The Family Table
From bonding to education, regular family dinner time contributes to positive results for everyone involved.
The kitchen table is a well-used place. It may be a little bit scratched or worn. Throughout the day and week, it serves many purposes. In our home it is a place where homework is
done, papers are sorted, projects are created, groceries are unloaded, games are played, and books are read.
But at the end of each day, it becomes a treasured place– a place to gather, a place where people come together. For a few moments a day it is a place to stop. Sitting around the table enjoying a meal, conversation, and laughter is a blessed event. It is a necessary ritual that binds us together and fills our bodies and spirits. Our daily time together celebrates everything the table represents: food, family, fun, and home. The table is also a place to share with neighbors, friends, and loved ones.
The familydinnerproject.org is a website dedicated to furthering this practice. It notes some amazing research about how this one daily practice can impact our families and each person individually. The website states, “Over three decades of research have shown that regular family meals offer a wide variety of physical, social-emotional and academic benefits. While some of these benefits can be gained through other activities, eating together is the only single activity that is known to provide all of them at the same time.” These benefits range from higher self-esteem and lower risk of obesity to bigger vocabulary and better academic performance, among many others. Visit the website to learn more.
I remember my grandpa describing how a neighbor once told him that they saw their family sitting up to dinner together each night and it was evident that habit contributed to their strong family bonds. That was when my dad was growing up in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. The importance of cementing family bonds continues still and can be harder than ever in our busy and distracted world.
Coming together as a family each day can give ourselves and our children a boost to life! It is often where we plan our calendar or discuss chores and notes of family business. It can also become a prolonged and hilarious event when we sit around talking long after the food is gone. It is definitely a cherished time for us each day, necessary for our success.