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A K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE-Happy Meals

Posted: July 12, 2015

IMG_0751[3]Two of my children were home last weekend and we had some good laughs about their teenage years and being obedient to some annoying “mommy-isms”. One that made them grit their teeth was: “Be home for supper at 6:15.” But this mealtime expectation became an interesting topic of conversation as we further discussed the positive and wonderful results of having regular family meals.

When my children were adolescents they were involved in the usual activities such as piano lessons, sports, gymnastics, a paper delivery job and of course the most important of all: friends. Even in the late 1980’s parents were becoming obsessive about enrolling their children in endless activities. For a number of years it felt as though all I did was work, cook meals and drive my children around to their events.

Being so involved in children’s activities and spending so much time rushing and sitting behind the wheel of a car isn’t healthy for a marriage relationship or creating loving and intimate bonds with our children. In fact, I think it is downright harmful and creates misunderstandings, emotional distance and sometimes-even hostility.

But in spite of all the activity, I felt it was very important to have regular family meal times. I always prepared tasty, healthy food and set the table with inviting colourful place mats and added some flowers or candles. We sat down, prayed and then entered into pleasant conversation. I would not allow any negative or critical comments at the table. I always felt there was a time and place for negative discussion, but not at dinnertime. I always asked: “What was the BEST part of your day?” This often entered into lively discussion and sometimes we would sit at the table for a long time for great conversations and good laughter.

Only in the last number of years have I discovered the power and beauty of family meals. Both my children have carried on the tradition of family meals because they recognize the value of families spending unrushed time together, sharing stories and learning about each other’s days. Miriam Weinstein the author of THE SURPRISING POWER OF FAMILY MEALS[1] gives astonishing information on the value and power of family meals. Here are some highlights for children of all ages:

  • Better grades, healthier eating habits, closer relationships, and ability to resist negative peer pressure.
  • Fewer behavioural problems, less obesity, higher achievement scores.
  • Learn to share and think of others. Learn “please” and “thank you.”
  • The more often kids eat dinner with their families, the less like they are to smoke, drink or use drugs.
  • Less tension, resilience in the face of life’s problems.

Recognizing the importance of family mealtime is the first step to organizing your life to make meal time a priority. What obstacles are holding you back from investing in such powerful results from sitting together at a table each night?

Mealtime can make our marriages more loving and healthier, and impact children with positive input for the rest of their lives. Who doesn’t want that? It’s that simple and so hard. You simply have to want to.

[1] http://poweroffamilymeals.com/resources/about June 25, 2015


Posted in: Balancing life, good conversation, Good Marriage, happy meals, Laughter, Making Wise Choices, obesity, Uncategorized, Understanding each other

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