We all need encouragement to make dinner time a priority. Myself included!
Sometimes in my household we (or I) fall off the wagon and I have to get us back on track and reinstate the family table. I get tired, tired of cooking, cleaning, being on my feet, and I just want to pass out crackers. I have to remind myself that, yes, we need to eat food, but more importantly, it is valuable time for my family that we won’t get otherwise.
Having that predictable gathering, eye-to-eye connecting place over a meal is nurturing to my kids individually, but also strengthens my family as a whole. It IS worth the sacrifice I make, the energy I spend, and the determination I muster to make dinner happen anyway.
You may be a parent that needs the incentive to inaugurate dinner as a new and regular occurrence for the first time. Do it! Take the advice from those who did grow up with family dinner – it makes a huge difference. I know it did for me. Redefine dinner as an investment in your family instead of a painful inconvenience, or a June Cleaver outdated idea. And don’t make it so hard! An E-mealz menu will give you the easy jumpstart you need.
No matter what the situation, every time you make family time happen around the dinner table it will be a bite-size deposit that will go into the reservoir of love and connection needed by each of your children. I assure you with many other resounding voices from our E-mealz community, it will be one of the best tools and worthwhile habits you’ll ever enforce.
Even on the not-so-best-of-nights, when the conversation is flat, or everyone is mute, grumpy, rushed and stressed. Even when all you have to serve is leftovers and the kids are complaining, it’s worth it. Even when one of the kids gets in trouble and is sent to their room (door slam) while the rest of the family finishes eating, it’s worth it.
If I waited for the perfect night or for all the stars to line up just right, dinner would never happen. If I waited for that effervescent feeling to rush over me every night at 5 o’clock to waltz into the kitchen to start cooking, uh, we would starve.
Don’t let the days turn to years. Do it now. Keep doing it. Don’t lose heart.
Rally your family, regularly, for dinner – at home. You don’t need candles or cloth napkins. Just you, your table, and a simple meal. It’s a date and a family waiting to happen.