I recommend creating family mealtimes with your kids whenever you can. I know it’s not always easy sit down together due to work patterns, but it can be a lovely moment in your routines.
Does this sound familiar? You’ve been busy at work all day or you’ve had your children with you all day. You’re all a bit grumpy and hungry, and you just want to get them fed, and off to bed.
It’s so tempting to rush them through the meal and hurry to the next activity, right?
Well, mealtimes are more than just getting food into your kids, they are a time for sharing and connecting.
In our family we often start the conversation with a question about ‘what was the best thing that happened today. It’s a really lovely way to find out the little things that lighted up their day.
If you’ve got really small children, you can still chat to them about their day, what you’ve done together. Or talk about the food, what colour is it, where does it grow. This sets the tone for conversation at the table.
Think about your own experiences of dinner times at home when you were growing up. Did you watch TV when you eat? Did you have to sit at the table until you were finished, did you get rewarded for finishing vegetables with pudding?
Consider what you want create in your own family, and what do you want to avoid. How does this differ from what happens now?
Here are some suggestions to support happy family meals
It’s not always easy, everyone’s tired at the end of the day, but this regular connection helps strengthen families and creates a space to talk.