How important is it to you to sit at the dinner table as a family?
Is it something you do only at Christmas? Or for certain meals of the week?
Do only the children have their meals first and you later? or do you all sit together?
For us its a must.
- The main part being for me I dont have to cook 2 separate meals. We all sit at the same time and eat the same meal. I think it stops a lot of the fussy eating and shows younger children some table manners.
- The mess… Have you seen the mess under 5’s can make on your settee? Oh yes we have had the odd lazy times and sat with dinner on our knees. RULE 1 – NEVER give under 5s beans to eat on your settee… Poor settee, never the same again.
- Communication – Its our chance to sit with them all and ask how they are, was school OK, what homework is there, any problems. A chance to praise them up for achievements in the day, like 5 being a good boy and going toilet, 4 not having a tantrum etc.. Also its a good time to have a giggle with all the family. (as you can see in a previous blog)
If communication is a hard thing for you, maybe you are out of practice perhaps, then why not try some simple games. Depending on the age of the kids. Younger children you can play alphabet games, like name an animal with A, B, C etc or a cartoon character, or even play I Spy, its OK if they dont know their letters, use colours instead. Not only will this help smaller children to communicate it will help them to sit, concentrate and learn too.
For older kids try “Replace movie titles with… ” We have all seen these games on Twitter, the combinations are very funny. Let them take it in turns to choose. Also try the memory games with older kids, like the old “I went to the market and I bought… ”
Sitting at the table is an important Family time to me, not just a place to eat. So how about you??