What’s getting more rare than the giant pandas of China? It’s the sit down family mealtime together. In today’s high speed world of cellular phones, dot coms and busy schedules, sitting down together at mealtime, unrushed in each other’s company can be quite a challenge. Here is a list of ten things you can do to make family mealtime quality time.
Everyone has different schedules, but I’m sure there is at least one meal, breakfast, lunch or dinner, where everyone in your family can sit down together. The week features on average 21 meals.
The odds are that at least one out of those twenty-one can be spent together.
I remember an especially busy traveling period my husband went through. The only meal we really all enjoyed together was Saturday morning breakfast every two weeks. The kids remember these times because we made them special. So instead of dwelling on the twenty meals we did not share, we dwelt on the one we did share.
1-Do not answer the phone (let the answering machine take the calls)
2-If possible have everyone involved in some aspect of the meal preparation and setting of the table.
3-Everyone should sit together until the last one finishes eating.
4-Take a moment to give thanks.
5-Thank the cook and assistants for their efforts
6-Make clearing the table, and cleaning the dishes just as much fun an event
7-Have everyone take turns sharing at least one thing of importance to them.
8-Look and listen, be attentive to others
9-Keep loaded discussions for special meetings time.
10-Keep to positive comments about each member.
If this is new to your family, don’t expect a scene from the “Waltons” right away. Some relationships may be undergoing a testing period. So if your teenager thinks this is a dorky idea at first, persevere, they’ll come around. Even if they seem not to enjoy it at first, they will learn to like it. Especially if they get to share about something they hold dear.
We like to hold hands and say grace before our meals. That creates a loving and thankful atmosphere. Make meal times a stress free time.