With everyone’s crazy schedules in the home, it can be difficult to get everyone to sit down at the dinner table for a civilized meal. Studies have shown that a family that eats together has a much better relationship than the families that do not dine together. Continue reading to find some great tips on how to turn mealtime into family time in your home.
Try starting to have one family meal each week and work your way up from there. Figure out what the slowest day of the week is for everyone and plan to have a family dinner on that night each week. That one meal together might be the beginning of something really wonderful for your family.
When at the family table, do not bring up any negative issues. This is not the time to ask Bobby why he didn’t do his homework or nag Suzie about cleaning up her room. Talk about the positive things that are going on with the family. If you cannot think of something nice to say, it is best to avoid saying anything at all. Chances are, someone else will be able to bring up a more positive topic to discuss.
Do your best to allow all of the family members a chance to talk. You do not have to do all of the talking. Ask questions, play a word game or simply encourage someone else to talk. The things that your kids have to talk about with you might actually surprise you and help you learn something about them that you did not already know.
Do not make dinner a race. Take your time as you eat and allow the family enough time at the table to bond. This does not mean to make an eight course meal or that the kids should feel stuck at the table for hours on end, but it should take the family longer than fifteen minutes to get their meals eaten and enjoy the time spent together.
Give everyone the chance to pick a meal for the family dinner. If each person gets a turn to pick out their favorite meal to eat during these times, they might be more enthusiastic about participating.
Remember that your family’s schedules may change. Do not expect family dinner to work out for everyone each and every week. Something may come up for your spouse’s work or a project might be due for one of the kids’ schools. Be flexible. If you have to change the family dinner from Sunday to Monday on occasion, accept it and do it.
Keep dinner casual. Put away the cloth napkins and fine china. You want this time to be fun for all of you. You might even consider breaking out the paper plates and plastic wear so clean up is easy. Nobody will want to do the clean up after a nice family dinner, so easy cleanup will make it more enjoyable for everyone.
Family dinners could open the lines of communication that were not previously there. Enjoy the time with your family as this is the time you will never get back and will one day miss.