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Family Dinner

Family Dinner

Last week Robert came across an article by Laurie David and Grace R. Freedman, Ph.D., for the Huffington Post. It explored a possible link between childhood obesity and the near absence of the traditional family dinner. With most parents working outside the home these days, families have complicated, busy schedules, so more and more kids are eating on the go – fast meals with little nutritional value. David and Freedman write, “Regular, routine meals add structure to a child’s day (and to that of the parents), and from this structure stems a myriad of health and social benefits, including better relationships with peers and adults, better grades at school, and less likelihood of using drugs, alcohol or cigarettes… Children (and adults) who have regular mealtimes, with the television turned off and conversation turned on, are also far less likely to be overweight, less likely to have eating disorders, and are more likely to eat more fruits and vegetables than are those who eat alone or on the run.” (Read the full article here…)

This got us thinking about the incredible value of a routine family dinner for families in transition. If a routine family dinner can help kids and parents develop healthier eating habits and better social skills, then it must be of paramount importance for a family experiencing a breakup to adopt this simple ritual. Children of divorcing parents are often frightened and confused. Even when they say they’re fine, they’re unsure of their future, uncomfortable with changes they have no control over, and sorely in need of comfort and consistency from both parents. What better way to grant them that than for you (during your custodial time) to sit down with them over dinner and talk about their day, the best parts, the worst parts, and everything in between? It’s a no-frills idea that could have a hugely positive impact on your relationship with your children, while at the same time helping them (and yourself) heal from the divorce.

 

Best wishes,
Ron Supancic CFLS