Your family is sitting at the table, with plates of food in front of them. Conversation is flowing naturally, your children are happy and smiling, freely sharing the details of their school day.
For most parents, the movie-perfect dinnertime is a farfetched fantasy. Let’s be real: school, work, homework, sports, after school activities, and a million other commitments often interfere with the family eating together, much less having the time to converse during it! In fact, recent studies have shown that while 84% of parents agree that eating together is important, only about 50% of meals are actually eaten together as a family.
Finding ways in which to increase opportunities throughout the week in which the entire family can eat together may look like a complex jigsaw puzzle of scheduling- and that’s only part of the struggle!
Even if your family does not eat together as often as you’d like, think about the times in which you do. What does it look like? Are there conversations and eye contact or are all eyes and ears focused on phones, iPads, or the TV? Are there connections being made or is everyone retreating to their own worlds?
While you may want conversation and connection to happen amongst the family, it may not come as easy as you would like, especially after a long, hard day of school and work. The next time you find yourself around the dinner table struggling to prompt conversation, remember that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. [Read more…]