I know how busy families are these days, running from practices to rehearsals, getting home late from work. It’s hard to make family dinner a priority when there is so much else going on!
And yet… Family Dinner is often the only time many families get together on a regular basis. It’s a unifying place, the “Central Perk” of the family. It may not always be harmonious (let’s be serious, this is family life!), but it’s where you feel like a family, rather than having everyone feel isolated in their own lives.
Family dinner gets harder to maintain when the numbers get small. Whether it’s the result of a divorce, or of older siblings leaving home, it takes a conscious decision to make dinner happen, (almost) every night, even when there are only two of you. It’s so much easier to just eat in front of the television, or have a bowl of cereal for dinner. But something happens when we come together to break bread — even when it’s gluten free!
So the tip this week is twofold:
- Prioritize family dinner: Make an effort to have dinner together as a family, if not every night, then at least a few times a week. Set the expectation that everyone attends if at all possible.
- Try to keep it fun and lively. Don’t save every heavy and serious conversation for dinner. Talk about the events of the day, or what’s happening in the news. Use it to foster relationships.
Best part? Before long, you’ll notice that you and your kids will start looking forward to dinner together as a much-needed break in everyone’s busy day!