Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ring that Dinner Bell

First, let me say that it is an honor to be the guest blogger today. I admire all the multi-tasking moms here that make this particular blog a fun place to go for helpful hints and the opportunity to network with each other.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Diana and I have my own blog, sunshine on my shoulders. I have been married 26 years to a wonderful husband and we have a 19 year old daughter and 17 year old son. I am also a youth worker. Sadly, I am not very good at multi-tasking. I could have used a blog like this when my kids were young.

I was once at a baby shower where we were asked to give one piece of advice to the new mother. After a little thought, it came to me. It didn’t sound very profound. In fact, it sounded a little silly compared to some of the other answers. But ever since then, I give this simple piece of advice out whenever I can and to whoever will listen because i feel it's a pro-active way the family can work at remaining a close-knit unit.

The piece of advice is this… eat dinner together as a family, at a dinner table, every night that you can. Make it a priority in your family.

This may not sound very profound and yet, I believe, it truly is. It sounds so simple, and yet it has such a powerful and positive effect on the family unit. This time is an opportunity to come together to spend time in fellowship with each other and to learn how to interact as a family. I feel this is important in a world where the family unit can be so easily split apart.

In my family, we would ask the kids what they learned that day, or, what their favorite or worst part of their day was. They could then ask us the same thing. It was a time where we were all on equal footing, where we talked and listened, where we could come together on a daily basis to learn, laugh, and love.

I don’t want to give the wrong impression. Not every meal was enjoyable. Some were downright miserable. There were definitely times where I wanted to ship my kids off to some other family. But that’s part of being a family and there’s lessons there for both children and parents. Don’t let the hard times distract you from the good that is being accomplished in the long run.

Some of you are saying, “but we do this and will continue to do so.” Great! I will tell you, though, that as the kids grow older and schedules get crazier, it will get more and more difficult. I would like to impress upon you to continue to make the family dinner time a priority, even through these more hectic times.

You might be surprised to know how many families out there don’t eat dinner together or eat in front of the t.v. set instead of the table. There are various reasons for this and I don’t want to judge. I ask those of you who fall into this category to take small steps in trying to get your family together for family dinners. You might be very surprised at the results.

I just read a survey where the top answer, from 13-24 year olds, to the question, “what makes you happy?” was spending time with family. When your children are young, this is pretty easy. As they grow up, it gets more difficult. Why not have something in place that you can keep consistent through their childhood, into early adolescence, and into young adulthood. I don’t think you’ll ever be sorry.

Thanks to multi-tasking moms for having me over and thanks for reading what I had to say today.


Amber said...

This is a wonderful post Diana! I agree, it is extremely important to eat dinner as a family and spend plenty of FAMILY time together!!!

God Bless,



Lori said...

Welcome to MTM. So glad you posting with us today.
What a great post.
So very true. There are time s that we are so busy that we don't get to sit down to eat as a family. It is so important when do.

Penless Thoughts said...

Great post Diana! We always ate the evening meal as a family. I truly believe in it.

MorningSong said...

Great words of wisdom Diana! We just started really eating together. We were feeding the kids, putting them to bed and then my husband and I had our time. Within the last 6 months we've all eaten together and it has been a great dynamic!

I enjoyed your post and enjoyed having you as a guest blogger too! Blessings!!

Kelli said...

Excellent post, Diana!

jennifer said...

Excellent post!! I agree so much!

Momma Roar said...

Excellent - my niece has been away from home, on her own (of her own choosing) for over a year. She came home for a brief visit and said she missed sitting around the table with her family - she's 18!

Anonymous said...

Hey Diana, great post! You are so right. We always ate our meals together and found it the perfect time for our girls to just sit and talk. It was the one time where we all could look at each other and unload about the goings on of our day. As the kids got bigger it became harder with their busy schedules, but I agree that this should be a priority in every home and without the television on.

Mary@notbefore7 said...

ditto Ditto Ditto! I am still in the age of "easy" to do that because they oldest is only 4, so activities and "teenager stuff" doesn't interfere yet. I hope we always make it a priority!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful Post! Nice to meet you Diane!