The Family dinner movement

by Sonia Sykora, Pre-5th Christian Education Coordinator

Fall…it’s that time of the year when we shift back into our routines, move back into our homes, and gather around the dinner table for family meals…or do we?

Family dinners have fallen on hard times. Busy schedules, more after school activities, more convenient drive through options and parents just trying to make it through another day! Is it worth reviving or is it just “old school”?

According to a mountain of research, passing bowls of food and dishing up for oneself promotes obvious developmental benefits for children: motor development, dexterity, self-regulation, boost in vocabulary, and on and on and on…BUT it’s no surprise that it’s in the spills and chaos, it’s in the spirited conversation, it’s in being together where the MAGIC happens: Kindness, respect, tolerance, understanding, joy, and lasting memories.

We gathered around the table at our house last week with 5 of our grandchildren, ages 1-5.

• We prayed
• We passed bowls of noodles and spaghetti sauce
• We spilled
• We talked and laughed
• We listened to silly stories
• We all stayed at the table until everyone was done eating
• We all asked to be excused and carried our own plate to the kitchen

After it was all done, Ben, our oldest grandchild said, “Grandma, that was fun. Can we do this again next time we eat over here”?

So why the obsession with regular family dinners? Because it’s later than you think…don’t miss the opportunity. “The days are long, but the years are short.”

Whatever your family dinner looks like in your home, join the “FAMILY DINNER MOVEMENT” taking your place at the table as your family says together…” Come Lord Jesus, Be our Guest…”

Send photos of your family dinner to: kmeissner@rapidnet.com

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