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A Family That Eats Together, Stays Together

By Melissa Gutierrez
Posted On Apr 16, 2016
A Family That Eats Together, Stays Together

Very rare are the times when families have the chance to gather around the table to enjoy a nice dinner together. Rather, one kid is upstairs doing homework, the other one is hanging at a friend’s house, and mom or dad are working late, again.

Times have changed and with it our priorities have shifted away from the dinner table. Who actually has  the time to prepare a home-cooked meal?

Still, I think there is certain magic that occurs over a family dinner. Familial bonds are created and reinforced, the floor is open for discussion, playful banter increases the familiarity, and parents and children have the chance to catch-up.

Moreover, regular meals serve as an easily measured proxy for one of the longest-standing and sturdiest determinants of adolescent well-being.

How?

According to the New York Times, in the early 1970s , psychologist , Diana Baumrind identified two essential components for parenting: structure and warmth. Authoritative parents bring both- they hold high standards of behavior for their children while being lovingly engaged with them.

A Family That Eats Together, Stays Together
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Getting adolescents to partake at the table for dinner requires a surprising amount of structure. In fact, a report shows a decline in the number of adolescents who eat dinner with their family .

Dinner time can serve as more structured  opportunities where  parents can inquire about their children’s grades, extracurricular activities, and friends. Planned meals simultaneously require parents’ warmth by prioritizing their families over busy schedules.

There are plenty of ways to bring warmth and structure to the family and planned meals are just one way. If schedules make family dinners impossible, than breakfast is another viable option.

Either way, I say we keep eating and keep bonding.