With Thanksgiving upon us, food becomes a frequent topic of discussion. What should you make? How long do you bake the turkey again? What is Aunt Ruth’s favorite pie? Regardless of what is made, the time together giving thanks and talking amongst each other as a family is an important time for many and can result in lasting memories.
Family Dinners Aren’t Just for Thanksgiving
Research shows that finding time in the hectic school/work week for regular family dinners can have some rewarding benefits. In fact, there is a direct link between the frequency of family dinners and the quality of a child-parent relationship. The study found that compared to teens who have infrequent family dinners, teens who have frequent family dinners are:
- One-and-a-half times more likely to say their parents know a great deal or a fair amount about what’s really going on in their lives.
- Five times less likely to say their parents know very little or nothing at all about what’s really going on in their lives.
- Almost one-and-a-half times likelier to say they have an excellent relationship with their mother.
- One-and-a-half times likelier to say they have an excellent relationship with their father.
It is important to set the precedent early in life with younger children, so that traditions and expectations are established by the time the teen years are reached. So start having family dinners as soon as you can as parents. And make sure to put those smart phones and tablets down! Your children are so much more important than whatever is happening online.
As you look around the table this Thanksgiving, take notice of the smiles and conversation happening and think about trying to have a smaller scale version of that dinner more frequently. It could be better for the whole family.