Bringing Back the Family Meal
How do we do it? We see the gap in communication in our family on a daily basis and we just can’t seem to take the steps to fix it. I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest to you that the solution is in your kitchen. Family Meal. This is a time that used to be a part of life for most of us of a certain generation but seems to have fallen by the wayside. I am not judging, I know people have busy lives and work demands are higher, but think about this: What is it that you are working for? Most would say to provide for their family and this is a good thing, however, you can provide financially and still provide emotionally as well. All the money and security in the world doesn’t mean a thing if your family life suffers because of it. All it takes is a commitment to a couple hours a day, and in this day in age it may be only a few days a week, but to sit down with your family and have a meal together. I would go one step more and get everyone involved in the preparation as well. Cell phones and electronics get turned off and not touched during this time. This time is all about personal interaction between parents and kids. You can learn a lot from these interactions. What is going on at school, at work, who are you hanging out with these days etc. If these times of interaction become the norm, the conversations become easier and more relaxed. The bonding that happens is something that is needed in family life today.
Having kids help with meal prep is also teaching them valuable skills that will last a lifetime. And kids that are raised this way are more likely to raise their own children in a similar manner. See the trend here? What a wonderful movement it would be to bring the family meal back into the mainstream. You are not only teaching your kids kitchen skills, but you are showing them that you have time and are willing to make time to be with them. I know it is the norm for both parents to work and with the economy it is needed. My parents worked full time, both of them, but we still managed to have the family meal. I think the difference is in the distractions. With all the tech today, it is a lot easier for work to come home with us. This is fine to an extent, productivity is a good thing. But at some point it carries over to far into the family time. All you have to do is make a choice. It really is that simple, a block of time with nothing but personal interaction with your family. All devices turned off and not touched during this time. And I mean the kids here too. No games, I-pods, whatever. This time is all about each other.
Give this a try and see if you don’t like the results. Make a meal, sit down and eat it and just talk. You may even find that you lose track of the time and go beyond the scheduled time frame. How bad would that be.