Everyday Family Rituals: Eat Family Dinner

Are these posts getting a little preachy? Well, too damn bad. This crap’s good for you and your family, so suck it up buttercup.

This week’s edition of Everyday Family Values is important. Most of the kids around the country are back in school now, and it can be hard to continue the traditions you started to establish during the summer. For instance, we now have volleyball, softball, baseball, and a baby to deal with, and we’re not always able to take a walk together anymore. But there’s one family ritual we can tackle together almost every day: Eating a meal together.

Eating dinner together is something we strive for every night. Rather than spending money out for a shitty meal, we’d rather stay home and cook, sit around our own table, and enjoy each other’s company. Even if we have to run to a game or practice right after dinner, we take a few minutes to sit down and eat first, and it’s a fam-favorite. 

Why You Should Eat Family Dinners

Fellas, grab some meat out of the freezer, fire up your favorite pan, and get to work. Make sure the wife and kids belly up to the table. There are a lot of great reasons to eat a meal with your family, and we’ll go over them here. 

Everyone can pitch in

Family dinners can teach kids a lot about responsibility. Give everyone a job and let them know that the rest of the family is relying on them to do it. The kids can clean and set the table, bring food in from the kitchen, and just generally contribute. As kids get older, they can even start cooking. 

It’s healthier (and cheaper)

Almost anything made from whole foods and made from home will be healthier than anything you could buy out. Plus, eating out is expensive. Replacing a crappy fast food meal with homemade food teaches kids about the value of money as well as how to make healthier food choices.

It’s an opportunity to talk

Families often struggle when they stop communicating, but eating family dinner together can help keep those woes at bay. By sitting down around a table, everyone can discuss the type of day they each had. They can also share, ask questions, and generally get a feel for what the other people in the family are going through. 

It’s great for a stressful day

Had a day, did you? Sit down with your family and break bread. You’ll be able to put the woes of the day behind you when you hear your kids talking about their favorite teacher, the test they take, or the catch they made at practice. This stress management technique is a healthy way to relieve stress after a long day—much healthier than drinking or eating too much to ignore the stress.

You can check in with each other

Sometimes, people in the family are struggling with certain issues, whether at school, work, or internally.. By sitting down at a family dinner each night, you’ll notice when someone at the table is feeling a little off. It might not be the time or place to have a deep conversation, but you can check in after and make sure your wife or children are okay. 

You set an example

When children sit at the table with their mom and dad, you’re setting an example. Your actions show that the family is important to you, and kids soak this stuff up. They’ll know what a dad is supposed to be like at the table, and how everyone should treat and appreciate mom. 

Your Turn

Do you eat family dinner together with your family as much as possible? Are there benefits that I’m missing? Let me know in the comments below. And if you like this type of content, make sure to sign up for the TGA mailing list below. Sign up and check your email for a confirmation link.

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