Our family sits down for meals together every day. At least supper. Supper we always eat together. Breakfast is tricky because we all leave at different times, but I usually eat with my kids, or I am at the table. Granted I am on the computer then, but I am still present at the table. And we always eat at the table. It is something we have always done. Mostly we started it because
I my kids are super messy eaters, and we didn’t want it all over the house.
But it has stuck. We eat together every night at the table. It is the one hour period where we are all in the same room. As my kids get older they want to spend less and less time with us, but supper is the one time that we are all together. And yes, we generally all sit there until everyone is done, barring extracurricular activities, or stubbornness. And it is the same when one person is away. I admit that there were time when my husband was working out-of-town that we ate in front of the tv. But it is extremely rare.
I created an informal poll on facebook and twitter to find out where others were on the family dinner. Almost all who piped up had family dinners of some sort, even those with no children. That pleasantly surprised me. But then again, I only got about 20 responses so clearly not a representative sample with accurate results.
With my job, I am invited into people’s homes on a regular basis. I am often shocked by how few sit down to family meals together, and the number who do not own a table at which to even sit down at together. Often there is counter with stools or other small table in the kitchen instead. This surprises me.
I value our family time that occurs over mealtimes. It is one of the few times that my family is still voluntarily in the same room together. I don’t worry about my children eating in restaurants or going to other people’s houses for supper. I know they have good table manners because we eat together everyday. I know that for at least a half an hour a day I have a chance to reconnect with them, and share company. This, is invaluable.