Dinner At the Table
Managing family life is a challenge. With family members running in all different directions, getting everyone together can require some real effort. A great time to get everyone together is around the dinner table.
Growing up, my family would always eat dinner together. Since my dad was in the military, that usually meant that he’d be home pretty late. Still, we waited, and then we ate. Of course, there was jostling over who had which dinner-related chores, but it was always a time for us all to be together.
Studies relate positive outcomes with families eating together. Children have higher self esteem and better performance in school because they feel valued. When you share a meal together at the end of the day, you get to share what happened in your own life, and learn about the events of other people’s lives. After spending a whole day apart, you get to catch up on all of the latest news. You learn what happened at work, what happened at school, and how things are going with the extended family.
What can make this an even more powerful experience is if it’s uninterrupted. For example, we would never answer the phone during the dinner hour. Today, that would be much more of a challenge with cell phones. By intentionally turning off all of your devices, you can just focus on the family.
Another key benefit to eating dinner at the table is a daily “re-introduction.” Have you ever heard a divorced person say that one day they woke up and didn’t recognize the person next to them? That kind of experience is the result of a gradual slide, not a sudden shift. When you eat together and share daily, taking the time to disconnect from the world, you get to learn new things about each other.
We’re busy. We’ve got a lot going on. Take the time to sit down at the dinner table at the end of the day and share a meal and your life.