Friday, June 14, 2013

There. Is. No. Need. To. Yell.

Or Making It Easy to Get to the Table (part 6)


Has family dinner every sounded like this at your house? It never did at ours, well, not often...at least not every night.

But there were those nights.

How do you keep the atmosphere pleasant at your family mealtime table? Here are some suggestions:


1. Keep your sense of humor.


2. Discuss your atmosphere goals with your husband or wife. If you guys aren't in agreement about this it's not gonna work. We tried to have a signal to say to the other when we were getting worked up about something. One would say to the other, "Elephants" or whatever we chose. I have to admit, however, that this didn't always work. (I will take the 5th amendment on who it was that had trouble cooling down.)




3. Have a talk with the whole family about it. We were never big on formal "family meetings" to discuss issues, but we did have a family meeting of sorts, every night at the dinner table. I can remember asking questions like:

  • What do you look forward to about dinner?
  • Is there anything that makes you cringe when you think about our family mealtimes?
  • What can we, as your parents, change to make it a happier time?
  • What can you do to help make the atmosphere pleasant and inviting?

4. Keep your sense of humor.


5. Have fun family reminders to use, especially if guests are present. The family of one of my good friends signaled each other with the silverware. The fork meant "get to the point." Holding up a knife signaled "cut it off." And the spoon meant, "Feed it to him!" You can use whatever your reminder is to help stop ranting, arguing, gossiping, or complaining. (Not that I think any of that would happen at your table!)


6. Agree to work on this together. Does one person feel never listened to? Another like everyone disagrees with him? Someone else feels hurried, or slowed? Ask them what would make them feel better. Get each person to offer a compromise they can do and give a commitment to do it.

7. Get a theme verse that you all want to be the working principle for your family mealtimes. Cross-stitch it and hang it on the wall!


8. Oh, and did I mention, have a good sense of humor?



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6 comments:

  1. Time together around the dinner table can be very special -- even if it is for breakfast!

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  2. Humor is definitely important if you're making it a goal to spend quality time at the table. We love to laugh over dinner, and talk about what's going on in our lives.

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    Replies
    1. Humor can defuse a tense situation, can't it? I'm so glad you and your family have fun times at your table!

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  3. Great post. Yes - yelling does not help anything at all. Ignoring the bad attitudes and praising the good ones.
    Blessings,
    Janis www.janiscox.com

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  4. Love this! Some nights we need a gentle reminder that there's no need to yell. Thanks for the advice and the inspiration!

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  5. Great tips ... especially at our table to keep our sense of humor. Last night everyone had a raspberry conversation with our 9 month old!

    So delighted to meet you. I hope you don’t mind if I splash around a bit to get to know you. This looks like a refreshing place to dip into some serious goodness.

    I would love you to share this post! A group of moms gather each week. I usually post on Mondays, but missed it this week. I start jotting a few notes and then others join in. You can post whenever, doesn’t have to be anything new, it can be a gem nestled in your pages. I get the filled to the brim momma schedules.

    Just moms. Sharing our notes. Creating a melody.

    Be blessed,
    Sarah

    ReplyDelete

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