Advent Daily: Practical Strategies for Empowered Parenting: Family Meals
December 2, 2016
Day 2: Family Meals
The number of families sitting down to eat meals together has declined substantially since the 1970's. This important ritual has been buried by the need for both parents in the home to work and by the increasingly demanding schedules of our children and youth. Rituals, however, are important in the lives of children. Ritual provides routine, stability, and ultimately, comfort for children of all ages. In addition, research has shown tremendous benefits for our children when we take time for family meals.
At this time of year, it is easy to get excited about the rituals of the season. What is it about these traditions that gets us excited? It is the repetition--these are things we have come to expect and look forward to. It is time with family and friends. It is a break from the stressors of life. We honor these traditions because, for us, they nurture relationships and foster an opportunity to take a break from our fast-paced lives. This is ritual. Imagine how our lives might feel if we take time to enjoy a small piece of this on a daily basis with our families???
All kinds of research has been done on the benefits of family meals. Google it.. :) Here is what the research shows us about children of families who eat at home together:
they are less likely to be overweight
they are more likely to eat healthy food
they have more success with schoolwork
they have fewer emotional problems
they are less likely to participate in risky behaviors (like drugs, alcohol, or sexual activity)
they have better relationships with their parents
I don't know a parent who doesn't wish these things for their children!
If you aren't already eating dinner with your family on some consistent basis, I challenge you to add one day a week to your schedule to do it. This ritual will be one of the better gifts you give your kiddos this holiday season!
For more accountability try The Family Dinner Challenge!
Gary Chapman originally wrote The 5 Love Languages for married couples. In his work over many years as a pastor and marriage counselor, he noticed a...
Are you speaking your child's Love Language?
February 14, 2017
Not unlike when the airline attendant reminds us to "place your own mask over your face before helping your children," we parents MUST re...
Practical Strategies for Empowered Parenting: Self Care
December 1, 2014
First published on 11/4/2013
The problem with potty training is that it is a very personal journey for kiddos, but it is a journey being taken under th...