Every night my family and I sit down together for dinner. I come from a family of four girls so it is often difficult for all of us to find time to sit down together because we all have our own agendas that keep us busy. However, this does not stop us from eating together; sometimes we will start making dinner at like ten o’clock at night. It is that important to my parents that we eat dinner together as a family. Along with my parents, I believe that eating dinner together as a family is a firm foundation for a healthy, caring and strong family.
My parents have taught us how important it is for a family to set aside time each day to eat and converse with each other about our daily activities and happenings. Eating dinner together daily keeps a family close because everyone in the family is informed on each other’s lives. It creates a special bond in a family, and children who are raised to eat dinner as a family will usually carry on this tradition with their own family. However, it is becoming more and more frequent nowadays that families aren’t carrying out this tradition. Most families find it way too difficult to get everyone together at one time, as is the case with my family on some nights. It has become more difficult these days to find time with all of the extra-curricular activities there are for kids and with parents working full time, it does create complications.
Another reason families aren’t eating together is because of all the fast food restaurants there are nowadays. It’s a lot easier for people to just grab a meal quick while they are on the run. This is especially the case for teenagers. Most teenagers these days have jobs and their own cars so when they are hungry they can stop quickly for a meal. A lot of teenagers have become dependent on fast food chains and would prefer it over a home cooked meal. I see this all the time with my own friends. Me on the other hand, I love home cooked food. Especially since my mom happens to be one of the best cooks of all time! I have become so picky about what I eat outside of my house because I am so partial to my mothers cooking.
I also think that the time and effort it takes into preparing a meal is a factor in why so many families don’t eat together. It does take a lot of time, preparation and money into putting a meal together. At my house it is a group effort to prepare a meal. We all take turns helping my mom out by going with her to the grocery store, cooking and preparing the meal, setting the table, and cleaning up the dishes afterward. But it is all worth it!
Because I believe that spending quality time with your family on a regular basis for a meal is important, I know that someday when I have my own family I will carry on this same tradition that my parents have taught to me. I want my kids to have the same great relationship I have with my family by simply sitting down for a daily meal together. It is the perfect recipe for a healthy, loving, close knit family!
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.