As a work at home dad, I’m blessed with the opportunity to spend more time with my children. One way that I build strong connections with them is by having breakfast together.
When I worked outside of the home, I never had the opportunity to have breakfast with my family because I had to leave the house by 5:30 a.m. (It was the only time that I could avoid Houston traffic). I was so tired on the weekends that I often slept in and missed opportunities to have breakfast with them.
Now, I like to wake up and surprise my kids with my special French toast. It is a decadent treat complete with maple syrup, fresh fruit and thick slices of bacon. Although the kids love this meal, it’s not something that we can have everyday. Most days, we simply have some cold cereal with milk.
If you looked into our pantry, you’d think you were walking down the cereal aisle in the grocery store. Several large boxes line the shelves because my family can never agree on one type of cereal.
My younger son and wife like Kellogg’s Special K Red Berries. My older son and daughter enjoy Rice Krispies, and I prefer Kellogg’s Raisin Bran (in addition to these, we also have several sweet cereals for the weekend).
I brew a pot of coffee as everyone prepares their bowls of cereal. Inevitably my 9 year-old son walks over to where I am to ask the same question that he asks nearly every morning.
“Um, no,” I say as I allow the fresh aroma of the coffee to awaken my senses.
“Why not?” he asks as if he’s surprised by my answer.
“Because it’ll stunt your growth,” I reply.
“Really?’ he asks.
“Yes,” I reply. “I drank coffee when I was your age and look what happened to me. I was supposed to be 6’3″ tall, but I’m only 5’7″. Learn from my mistake.”
“D-A-D-D-Y,” he says incredulously. “Are you telling me the truth?”
“I cannot back up that statement with any scientific proof,” I say. “But my mother told me that coffee stunts your growth and I believe her.”
“I’m going to have a talk with Granny to get to the bottom of this,” he says with a smirk on his face. We both laugh and finish preparing our breakfast.
Eating cereal with my kids reminds me of my childhood. Although my mother didn’t like most types of cereal, she’d eat a bowl of Raisin Bran (I inherited her taste) just to spend time with my sister and me before she had to go to work. I cherished the time we spent together and I hope my children will feel the same way about our family breakfasts.
At the table we laugh some more and discuss our plans for the day. My wife reads a daily devotion and we end our time together. The kids head off to school, my wife gets ready for work, and I retreat into my home office. But before I get to work, I reflect on the time I just spent with my family and my heart fills with joy.
There is no better way to start the day.
Question: How often do you have breakfast with your children?
Disclosure: I’m a paid member of the Kellogg’s K-Champs team.