Parenting Win of the Week: The Family Meal

It's more than just breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Shot of young family eating a meal together at home

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Shot of young family eating a meal together at home

Photo by: shapecharge

shapecharge

My oldest was assigned a project to pick a family heirloom that, if found years later, would give some insight into your family. My husband and I started pulling out artifacts from our grandparents and great-grandparents and our son pretty much told us to back off — "he had this". Of course, I wasn’t so sure, but a few days later, we saw a video of what he chose. In all of our grandiose parenting ideas, we lost sight of his vision. For him, the greatest thing he would want a historian to see was our kitchen table. Why? Because this is where we have all of our family meals.

Given that my job has me often writing about food, food itself has become a central theme in our household and I am thankful that my kids are willing to try most of what I make (but they also make the toughest critics).

It’s not just about the food though. My husband and I have made it a priority to try and have dinner with the four of us together the vast majority of nights. Between sports, playdates, and work obligations, this isn’t always the easiest, but we make it a priority — we just always naturally have.

This is a screen-free zone, and for the most part, a bicker-free zone — until it is time to clear the table, of course. It is a consistent time where we can lose the panicked pace of other parts of the day as breakfast usually ends abruptly with "wash your face, put on your shoes, or you are going to miss the bus."

We can have a conversation and it has given me a chance to really get to know my kids as people.

I know this can’t always be a reality for every family. Some parents are on different work schedules, babies may interrupt the flow of a normal dinner, toddlers may throw food, and one day my kids will be out with friends some evenings. But for now, I’ll take the parenting win and cherish those family meals.

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