Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Family Traditions

I love family traditions, and we have plenty here in this family usually centred around celebrations like Easter and Christmas. I believe daily traditions are important as well - maybe even more so.

Eating dinner together at the table is one tradition I grew up with that I try to continue with my own family. I say "try" because with after school activities, an 18 year old who is often out and a husband who works crazy hours, it doesn't always work out, but we try.

Friday night is always Family night and we don't have dinner till everybody is home.

Researcher Becky Hand believes that eating dinner together at least 4 nights a week has many benefits for children of all ages.

Children learn to communicate with each other and their parents and eating together fosters a feeling of security and belonging that few other activities do.

Meal times are a chance to model table manners and dining ettiquette.

Dinner time can also be a learning experience. Introducing new foods and then talking about their origins encourages children to learn about the wider world. For example,fellow blogger Libby Whitnall has been cooking some Canadian dishes at the moment to coincide with the Winter Olympics.

And finally, Hand (2008) found that children who ate dinner with their families had a higher academic performance than those who didn't.

For all of these reasons and the most important one to me (LOL) - using my vintage linen and crockery, we set the table each night regardless of who actually is here to sit down.

I wonder if this is a dying tradition though?
Bon Appetit!


libby said...

HI Vanessa,

I agree 100%. Having said that I have to make a real effort to eat at the table. When I grew it up it was usually just my Mum & I for dinner (Dad got home late but we always had a family breakfast) so we ate in front of the TV. Dh and I continued to do so when we got married. We've been rather slack until recent years but we got a new kitchen table last year and it's certainly helped get us back to the table - I'd say we average 4-6 nights a week.


lala2074 said...

We eat dinner at the table every night.
Initially Mr Techno had to be encouraged when he had our daughter, as it was not how his family did things, but I am glad that I persisted.
Now it is a good time to catch up and we can find out what adventures and experiences we have had during the last 24 hours!
I can't imagine it being any other way for us.
Non Consumer Girl

Cate said...

We eat dinner together every night as well! There have only been a handful of times since we've been together that my husband and I have eaten dinner separately, and it always feels strange. I grew up with the tradition of family dinners and can't imagine life without it! It was one of my favorite parts of the day.