The expression most commonly used is ……stays together, yet it means much more than that. Today, family life is busier than ever. Even with summertime schedules parents are still getting children to and from activities: swim team, ball games, babysitters, camp, etc. The down days of summer are not always as carefree as we want.
It is well documented that families that spend time together tend to have stronger connections and meal times can be a good time to do this. Below is an excerpt from an article from a family education website, offering some tips and support for the importance of doing what you can, when you can, to keep the conversation going.
Why Eat Together?
Family meals are much more than a time for children to sit at the same table with siblings and parents. Children crave ritual and family meals are a part of a routine they can count on and take comfort in. Mealtimes may be one of the only parts of the day when children get to talk with their parents without a lot of other distractions, including the television, cell phones, texts, games and homework. In fact, research shows dinner conversation boosts a child’s vocabulary, which could translate into improved academic performance down the line. Lingering at the table to talk allows you to catch up on what’s happening with your children. Go around the table and encourage each child to tell the rest of the family about his/her day.
Breaking bread with your children allows them to model your behavior, which is necessary for instilling good manners. Eating together offers children the chance to see their parents eat a variety of foods, too.
It’s not always possible for all family members to be together at every meal. Don’t worry about not being there all the time. Experts say that while eating family meals together fosters closeness and development, time spent together is what really matters.