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Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Dinner Bell

I'm a big fan of the family dinner. Everyone sitting around the table together, eating and talking, sharing favorite moments of the day. I love to tell stories to my kids during dinner, usually based on something they've mentioned. Sometimes we'll tell jokes or riddles. Sometimes I'll sing, but then I get kicked under the table from all sides. Rarely do we sit and eat in silence. And never do we eat apart.

But can this last into the teen years? Albuquerque Tribune columnist Steve Brewer doesn't think so. He's even invented a new word to describe the hectic dinner schedule of a family with busy kids.


Anonymous brettdl said...

Sadly, my work hours mean I rarely get home for dinner on time.

1:46 PM  
Blogger SplineGuy said...

We still prioritize the fammily dinner, but my oldest is only five. Didn't I read that there is a significant correlation between the family dinner and your kids turning out right.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Toni said...

Suppertime at our house was always a special family time. All three kids shared their days events and fought over the last piece of cake. Now they are grown and their kids are grown or almost grown, so you can see, this happened 25 years ago. It was an important family time and I can see now that times have really changed. It is sad. It is a happy memory for them, their father, and myself.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I think it can last into the teen years. For the most part, when I was a teenager we almost always had a family dinner. And if my dad wasn't able to be home for dinner, he would make it a point to stay up-(he worked 3rd shift)-when he got home from work and have breakfast with us before we went to school.

7:42 AM  
Anonymous the weirdgirl said...

I'm talking way ahead of myself here, since my son isn't even one yet, but I think family dinners can last into the teen years. Personally, I'm going to try to teach my kids good "work/life balance". I just don't believe in overloading kids too much on activities; they need down-time too. I also want to leave my door open. When I was a teenager I had a lot of friends who would "drop by" right around dinner time and my parents always let them stay. These were usually the kids who were having problems at home. But as well as fostering good communication, I think if you make your kids' friends welcome, you own kids may not be so quick to run off. I guess that makes dinner time more "extended family" than experts intend, but I know that my friends who came for dinner appreciated it and I appreciated that they were made welcome.

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While different studies have shown a correlation between consistant family dinners and a lower incidence of alcohol, cigarrette, and marijuana use in teens, the studies haven't shown a cause and effect relationship. Food doesn't fix kids. What makes the difference is the parental engagement with their children (that's why for families who sit in silence or watch t.v. while eating together have a significantly reduced benefit).

9:01 PM  

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