No nag zone — the family dinner
"Does it count if we are all sitting in the car going through the drive-in?" "How can we schedule a family dinner together if this kid has soccer and this kid has piano lessons and I have a Zumba class?" "Why would the kids want to come to dinner when my husband uses the time together to nag, threaten and criticize them and me?" "Who has time?"
These are all valid questions that were brought up in a recent parenting class at an elementary school. Most of the parents there were very concerned with the lack of connection and communication with their families and yet miss a great opportunity daily. To share a daily meal is a commitment. One even the President and First Family of the United States has made.
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The Obamas have dinner together
First lady Michele Obama said in the Nov. 2012 issue of Good Housekeeping "One of the things Barack has just been ferocious about is protecting his time with us. Dinner is at 6:30 p.m. If it means he has to go back and work meetings afterward, he'll do it."
Research suggests having meal together with most or all family members present at least four times a week has numerous positive effects. Pleasant family meals have been linked to a lower risk of obesity, substance abuse, eating disorders and an increased chance of graduating from high school.
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Great family mealtimes include:
• Cooperation in getting the meal ready, setting the table and cleaning up afterwards; everyone works together. If you would like tips on helping your children learn responsibility, please claim a free ebook.
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