Parenting is one of the most rewarding jobs, but we know that raising kids is tough. Every day feels like a circus as you juggle piled dishes, the kids' demands, work responsibilities and finding a rare moment to yourself. There is an easier way - and it only takes 15 minutes a day! Share a meal with your family at least three days a week.
If you're already feeling overwhelmed, don't fret. When we give our family our full attention, if even just for a short time, they leave feeling valued and, consequently, demand it less. What's more, it has a tremendous benefit to your child's mental and physical health - and research validates it! Children who eat regular meals with their family are more successful in school, have better social skills, and have a lower risk of depression and obesity.*
The key here isn't in preparing a gourmet meal, it's in the interpersonal connections shared. Here are some easy ways to plan regular family meals in your home:
Start out small! Pick 1-2 nights a week that are less hectic (such as Fridays and Sundays)
Family mealtime is one of the best predictors for a healthy and happy future for your child. When you give your child the safe, stable and nurturing relationship they crave (and need!), it frees up your time to take a much-needed breather. So give it a try next week - and let us know how it goes!
Prepared by The Family Tree, Maryland’s leading child abuse and neglect prevention organization, providing the education and support parents need to raise healthy, productive children.
*Fishel, Anne (2015, January 12). The most important thing you can do with your kids? Eat dinner with them. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/01/12/the-most-important-thing-you-can-do-with-your-kids-eat-dinner-with-them