This I Believe

Vanessa - Sandy Hook, Connecticut
Entered on May 30, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family
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The Joys of Eating Dinner with the Whole Family

Ever since I was little there has always been the chore of setting the table and subsequently eating with the whole family. I find it important because it’s the only time of the day, in most cases, when we can sit and enjoy one another’s company.

I find it more important to eat dinner than some people because when my parents’ first got divorced we stopped eating at the table until I finally told my parents that I missed it. Now that my mother is married and we went from a family of three to a family of six, dinner can be very entertaining with the four kid’s ages ranging from eleven to seventeen. When you’re sitting in front of the television there is no need for conversation or interaction with the other family members. You might as well go down in the basement and eat by yourself because there isn’t much of a difference.

I’m also finding dinner at the table an important value because in three months, I’ll be eleven hours away at college, effectively eliminating the possibility of stopping by on a weeknight and having dinner with the family. Maybe that’s sometimes why we make dinner with our boyfriends or girlfriends such a formal occasion. Some families dress up for dinner and find it very important to have a sit down dinner every night (even on weekends) when everyone can connect and check in with how everyone’s day has been or what’s coming up in the next few days.

Sitting down with the whole family for dinner makes the family stronger. It’s an opportunity to talk to each other and builds a better relationship with not only our parents but our siblings too. When my family sits down to eat dinner I find out if Otto won his soccer game or when Suzie’s dance rehearsal is. If we didn’t sit down I wouldn’t be able to talk to them about their activities because I’m so much older and busier than when they are home. I can figure out if my brother needs me to drive him home after school or if my mom needs me to pick him up and what days Mike, is working at the store.

Parents should realize that their children find it important to have a sit down dinner; overall the whole family will see it as an important value. It’s the one time we have to sit down with everyone and reflect on the day we’ve had and enjoy being a family. Sitting down at dinner with the whole family is a tradition that I believe is important to our well being.