We’ve got a little family-related riddle for you. Can you guess what activity should go in the blank below?
Over three decades of research have shown that __________ offers a wide variety of physical, social-emotional and academic benefits. While some of these benefits can be gained through other activities, __________ is the only single activity that is known to provide all of them at the same time.
Only about 30% of families do this activity.
The answer is… regular family meals
In the busyness of parenting, activities, car pool, grumpy teens, homework, working, household tasks… the list goes on, family meals often feel like a “nice to have.” They can fall pretty far down on the list of priorities.
Maybe this comes naturally to your family. Or maybe it takes a lot of effort to get everyone present and around the table. Wherever you are on the scale, is there a way you can implement family meals into your routine if you’re not already?
Kerry here! In our family, we used to have “Takeout Tuesdays.” We rarely ordered takeout, so this was a special treat for the kids AND it created a consistent, weekly time for a family meal. Whenever we could, we tried to make family dinners happen the other days of the week. But if all else failed, we at least had our trusty Takeout Tuesdays.
Palmer here! There are also ways to get creative with family dinners. My wife’s family lives all over the country and so it is very rare that they are all together in person to enjoy a family meal. However, for 3 years, they have consistently done “Zoom dinners” on Wednesday nights. They all make or order their dinner and hop on an hour Zoom call to share about their weeks and enjoy a meal.
It doesn’t have to be a big, formal family dinner. It can be breakfast, lunch, ice cream, one on one with a kid, the whole family, pizza night, takeout, over zoom, a picnic at the park…
Get creative, be realistic and find consistency with what works for YOUR family. That’s what matters 🙂
What steps can you take to create more space for “time around the table” as a family?