I have dinner with my family every night of the week. This is a priority, to me, in my home. I cook and set the table for my family six nights a week. The other night is family night. I still cook, but we watch TV or a movie while eating, and the kids really enjoy this. I am not looking for praise, but I believe that dinner time is beneficial for my children.
There have been countless articles written, stories published, and organizations created that stress the importance of having “family dinners.” This information is nothing new. One can easily do an internet search and find more opinions and books written on the topic than one has time to read. Having dinner with ones family provides an opportunity for valuable family time, but also presents an opportunity to teach important life skills to ones children.
Table manners are an important skill one needs in life. How well a child eats is a direct reflection on the parents in my opinion. Children need to learn how properly eat, use cutlery, and to not chew with their mouths open or talk with a mouth full of a food. How many times has one seen an adult that does not know how to properly cut food, or has the above mentioned bad habits? If these people have children, it is a safe to assume that they too will not have table manners. These are skills that ones children will need as an adult. The best time to teach or learn these skills is during family dinners.
How to Set a Table
Formal dinner parties are becoming a thing of the past. We all live such busy lives that planning and cooking for a dinner party is not something most of us want to add to our “to-do list.” However, when having family dinners each night, this gives one an opportunity to teach, or to learn how to set a table. There different ways to set a table. For example, there is a formal table setting, a casual table setting, and a buffet table setting. Learn how to set these different styles and teach them to ones children. This is a great skill to learn and it provides a great teaching opportunity.
When sitting at dinner, most people discuss how his or her day went, new things happening at school or work, or possible plans for the upcoming days. When families do not eat dinner together or they watch TV during dinner, little is said. With a culture such as ours, that is becoming more and more casual because of technology, such as texting, people are not engaging in small-talk like before. Ask ones children questions. Ask them their dreams, wishes, or desires. Teach them how to engage in a conversation. This is a skill ones children will need as adults.
Having family dinners every day provides an amazing opportunity to teach ones children many different skills, most of which will be useful as they grow-up. Children grow up in a “blink-of-an-eye,” use this time teach ones children, talk with ones children, and most of all, cherish ones children.