We instinctively know that having a meal together every day as a family is a good thing. Now statistics have proven that children who dine with the family are healthier, happier and more successful in school; that the more regularly a family eats together, the less likely the kids are to engage in risky behaviors.
The family dinner anchors a family in a way that nothing else can. Sitting around the same table, eating the same food, is a way for parents and kids to get to know each other and develop deeper relationships—something harder to accomplish when everyone eats in separate spaces.
Whether it’s an elaborate meal or a simple one prepared in minutes after a long workday—or even takeout—if your goal is to show that the family dinner is special, you might wish to make it an “unplugged” event and avoid watching television or using phones or computers.
Though the family dinner table is the place where children learn table manners, these must be gentle lessons, taught more by example than lectures. The dinner hour is a time for pleasant conversation, not for arguments and scolding. Make it enjoyable, and it will become a cherished family tradition.