When was the last time you sat down with your family and ate dinner? Is the answer not in a while? Between going to work, taking kids to after-school activities, and making sure their homework is done, there is no time for a sit down meal. Most of the time, a dinner together is the only time of the day to reconnect with your children and spouse. Family dinner is the best time to laugh, talk about your ups and downs of the day, and take the time to listen to each other.
It goes without saying that an open line of communication is what makes a relationship successful. This goes the same for relationships with your kids.
Something as simple as sitting at the table together and enjoying each other will build a kid’s self esteem. It also builds their sense of belonging, which in turn helps them with their friends and finding out who they are in school. Kids will less likely fall into peer pressure due to not only their high self-esteem, but the ability to come talk with their parents. And as for those who were bullied? Studies show they bounce back quicker. That strong bond between your children you build with them at the dinner table, will follow them through life.
Dinner conversation has great benefits on a young child’s language skills. Studies have shown that when young kids sit at the table for dinner, they learn more words than when being read to aloud. These kids learned approximately 1,000 words more than kids who did not sit at the dinner table with the family. Dinner together also teaches kids manners and social skills.
Older kids also benefit from sitting at the dinner table. Studies provided that young aged school kids and teens who ate at the table 5 to 7 days a week, were twice as likely to get A’s and B’s. These kids were also less likely to be depressed, and less likely to use drugs.
Do you want to save money? If the answer is yes, then eat at home more! Eating a meal at the dinner table with your family is cheaper than eating out. Let’s do the math for a week of eating out versus eating at home. A meal for a person is about $10. A family of four’s check will be about $40 for the night. Doing this for 5 days a week will cost about $200. However, if you cook a meal at home, it will cost about $20 of groceries to make a meal for 4. This will cost you about $100 for 5 days. You save $100. Win!
Better Eating Habits
Getting kids to eat healthy food, such as vegetables and fruits, is a struggle. It is sometimes such a fight that even I want to just give up, and consider it a loss. But, studies show that kids who sit down and eat with their family are more likely to make healthier choices growing up. Kids will have a lower body-mass index and more controlled weight. This is because home cooked meals are just healthier than restaurants and fast food. I mean do we really need that double cheese gordita crunch wrap supreme? No, it is extremely unhealthy and lacks the nutrients your
child’s growing body needs.
Having dinner with your family helps you all to escape the drama from the day. Home is a safe place for you and your family, and the dinner table is where you can let loose and relax with them. Make a rule to unplug and put away the technology at the table, and plug into each other. If it may seem like it is too hectic to fit in, try to plan ahead meals, and have your kids help you cook. It can be a fun bonding experience.