Monday, October 25, 2021

Importance of Family Dinners


Dear Coach,

When my kids were growing up, our family had dinner together nearly every night. This special time seems to be lost for today’s families. I think my grandchildren are missing out on the benefits of this tradition. How can I encourage my adult children to get back on track and have dinner together once in a while?

Distressed About Dinner

Dear Distressed,

You’re right about the importance of family dinners. Anne Fishel, PhD, cofounder of Harvard’s Family Dinner Project says, “Research shows sharing a family meal is good for the spirit, the brain, and the health of all family members.” Let your adult children know that having family dinners is linked to lower rates of substance abuse, depression, higher grades, and better self-esteem for their kids.

Here are a few tips to help them get started:

1.  Start by making a commitment to eat at least one meal a week together. Find a mutual day and put it on everyone’s calendar.

2.  Keep the meals simple. Even healthy take-out is better than not eating as a family. A better alternative, however, is to encourage cooking as a family.

3.  Keep the mealtime joyful. This is not the time for grilling kids about homework or grades. Keep the conversation light but meaningful. Put the phones away!

The benefits accumulate over time. Encourage your kids to hang in there and they will soon be enjoying the results of family dinners.

As a retired Certified Personal/Professional Coach, I’m delighted to bring my years of life coaching experience to Coastal Breeze News readers. I’m currently writing a self-help book, “Mom’s Gone, Now What?” and invite you to follow me at More than mother loss, the blog addresses how to live a healthy, joy-filled life.

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