The importance of family meals

Day 1: Try to eat one meal together as a family every day.

Turn the TV off and don’t answer the phone. Make this your family time and use it to communicate with all family members.

use family meals to strengthen family bonds

Why it is important to have family meals and how to make the most of this family time

Studies show that eating together as a family on a regular basis reduces the likelihood that your child will do drugs, develop an eating disorder or feel depressed.

If your schedule is hectic then set a time as late as possible. If need be you can change your child’s daily routine to make dinner a little later. And no, this does not mean that your children should go to bed later than they do or should so that you or your spouse can work late.

If dinner doesn’t work you could always try breakfast? Mornings are usually very hectic and rushed but you could all get up 20 minutes earlier to eat breakfast together if dinner or lunch won’t work. Getting your kids to eat breakfast in the morning is a great habit to adopt anyway.

Most of you are probably saying who has time for breakfast in the morning. I want to clarify that I am not referring to those breakfasts that you see families eat on TV. When their kids wake up the parents are all dressed and ready looking like movie stars. That is because they are movie stars. They look refreshed and awake. That is because it is not really early morning. There is a three course meal on the table with pancakes, sausages, eggs, fresh juice, etc. They didn’t really make it. It was made for them for the show. Also, nobody just remembers they have a test that day, didn’t prepare homework or can’t find their sneakers. Basically, real life is slightly different so lower your expectations accordingly.

Dinner is obviously the better choice if the family is all at home since the atmosphere will be more laid back and relaxed. You will have time to chat and touch base. Only try breakfast if you can’t do the family meal in the evening or afternoon or in addition to another meal.

This is day 1 of the series: How to be a better parent in 18 days. Not signed up yet?

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