Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What They're Saying

Did you know I'm not the only voice out there calling for family mealtimes? All kinds of people are exclaiming its virtues. While I may not agree with all of what each of these people stands for, we do agree on the wonder-full-ness of eating together en famille. 

Actor Dennis Quaid says (1):
"My favorite family ritual is...sitting at the table and having conversation every single day. That's the time you get to know the kids. They're a captive audience and have to pay attention to you."


Time editor-at-large, Nancy Gibbs writes in an editorial to encourage eating together (2):
"There is something about a shared meal...that anchors a family even on nights when the food is fast and the talk is cheap and everyone has someplace else they'd rather be. And on those evenings when the mood is right and the family lingers, caught up in an idea or an argument explored in a shared safe place where no one is stupid or shy or ashamed, you get a glimpse of the power of this shared habit."


A little advertisement in our local paper had a quote designed to encourage parents to eat with their kids (3):
"Kids who eat dinner with their parents are 40% more likely to say they get A's and B's in school."


Focus on the Family writer Andrea Vinley Jewell reminds us that if we dread meals for any reason we can't (4)
"forget the blessing of a shared meal and the integral role food plays in our relationships and celebrations."


The president for the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Joseph Califano, Jr. says (5)
"Kids recognize the effort [of eating dinner together] as an expression of love and caring."


Chef Curtis Stone tells how he came by his love of the food and family combination in his childhood (6):
"My mum was a busy lady. She was a single mum who owned her own business while bringing up a family. Most of the time, dinner was something she threw together at the end of the day for my brother, my sis, and I. But what we ate was never as important to her as that we were all together."


And finally, my mom sent me a clipping with the comment across the top: "Thought you'd like to see this" from Michelle Obama (7):
"Family dinners are a tradition we've instituted at the White House, and it has made a huge difference. No matter what else is happening at 6:30 we stop everything and eat together...We use those dinner to connect with our girls, have conversations, and just spend quality time together as a family."

Tonight my husband is driving across east from Seattle, Washington through Idaho and into Montana. Only my oldest daughter and I are at home, but we are planning to eat together on our back patio.


Will you connect with your family at dinner tonight?


Footnotes:
(1) Good Housekeeping, December 2012, p. 93.
(2) The Magic of the Family Meal, Sunday, June 4, 2006
(3) Dubuque Telegraph Herald, date unknown
(4) More than a Meal, Focus on the Family Bulletin, December 2011
(5) Reader's Digest, RDLiving, p. 197, date unknown
(6) HyVee Season, back to school 2011, p. 6.
(7) Source unknown




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9 comments:

  1. Yes! We love family dinner time! Our four children love it as well. They particularly like that each one of them get a chance "in the spotlight," which doesn't happen often in a big family. It's their chance to talk without interruptions, and they just bask in it. :)

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  2. Yes! We always eat meals together. It's very important to me that our family have time together to reconnect from the days happenings, to pray together, and to share our hearts with one another.

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  3. I too was a single Mom, and although I worked two & three jobs at times it was difficult for my four children & I to have a meal together, but I made sure we had at the very least one family meal together & everyone was there NO EXCUSES! If mama was off they were there. If I was at home & they were not then whoever was ate at the table with me. That's just the way I was raised. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos. Hailing from Friendship Friday.

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  4. I read this to my 20 yr old daughter and she said, "So that's why I made good grades?" I agree and in 20 years if she's here she's at the table. So important. And with it's just my husband and I, we still do, too. We debrief from the day.

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  5. Great quotes! The evidence keeps piling up that eating together as a family confers amazing benefits. Thanks!

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  6. Great post! Dinners together are my favorite part of the day -- and family breakfasts on the weekends are pretty good, too!

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  7. Thanks for sharing those wonderful pictures of dinners around the table! Awesome. Linda

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  8. I was amazed when my two youngest (now 31 and 34) told me their friends never had dinner with their families. This was not looked on as something to choose, it just was. There were times we invited the boys friends to stay for dinner and we surprised at how shy they were about eating with us.A couple of girls asked if they could come by every Sunday evening for "lessons in table manners", as they felt embarrassed to eat around adults and knew the time was coming when they would have to. I never thought family mealtimes would be a subject for serious discussion. Those times around the table are some of the fondest memories of my 3 sons. Regena in TN.

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  9. We, too, have dinner together each night :) Definitely a good habit and tradition to have.

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