NOTE: This article is from April 2012.
True Confessions: We did not eat together as a family ALL week!
Monday – Sharon had an event at church. I hung out with kiddos.
Tuesday: Soccer practice and I went to shoot my bow.
Wednesday: No idea what we did! Yes I do realize that was just last night!
Thursday: Sharon went out. The kids and I watched a movie together while eating in front of the TV.
Friday: Has not happened but I can tell you we will not eat together as family due to schedules.
Saturday: Come hell or high-water (which we might get) we WILL eat together at our dinner table!!!
NOTE: Usually it is me that is the one at fault for being gone. Sharon just happened to be the victim this week.
INSANITY! Let me share some stats with you. In 2003, only 28% of families at dinner together 7 nights a week, this was down from 37% in 1997. (Read full study here)
But it gets worse, students who have two or fewer meals together are 3x more likely to smoke marijuana, 2.5x more likely to smoke cigarettes and 1.5x more like to start consuming alcohol. (Read more here)
So what is stopping us from spending time together as a family? We are busy! Busy with stuff and activities. I know families that kids have so many activities going that the parents are rarely at their kids events together because they have some many different activities going at the same time. But being busy is an excuse, we as the parents need to prioritize what is important. If we do not set the example for our children who will?
And let’s not get me started on kids and over-competitive sports! Kids in junior-high do NOT need to be on a traveling sports team! Take a look at this article from US News in reference to the total number of sports scholarships available in the US (less than 140K!).
But let me get back down from the soap box. Bottom line, is families need to spend time eating together! At least 4 times a week if not more. What is more important? The game, the event, the activity or the family?
This is the time to have family conversations and time for parents to talk with their children about their day. To share stories, laugh together and just enjoy being together. Family time is absolutely critical and what better time than to sit down and enjoy a meal together.
As for me and my house, we WILL eat together!
For further reading check out these links:
Family Meal Time
8 Reason to Make Time For Dinner
The Magic of the Family Meal