Monday, July 20, 2009
Every day is an opportunity to gather the family around one table and offer God thanks.
Given the hectic schedules many families have today, the family dinner seems like something of a relic. However, dinner is a time when families can really learn about one another. Regularly sitting down for a meal with your family is one way to connect with them and be involved with what is happening in their lives. I have personally learned a number of things about my children as a result of having dinner together including the following: • My five year old wants to be a doctor and she thinks if she learns her work really hard she could be a doctor in England. • My 18 years old son took a quiz on “What country do you belong too?” The result was he’s a Russian, he took it again and the result was he’s a Vietnamese (There is a pattern here). • My daughter’s friend Summer got chosen for the Goodwill Games (swimming) in Barbados (and so did my nephew Adam). • James my 9 year old got jacked-up by a Standard One student in the bathroom. • The children believe Bollywood Movies are comedies. These may have been some things that I may have never known if not for our family dinner. There is also imperial data which attest to the importance of family meals. Facts - The average parent spends 38.5 minutes per week in meaningful conversation with their children. (A.C. Nielsen Co.) - Family dinners are more important than play, story time and other family events in the development of vocabulary of younger children. (Harvard Research, 1996) - Frequent family meals are associated with a lower risk of smoking, drinking and using drugs; with a lower incidence of depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts; and with better grades in 11 to 18 year olds. (Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 2004.) - Adolescent girls who have frequent family meals, and a positive atmosphere during those meals, are less likely to have eating disorders. (University of Minnesota, 2004) One additional benefit of dinner time is saying the “Grace before Meal” Prayer which is one of the most common and universal forms of spoken prayer, the one many of us hold onto after others have faded from use.