Eating together as a family is a rare thing these days. Parents are always busy and kids have their own plans. Every family member eats their breakfast and dinner whenever they can or want without waiting for the rest. I don’t know about other nations, but most Turkish families always have breakfast and dinner together every single day. They have certain time when every family member knows they should sit at table. I know there are many other families from different countries who have the same tradition as well, but I can’t tell it exactly. I have many friends from Turkey who tell me about their family traditions. All my Turkish friends are absolutely different but what they have in common is a habit of eating together as a family every morning and evening.
To tell the truth, I wish people in my country and my own family did the same. Every time I suggest my family members set a certain time for breakfast or, at least, dinner, they simply burst into laughter or say our timetables are different. Sure, sometimes we have dinner together, but not each day. Once I start my own family, I’ll definitely do anything possible to establish a tradition of eating together as a family. Here’s why:
1. Respect both mom and dad
Children who usually have their breakfasts and dinners with mom only tend to think that a mother is a more important parent than a father, because she always finds time to eat with them while dad is busy all the time. And vice versa. When you eat together as a family each day, your children learn to respect both parents. They know you two are busy, but still find time to share meals with them.
2. Eat healthy
As a caring parent, you won’t feed your kids unhealthy foods. You try to make their meals as healthy as possible. When you eat together, you do eat those healthy meals too. Breakfast and dinner are two important meals of the day so it’s crucial to fuel your body with all the nutrients it needs. It’s hard to stick to a healthy diet. Now you have no more excuses.
3. Talk to each other
Yes, you can talk to each other anytime of the day, but think how often do you gather together as a family so that you could talk? Eating together is a wonderful opportunity to see and talk to each other. Just make sure you don’t share any bad news. Discuss some inspiring things, healthy habits and plan some family trips. This way, your children will always associate family meal times with positive talks and tasty meals.
4. Become a family unit
If there are some family problems that you don’t know how to handle, start a tradition of eating together. It’s an excellent opportunity to become a family unit and improve your relationship with kids, or help your husband become a better dad for his children. Eating together as a family is a wise solution for families where a step-parent is trying to get along with a child, or where a daughter-in-law wants to have a really good relationship with her mother-in-law.
5. Enjoy quality family time
Whether you accept it or not, most parents take their kids for granted as well as most teens take their parents for granted. You think you earn enough money for your children to have anything they want, you love them and help them, but do you pay enough attention to them? If you and your husband have busy schedules and don’t always have free time to spend with your kids, get into a habit of eating together as a family. This is a good way to enjoy some quality family time and show your children that you are a real family.
6. Learn good table manners
When you have small kids, eating together as a family is an easy way to show and teach them good table manners, of course, if yours are good. Your children will learn when it’s best to eat, how to be on time so that other family members don’t starve, and how to behave at the table. No one will ever say your children that they have bad table manners. You want to be proud of your grown-up kids, don’t you?
7. Create wonderful memories
When your children grow up, they will never forget those fun and precious family mealtimes. They will know how important it is to eat together as a family, and will definitely teach their kids to do the same. Your family tradition of sharing meals together as a family will pass down from generation to generation. It sounds like a critical reason to start creating those wonderful memories right now.
There are many benefits of eating together as a family that many of us didn’t even think about. We all want to change the world and make it less cruel. Start with your family. Teach your children to appreciate family time and food, and show them how to behave well at the table. They will thank you down the road. Do you think sharing meals together as a family is important these days?