment.
How's that for some motivation to get your family together around the dinner table?
Here are some of the ways we connect as a family at dinner:
- Share the highs and lows of your day - both kids AND parents.
- Discuss different scenarios and ask the kids how they would handle the situation (bully, not sharing, meeting stranger, etc).
- Write a story as a family or play "finish this story."
- Play iSpy.
- Spread out a blanket and eat on the floor.
- Make a game with manners! The first person to break a table manner has to hold a specific object. As table manners are broken, it is passed around. The last to have the object has to clear the table, do the dishes, etc.
- Use quiz or trivia questions from a book or game or make some up.
- Talk about old memories. Put numbers in a jar and have each child pull a number. Then talk about something with your child and that number. (Ex: if they pull a 4, tell a story about them being 4, 4 things they do well, 4 feelings you have toward them or have them tell you 4 things about their day, 4 things they want to do before they get married, etc.
What about you? How does your family connect at the dinner table? Share your thoughts with us!