Sunday, September 21, 2008

Family Dinner

Eating together needs to be part of a schedule, it helps keep the family together. Studies have shown eating around the table actually benefits the kids. Children who eat at the table do better in school, have fewer behavioral problems, are less likely to take drugs or drink, often enjoy being able to talk to adults, get to understand the family along with the traditions, and help to create traditions centered around meals.

Often meals eaten around the table are higher in nutrition. Clean up after the meal is also faster because everything is together at one time. Meals actually cost less per serving because it's made in family portions.

Family members who are always busy get to spend time with their family because they take time out to share the meal. Family dinners should be scheduled as a priority in everyone’s calendar. Dinner together doesn't have to take place every night. Try scheduling dinner at least 4 times a week. Plan and shop for the meals as a family. Decide when each meal will be served. Children should be allowed to choose how much they want on their plates. They know how hungry they are. Even if the meal is cooked quickly take your time at the table try sitting there for at least 30 minutes. Turn off all televisions and phones so there is nothing to distract from family time. Don't scold or criticize at the table because it will make dinner more of a chore than a choice. If your family is stuck on what to talk about try asking for one "high" and one "low" from everyone's day.

Children constantly face pressure. It may be something at school church, or an after-school activity. You should be there when they need help otherwise they will turn to alternatives to "help" solve their problem. This is the first step to being a better parent. It doesn’t cost a lot of money or require anything special. All your family wants is a little more of your time.

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