A SIMPLE RECIPE TO IMPROVE YOUR FAMILY LIFE
What could be simpler than eating together?
Everybody is running all the time, hurrying everywhere, cell phones invade our lives…and we end up disconnected and distant. That is why eating together is so important!
Investigations indicate that children that spend more time eating with their parents reduce their tendency to drink, to smoke, to do drugs, to get pregnant, commit suicide and have food disorders, as Bruce Feiler writes. Other studies indicate that people that eat together have a better vocabulary, better manners and better self-esteem. The University of Michigan studies discovered that the single factor that better predicts academic achievement and diminished behavioral problems is… eating together at home. The time eating together has the greatest influence concerning education, sports, and religious activities. When there is order and family time, a psychologist writes, respiratory illnesses diminish, health in general improves, and children have better grades.
Wow! This sounds so simple, but hard to appreciate.
These family times, even if they are routines, can be opportunities. These routines can become rituals that increase mental and physical wellbeing. This ritual of eating together regularly needs to be valued and cared for what it is: an opportunity of dialogue, conversation and connection between family members.
Basic advice for taking advantage of these meals together:
Give it the due importance it deserves, even with a simple meal. Everybody can help out at this time, preparing the table, serving the food, washing up.
Turn off the television and the cell phones.
Communicate that the time of eating together is for enjoyment, and is not the moment to argue or complain one of another. (That should be scheduled at another time).
Establish rules as no interrupting, paying attention, and “improving the silence” with good questions and interesting conversation. This is the moment to talk about experiences, projects, and relevant subjects: the time when parents can educate, teach and communicate values and affection.
Studies indicate that when people eat with others, they eat healthier; when people eat alone, they tend to eat more junk food and overeat. (Children are getting heavier, and one of the reasons is the lack of attention and care of adults, which raises the probabilities of health issues in their present and future).
Quality family time is the answer to many of the problems children are facing. Quality family time will improve the conversation and diminish stress and tension.
Let’s make our meal times an unforgettable and productive experience for all the family.