If there is one thing you can do as a family to make a difference in your children’s lives, it is to have family dinners together. More studies are being reported that cite the value to children in gathering each day around the family dinner table, connecting with one’s family, and feeling like one belongs. The latest studies show that the one factor that differentiated National Merit Scholars from other students was that more of the scholars experienced family dinners than did the other students.
In our busy rush-rush culture, while we’re all taking our children everywhere to get those special lessons or when we’re exhausted from our day at work and we’re hurrying our children into the car, we need to become aware that the simple family dinner gives our children the most bang for the buck. And there’s a value in it for us, too. We’ll find that as our children transform into adolescents, they will be 20% less likely to smoke and use drugs.
Then when they’re grown up and you have an empty nest, you’ll have those fun memories of your family together spilling milk on the tablecloth, dropping food to the dog, setting and clearing the table with only a few broken dishes. And oh, yes, in looking back to the days when they still lived with you, you’ll remember how much you enjoyed exchanging ideas with your growing children at your table. Make nightly family dinners a priority in your lives.
Director/Elementary 1 Teacher