Many families want to spend more time together, but their hectic schedules often prevent them from having quiet, unscheduled moments to reconnect. But there is a solution to this problem. Time starved families can reclaim their time by having regular family dinners.
Over the past 15 years, research has confirmed that sharing a family meal is good for the spirit, the brain, and the health of all family members. A recent study by the Purdue University Center for Families found that children who regularly ate meals with their families were the least likely to take drugs, feel depressed, have weigh or eating disorders, or get into trouble.
At the diner table, families can relax, recharge, laugh, tell stories, and catch up on the day’s events. Family meals are also a natural training ground for learning social skills, manners, and how to have pleasant conversations. These conversations help kids to build resilience, develop language, express emotions, and strengthen family bonds.
The following infographic outlines some effective techniques to kick-start your dinner time conversations. If you want to really engage your family in meaningful discussions, ask these five questions at the dinner table: