One in ten families never sits down to a meal together, and of those who do, one in five spend less than ten minutes at the table. Having been made to sit around the table and chat every night for dinner when I was a kid, my own kids are asked (okay forced) to do the same every day. Which is why I am a firm believer in the saying, ‘Families who eat together, stay together’.
Personally having a meal with my kids is something that I love despite the fighting and the arguing (between them) and the general whining about what I have cooked. It’s something that I believe is good for them and good for us as a family. Not only does it make them eat properly, but also teaches them good manners and says the research, helps to keep the doors of communication open (plus they are less likely to get an eating disorder).
So it annoys me hugely when other kids come for play dates and race around the house while eating their dinner, or have mothers who basically feed them as they run. My new pet hate is kids who sit at the table with iPads and smartphones playing games while they eat. Aside from making my kids whine about why they can’t do it too, it’s not a healthy way to eat.
Apparently I am very old fashioned according to another friend who’s six year old still has to be fed by her, and who’s 12 year old has his meals in his room. Maybe I am but I can’t help but feel in these time starved times having set points of the day when we’re all together as a family can only be a good thing. Am I wrong?