You found the salmon rub on Pinterest. The potatoes are baked to the exact crispness with just a drizzle of Olive Oil and sea salt. The salad is tossed and the table is set. You are tired, but you’ve taken the effort and made your family a yummy dinner. But partner can’t be there, the teenagers have games or practice or homework or…, the tweens are playing that video game they hate to leave, everyone is acting as cranky as you feel. But you are determined to have a nice meal together.
Why do we even try to do this dinner thing…
Humor me by reading the quote:
“What if I told you that there was a magic bullet–something that would improve the quality of your daily life, your children’s chances of success in the world, your family’s health, our values as a society? Something that is inexpensive, simple to produce, and within the reach of pretty much everyone?
“Then, after you had me committed to the Asylum for the Incurable Optimistic, you might come and visit me from time to time. And while you were there, if you were lucky, I would invite you to join me and my fellow inmates for supper….
…research that’s been accumulating from very, very disparate fields..shows how eating ordinary, average everyday supper with your family is strongly linked to lower incidence of bad outcomes such as teenage drug and alcohol use, and to good qualities like emotional stability. It correlates with kindergartners being better prepared to learn to read. Regular family supper helps keep asthmatic kids out of hospitals. It discourages both obesity and eating disorders. It supports your staying more connected to your extended family, your ethnic heritage, your community of faith. It will help children and families to be more resilient, reacting positively to those curves and arrows that life throw our way, It will certainly keep you better nourished. The things we are likely to discuss at the supper table anchor our children more firmly in the world. …eating together teaches manners both trivial and momentous, putting you in touch with the deeper springs of human relations.
When families prepare meals together, kids learn real-life skills. They assume responsibilities, become better team members. Sharing family meals helps cement family relationships, no matter how you define family” (Weinstein. pg. 1-2).
Weinstein. M. (2005). The Surprising Power of the Family Meals. How eating Together Makes us Smarter, Stronger, Healthier, and Happier. Hanover, New Hampshire: Steerforth Press.
It may seem too hard. But insisting on having family supper together, no matter what your dinner is like, is not such a little thing after all. Hold strong it is accumulative and worth every moment.
Here is a few more tasty morsels from Weinstein’s introduction:
“I know that young children will wander away from the table, and that family life is never smooth, and that life itself is full, not only of charm and warmth and comfort, but of sorrow and tears. But whether we are happy or sad, we must be fed. Both happy and sad people can be cheered up by a nice meal. ” Laurie Colwin, Home Cooking
This daily moment is one of my passions for connective family living
The decision ultimately is all about the loving…
(More to come…)