The Importance of Family Mealtimes
In the lives of today's busy families, it may seem hard to make time for a family mealtime. However, the effort is well worth the return. When families eat together, it offers parents and siblings several benefits.
- Parents have an opportunity to listen to their children, and stay more in-tuned to what's going on in their lives. Consider playing high-low. Each person gets a chance – uninterrupted - to share the high of the day and the low of the day. Then offer the highs up to God in thanksgiving. Offer the lows too, trusting that God takes our suffering and turns it into something good.
- The traditions of family meals have existed since Genesis. Mealtime can be a perfect opportunity for parents to share about Catholic and cultural traditions.
- Regular family mealtimes help establish a sense of family unity and safety. Mealtimes are rare occasions to just visit. There must be a pact that everyone may share without judgment. The family table is no place for conflict.
- It has been shown that regular family mealtimes can also help increase children's language development and literacy. Communication is key to success.
- Regular family mealtimes improve parent-child relationships and decreases the chances that teens will use drugs. Teens need to feel connected. Family connections keep adolescents from seeking unhealthy approval elsewhere.
- Teens who had five family dinners at least five times a week are one and a half times more likely to report that their parents know "a great deal or fair amount" about what's going on in their lives. Parental knowledge about their child's life and quality parent-child relationships are key factors in raising confident children who grow to be competent adults.
Take it from Jesus and the Holy Family, having family mealtimes is important. Enjoy cooking, visiting, and praying together on a regular basis so that your family stays faithful and healthy. Don’t forget to PRAY for thanksgiving and blessings.
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