Meal Time is Real Time
Even though our lives have become computerized, emailed and texted, it doesn’t mean we should give up completely on the past. There is one thing in particular that you may want to not give up on when thinking about your little one and his/her life ahead, and that’s the family meal.
If nothing more than just clinging to a family tradition, having time set aside to have a family meal can be so much more. It establishes the family as a unit, that no matter how difficult the day was, we come together in the end. It’s a great time to encourage your little ones to share the favorite part of their day, and the not so favorite part. If provides a sense of security in your child, and that means a lot in this fast-paced age. The time together also provides a chance for parents to be role models, a chance to teach manners, and also good eating habits.
Some studies show the child whose family comes together for most meals and eats together has increased literacy and language development. Another one says that a child that grows up at the table for family meals is at a 70% lower risk to try drugs and are less likely to have friends to use drugs or alcohol.
It can be hard to maintain. We are busy people as parents, but even if dinner means a Happy Meal and a Big Mac, bring it home, sit down at the table and be together. Your child will remember it, have it in her heart, and thank you for it someday.
Resources: University of Minnesota Extension