How families can keep having them in the age of electronics
When I hear the term ‘family dinner’, I typically picture my family of origin sitting around our table.
Family dinner was a very important ritual to my parents, so we had lots of them. When I think of a family dinner with my family, the ones that live in my house and the children who I gave birth to, I think differently. I think of interactions we had. I think of one of my sons telling me about his experience at the lunch table, where another student said something that frustrated him or something he disagreed with.
Family dinners are an opportunity to share time together. An opportunity to have discussions without interruptions.
Family dinners have meaning, both because it is an actual thing, and also because the term of it has meaning. I noticed when my children were older, that if we didn’t have that protected time together, then I didn’t get it someplace else. I started to put more value on eating together, because after dinner they dispersed to other parts of our house, and I started doing other things as well.
As an empty nester, family dinner now has a completely different meaning to me. Family dinner means mostly memories of our time when we ate as a family of four. It also means getting together with friends, who have gatherings that they title family dinner. My own children value eating, but also put a lot more value into what is being eaten. (Something I have always wished I put more value into, but I do not)
In thinking about being helpful to others and their value of family dinner and its importance to them, I think about how helping people find ways to get that time to interact with others, in ways that have value to that person. I think about ‘how does a person get that protected time, where distractions are at a minimum? How do each of us get that need met, so that we feel connected to those people who are important to us? #familydinner #weeklyprompt
Originally published at medium.com