Eating together as a family is vital for a child’s development. The practice encourages children to do well in school, be more connected to their family, make healthier choices, understand that their parents are proud of them, and grow with a more positive viewpoint in life.
But the truth is that it’s challenging to eat together as a family. Most families have busy schedules, from parents doing work and children doing school work. As a result, they are more likely to be exhausted at the end of the day. The easiest solution is to feed the children first before the parents, rather than encourage the family to sit and eat together.
We must realize that eating together as a family is crucial to the mental health and relationship of the whole family.
Let’s talk about the importance of eating together as a family and why you need to start this practice right now.
Eating together can improve communication and relationship
Families who eat together can develop a lifestyle where their children are not afraid to talk to their parents about their problems. And these children are more likely to be inclined to sit and discuss with their parents.
On a positive note, parents will know their children more. Even small things such as their children’s likes, favorite food, and movie show their behavior. These small things are the things that parents often don’t realize. When asked about their children’s favorites, many parents only know what their children liked when they were still kids, but not when they become adults or grown-up.
Eating together will help your children develop that sense of confidence and trust to say their problems to you. The time when you eat together will be a pillar of their day. It doesn’t only deepen your relationship but also helps you process life.
In addition, it brings the whole family closer. And when that happens, children become more engaged in house chores. Indeed, you can always hire house-cleaning services if you’re busy, but an improved family relationship will make the chore more fun for the whole family.
Eating together nurtures prayer.
Nowadays, our days pass without even stopping to pray for just a minute. When we eat together, we can use this time to encourage our family members to pray first. Pray for the blessings and the food in front of us, especially during dinner time. It is good to encourage your family to pray and give thanks for a safe day.
Eating together nurtures your children’s spiritual connection while they are still young and is more likely until they grow. Mealtime prayer doesn’t need to be extended. All you need is to be sincere. After all, a minute is enough to thank God for everything.
Eating together encourages thankfulness.
For most families who are always busy with their office work, business, or kids engaged with their school works, complaining is their common habit in their daily lives. We tend to forget to be thankful for things that we gain.
The best time to practice gratitude in our family is when we are together at the dining table. It is a great moment to discuss or share something that we are grateful for with our family members. And then pray to thank God for these things.
As a parent, you are going to be the model for this. Before beginning your meal, share something that you are thankful for. And let other family members share too.
Eating together encourages honor.
Eating together as a family is essential to practice honoring other people. It could be as simple as setting the table ready for mealtime or giving the best seat at the table. Spreading the lace off the tablecloth, putting the plates, fork, and spoon at the table is also a good gesture.
Teach your children to honor elderly people by letting older people or parents start the dish first. These simple gestures will teach your kids to respect and honor people until they grow up.
Eating together improves practical skills.
Yes, many people will agree that preparing food is easier to do when you are alone and without disturbance. But there are other benefits your family can gain from letting your children help you in the process of preparing food.
This way, they will practice practical skills at such a young age. They will also learn when they work together in simple things such as clearing the table, doing basic preparations, they will learn how to cooperate.
These are enough reasons to encourage your family to eat together as a whole family. In general, the perfect time to eat together is during the night for dinner. But all the time for the day is also a good time. Avoid giving reasons why you can’t join the family for mealtime. Instead, be the model and encourage them to set aside unimportant things for mealtime.