Growing up my family very rarely sat down to a meal at the table. My mom was a single mother, who often worked odd shifts. That meant we were with relatives or sitters. Meal times were never something we sat down to and enjoyed together unless it was a holiday.
When I started dating my husband, his family made it a point to sit down at the table each evening to have dinner together. To them this was nothing out of the ordinary. It was just something they did. Each Sunday they would gather at his grandmother’s home and have lunch. Even with the house full of people we mostly sat around the table to eat. As we married and started our own family we knew that sitting down at the table to have a meal was very important to us.
5 Reasons to Have Family Meals
- Catch Up: Not to be confused with ketchup, though that could be at your meal each time you sit down. Family meals are a great way to sit down at the end of a long day and catch up with one another. Learn how your spouses day at work went. Share how the school day unfolded. Find out if there are any events that are upcoming that everyone should attend and plan how you will make it work.
- Conversation: This is the best time of day to have a conversation. Everyone has settled from their schedules of the day. Take this time to ask what was the best part of the day for each person at the table. Also, ask what was the worst part of their day. You will learn so much about your family in this short amount of time just from these simple questions.
- Family Prayer: What better time to pray as a family than when you are going to break bread together? Use this time to ask each other how you can pray for one another. Teach younger children how to lead the family in prayer. Spend a short amount of time in The Word, if you would like. This is a great tool for being one in the body of Christ, as a family.
- Checking In not Out: It truly breaks my heart when some families of teens do not know where their children are in the evenings. Spending a meal time together around the table is a great way to check in with your children and know what their plans are for the week. It shows them that you are invested in their lives and their future. It teaches them to be responsible in letting you know what is going on with them. When they have their friends over, don’t skip meal time. Invite their friends to your table and get to know them. Include them in on your routine at meal time. Maybe this could be a pivotal moment for them in their life? Maybe their friends have never sat down to a family meal.
- Tradition: Starting family meals with your children when they are young will set in place a tradition that they will cling to as they grow. I know it did for my husband.
This is also a great way to keep tabs on what your children eat. Your children will be less likely to be picky about something if the entire family is eating it. Therefore creating healthier children!
Don’t get me wrong, my family enjoys a movie night in front of the tv every now and then, though it is rare. We take this time to instill manners into our children. We have taught them how to propperly set the table. We have taught them basics of table etiquette.
Statistics show that families who share in regular meal times have children who regularly sit down to family meals are far less likely to use drugs and alcohol than those who didn’t. It also shows that their parents suffer less from stress and depression. Those 3 reasons alone are worth it for me!
Looking for more fun Family Night Ideas? Check out these below! Keep going to find our Family Fun GIVEAWAY!!!
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God Is Faithful Board Book (Learn about God Board Books) ~ Christian Focus 4 Kids – $3.99
The Big Book of Animal Devotions: 250 Daily Readings About God’s Amazing Creation ~ Bethany House – $13.68
Heroes in Black History: True Stories from the Lives of Christian Heroes ~ Bethany House, $12.91
Two Fat Camels: The Story of Two Rich Men from Luke 18-19 ~ Christian Focus 4 Kids – $7.99
Lottie Moon: What do you need? (Little Lights) ~ Christian Focus 4 Kids – $7.99
The Hiding Place ~ Bethany House – $7.58
Golden Filly Collection 1 ~ Bethany House – $14.40
Growing Up God’s Way for Boys ~ EP Books – $12.05
Growing Up God’s Way for Girls ~ EP Books – $12.05
Wielding the Sword: Preachers and Teachers of God’s Word (Biography) ~ Christian Focus 4 Kids – $8.49
Girolamo Savonarola (Bitesize Biographies) ~ EP Books – $10.99
George Muller: Bitesize Biography (Bitesize Biographies) ~ EP Books – $10.99
Peril and Peace: Chronicles of the Ancient Church (History Lives series) ~ Christian Focus 4 Kids – $9.99
Jesus Freaks: Martyrs: Stories of Those Who Stood for Jesus: The Ultimate Jesus Freaks ~ Bethany House, $13.68
Apples to Apples Party Box – The Game of Crazy Combinations (Family Edition) ~ by Mattel, $27.78
Table Talk: Family Dinner Conversation Starters Cards ~ My Joy-Filled Life, $2.99
Amazon Gift Card ~ Amazon.com, $50.00