Aleasa Word tells why we need to reclaim family dinnertime.
Several years ago I remember eating dinner in my home on television trays. My family went from everyone trying to eat at the dinner table to two adults eating on the sofa and kids eating at the table. I thought that was the fix for cutting the kids screen time. Silly me, I didn’t realize I needed to cut my own screen time as well. I never watched a lot of television growing up and read a lot.
Thinking back to how it all started, as a young adult (pre-kids) I found myself sitting in front of the television more and more, especially when in a relationship. It went from watching a show here and there to plopping down with my meal and eventually forgetting about my massive collection of books I had acquired. When my first son was born I was determined to be a great mom and wanted to limit his screen time. I worked hard to keep my son away from the television but once kids two and three came along television didn’t seem like it was “that bad” as long as I knew what they were watching. The first mess on the carpet sent the kids back the table and the adults to the living room. Typing that makes me sound like a horrible parent, but in all honesty families are so busy these days that even eating at the same time seems like a feat for the daring.
In today’s world we have the luxury of having so much technology at our hands that we can literally be turned on 24 hours a day and fight to turn ourselves and our devices off. In the video above the company Dalmio created a spoof on what would take to bring dinnertime back to the table. The thought that we need a one size fits (or controls) all pepper shaker hacker to get our families in order may seem funny but in the end it’s really sad. Young kids who often ask their parents to have dinner with them get turned down and eventually stop asking. Parents are so busy all they want to do is plop down on something comfortable, grab a bite and go to bed. This removes some of the most important bonding time available to parents and kids from the family equation and people wonder why they are so disconnected from their children. I’m not suggesting eating dinner together is the only fix for spending time with your kids and learning about what is going on in each others’ lives but it is certainly a start. The Family Dinner Project has a done a lot of work studying the benefits of eating together and as many studies have shown it tends to reduce many negative behaviors and increase more positive ones. It can also help in the fight against obesity which is often fueled by eating out, on the go and not knowing what fatty foods we are ingested.
As for my own story … we’ve opted to quiet time for dinner together as much as schedules permit in my home, but man … I wish I had one of those technology pepper hackers!