Maybe you don’t really understand why it’s important to eat together as a family. What’s the big deal anyway? So, what if we eat fast food four to five nights a week. I’m tired and too busy to bother cooking and we just like going out.
- It’s Fun — The truth is eating together as a family on a regular basis is fun and something to look forward to. Most kids love to eat with their family when they’re young. Even teenagers like it if they’re used to it. If your kids aren’t used to it they may not think it’s fun at first, but if you work to make it pleasurable they’ll love it and even want their friends to come.
- Kids Get Better Grades – Some studies show that a child who eats dinner with their family at their family table each night is 40 percent more likely to get A’s and B’s than children who don’t. This is a huge difference that should be noted. If you can help improve your child’s grades with this very simple act, why not?
- Builds Good Communication Skills – Talking to and with and in front of your children is the best way to teach them good commutation skills. Kids learn by watching you and copying you. If they never observe you talking to your spouse, the other kids, or anyone else how can they learn?
- Teaches Self-Confidence – Kids who eat with their family more tend to have higher self-image and more confidence than kids who don’t. It might seem like being involved in activities would accomplish that, but the truth is most activities are very competitive which can be hard on the confidence.
- Informs Kids About Good Health – Showing kids what constitutes a good diet is the best way to ensure their good health now and in the future. This will not only affect them now but will affect them in the future. Of course, you need to practice good nutrition and cook food that is healthy.
- Saves Lives – Children who are close with their parents and siblings are less likely to suffer from major depression and even if they do, they’re less likely to have thoughts of suicide or act on the thoughts if they have them. Mostly because they feel important and loved.
- Less Chance Child Will Do Drugs – When children are connected to parents, siblings, and parents know what their child is doing and looking like each day at dinnertime, they’re so much more likely to avoid using drugs and alcohol.
- Bonds the Family Together – When families spend more time together naturally they become more bonded. More bonded families tend to stick together, and marriages last even longer. Of course, this also requires that everyone participate in the preparation and clean up of the meals so one person isn’t tasked with everything.
- Saves Money – All those after school activities cost money beyond the cost of the activity. It’s gas, it’s fast food, it’s equipment and it all ads up. Since there is really very little pay off for being overscheduled it’s not a good use of your money.
If you really want to have a strong family bond, healthy and happy kids, consider cutting down on afterschool activities and spend more time together eating at home and having plenty of family time together.