Family is teamwork and trust. But at what point in the course of the day— in the midst of school, work, athletics, cheer-leading, church activities, etc, and everyone going in eighty-three different directions— is that nurtured and developed?
We are (as you can see) a BIG family. I lovingly refer to our combined lives as “FAM-O-RAMA”! We were a big family before we added spouses and children. Five siblings, close in age, involved in every different thing we could find to do, made for a busy, busy life while we were growing up.
Looking back, all five of us agree that the time we had, jammed around the table, shoulder-to-shoulder and eye-to-eye, was the key to our parent’s intentionality and our connection to each other. To this day, we feel that bond and rely on the trust and teamwork we share.
So many memories we share are from dinnertime… So many conflicts were resolved as we washed dishes together afterward… So many stories were told and lessons learned at that old, oak table… So many deeper truths were gleaned from our parents in that hour.
Now we carry the conviction of the critical nature of dinnertime around a home-cooked meal with us as we are connecting to our own busy kids around our own tables. It has been out of that life lesson, as well as the invaluable example our Mother set in the kitchen for consistently budgeted menu planning and “good cookin’,” that inspired Jane and Jenny to develop E-Mealz in the first place.
Today is National Family Day, originally declared as an official day of observance and annual celebration by President Bush, specifically to inspire the nation to eat dinner at home with the kids for at least one day!
The research from Columbia University that inspired the recognition of the issue, found that teens having family dinners five or more times a week were 42 percent less likely to drink alcohol, 59 percent less likely to smoke cigarettes and 66 percent less likely to try marijuana.
The survey also found that frequent family dinners directly linked to school performance, with teens 40 percent more likely to get A’s and B’s. Those are very significant facts to absorb as a parent since dinnertime is so easy to sweep under the lifestyle-of-chaos rug!
We know that Monday may not be the best night for every family to have dinner together. So in order to enable and encourage everyone to easily set aside one night out of this week to have a special dinner, we created a free (and delicious) special Family Night menu that can be downloaded from the left navigation of our site. Just pick a dedicated night for dinner at home with your family, and make it happen! You can even involve everyone in the shopping, cooking and cleaning!
We have also expanded on National Family Day to create E-Mealz Family Week for this entire week. Pick the best night to enjoy our easy and economical dinner menu with your family, and then go to our Family Week page to find free activities, recipes and ideas to make this an extra special week for your kids. We would also love to hear your feedback and ideas, so join us this week on Facebook and Twitter (#familyweek), share your stories and join in the fun!