The Benefits of eating Dinner at the Table
A couple years ago, at a women conference I go every year my pastor's wife spoke about the benefit of eating dinner at the table as a family.
It was a life changing lesson. I became so interested I started to read up on it. I have two little girls I need all the help I can get!
In my research
A random nationwide survey by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University found a recent rise in the number of children ages 12 to 17 who said they ate dinner with their families at least five times a week, to 58 percent last year from 47 percent in 1998.
“There’s definitely an awareness that was not there a few years ago,” said Miriam Weinstein, author of “The Surprising Power of Family Meals: How Eating Together Makes Us Smarter, Stronger, Healthier, and Happier"
Families that do have dinner together often are families whose parents are fully engaged with their kids.
Social scientists have been praising the benefits of family dinners for years. A number of studies show that children who eat dinner with their families regularly are less likely to get involved with drugs and alcohol than those who do not. They also tend to get better grades, exhibit less stress and eat better.
The study by the Columbia center showed that compared with teenagers who have five or more family dinners a week, those who have two or less are three times as likely to try marijuana, two and half times as likely to smoke cigarettes and one and half times as likely to try alcohol.
Growing up we always eat dinner together as a family, not necessarily at the table but we would all eat at the same time. It was fun, for some of us, I said some of us because one of the perks or downside of this togetherness we were all in each others business. When it was your bizwack being laid out it may not be all that fun for you but still a good laugh.
I never forget the first time a boy wrote me a love letter, I tried to hide because I was embarrassed! not sure why? but I was.
Unfortunately one of my cousins found it and right in the middle of dinner with everybody there, he step on a chair and start reading it. Everybody was going oooh and aaahh! I remember being so mad I took it out of the poor little boy who wrote me and told him it was his fault! part of it sucks but it did create a sense of accountability toward each other. If anyone was thinking about doing something naughty you’d think twice about it cause you already know its going to be dinner talk subject.
It also teach us teamwork, if we’d learn that one of us is in trouble we would all pitch in. It is like that in my family till today. We were at my sister' in New york over the summer boy I gotta say it has not change!
So I got to say I kinda of agree with this study, dinner time is happy time, people talk, kids talk, it's a great time to bond, share and know what is going on in your kids life.
When you in the know, you are better equipped to guide and assist them.
I say YAY for family dinners!
Although sitting at the table as a FAMILY can be a daunting task with my hectic schedule, we still manage to do a few times a time weeks.
What’s your family dinners memories? do you think eating dinner or not with your family make you a better person today (or not)? SHARE!
Do you eat dinner with your family often? how do you manage with the busy-ness of life?
PS: The statistics of the research was published in a NY times article