When I was a child, the only time of the day, when the whole of my family got together to ‘eat’ was at night, because mornings used to be full of a hurry to rush to the school. Afternoons, would see Dad at the office and just me and my sis with my Mom at the lunch table. It was only at night that all four of us used to be present in the house for a meal together and thanks to my Mom, she made sure we all had our dinner together at the ‘dining table’.
Today, after having grown up to be a Mom myself, not a single memory of those dining table times has fainted for me. I really cherish those moments and also know for a fact now that those dinners at that dining table were real relationship strengtheners for the whole family for sure.
Here’s why you too should encourage your kids and the whole family to eat at least one meal together at the dining table, every day without fail.
- As I just mentioned, eating together as a family at the dining table helps strengthens bonds between the members of the family. You get to share the happenings of your day and you also give a chance to your kids to speak up their minds in front of the whole family.
- Kids get into the habit of not watching TV or playing games while eating and they begin to form a habit of sitting at the dining table and eating properly.
- When children see their parents eat unpleasant yet healthy food items like karela (bitter gourd) or see them finish up every single bite on their plate; they too subconsciously absorb the message that even they’re supposed to follow suit.
- Studies have shown that kids that have meals with their family are likely to grow up into matured and more emotionally balanced individuals and are also less likely to get depressed.
- Kids eat properly (I mean, a mom’s definition of eating ‘properly’) if they are at the dining table with you and your husband as compared to when they eat out or eat alone in their room etc.
- Time at the dining table is also an opportunity to teach your kids everything about table manners, meal etiquette, and related social skills, which you don’t otherwise get a chance to teach.
- Eating at the dining table is also like a team activity and helps your kid learn a lot.
For example, if you ask your kids to help you set up the table, fill up the water glasses or help you clear the table after everyone’s done, then this gives your children a feel of all the pains you have to take to put up a meal together for the family and they also learn the how-to of setting up the dining table.
- At the dining table, you easily prevent your child from developing eating disorders or from forming wrong or bad habits. For instance, eating too much, eating too less, drinking a lot of water in between meals, not eating salads and soups before the main course etc.
- The dining table is the place where you inculcate in your kid, the habit of praying to God before beginning to eat. This is a habit that gets formed for a lifetime and praying together as a family gives a lot of mental strength to the kids and to you as a mom, as well.
- Family time at the dinner table also gives a message to your child that everything in the family happens in routine. This makes the child more stable and confident and helps her become a more disciplined individual.