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It’s Dinner Time: Put Down the Remote

Kimberlee Leonard

Posted on June 18, 2018 14:35

2 users

Dinner in front of the TV can seem like quality family time as the kids laugh and you get to relax while enjoying your meal. Don’t be lured by this habit. The good stuff is at the dinner table.

I’m guilty of it. Sitting down at the coffee table with my son and having dinner while watching TV. It’s so easy to think that you are spending quality time with your family because you are having a meal together and enjoying your favorite shows or movies. But let’s be real, you aren't.

It seems that we live in a culture where multi-tasking is not just a cool ability to have but a necessity for life. For parents, this is prevalent in every aspect of parenting. It isn’t uncommon for parents to be on the phone wrapping up a business call while their kids are wrapping up soccer practice. By the time families get home, it can seem like a miracle to actually have time to make a meal rather than pick something up on the way home. 

Sitting at a dinner table is a great opportunity to connect with your children and help them build lasting habits when it comes to food and communication. I realized my misstep with my son one evening when I took him out to dinner because I didn’t feel like cooking. A conversation started and didn’t take a pause until the dinner came. Then it continued, though a little slower. 

I remembered my childhood family dinners. We had dinner at my grandparents’ house every night after my mom was done with work. Everyone had their spot at the table and a chore to do whether it was setting the table, making the rice or getting the condiments. Conversations ranged from what happened during the day to politics and global issues. We didn’t always agree, yet at the end of dinner, everyone was still part of a loving, loyal family.

The time constraints on today’s parent are all-consuming. But when I committed to planning out weekly meals and setting the time to make dinner, our household became healthier. When I say healthier, it isn’t just because we're eating better food with more balance, less fat and removing all the preservatives. We are healthier because we talk about things.

It can seem awkward at times to sit next to your teen, who's hovering over his plate inhaling food, at times without a word to say. But with a few prompts and time, suddenly you hear about his insights about what he learned in history, experienced with a classmate or saw on his way home. 

It opens the door for conversations about problems, and for a single mom of a teenage boy, this is critical to keep him on track toward success. Our kids are insightful and have a lot of questions. There’s no better time than dinner to talk about all of it.

Kimberlee Leonard

Posted on June 18, 2018 14:35

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Blended families are tough, man. ‍ I met my husband in 2013 and married him in 2016. We both came into the relationship...

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