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Has The Family Dinner Gone The Way of the Dodo?

Andrea Ramsay Speers - Tuesday, July 30, 2013

When I was a kid, we all had dinner together every night.  But even in my own household now, despite my best efforts, we only manage to have dinner together a couple of times a week.  With my husband and I both working a combination of days, evenings, and weekends, all of us being together at dinner time is no mean feat. 

We persevere, however.  I know how important it is to maintain that level of connection and conversation with our kids, and even though one of them is not even three yet, we work at creating a welcoming, family atmosphere at dinner.  It's an important opportunity to develop family togetherness by fostering what we Adlerians call "social interest" (essentially, the concern and care for others and their well being, simply because we all share the same community). 

So even if your kids would rather have a root canal than sit down for 20 minutes with you, pick at least one night a week and make it habit. In our increasingly technology-driven society, it's easy to slip further and further away from our kids, and we need to take advantage of those opportunities to stay together.

And...it's a great chance to develop their independence and responsibility by getting them to pitch in with the making, serving, and cleaning of dinner.  But you might want to leave that part out when you invite them to the dinner table tomorrow.

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Andrea Ramsay Speers • Psychotherapist & Parent Coach • Oakville Family Institute • 175 Glenashton Dr., Oakville ON • Tel.: 905-491-6949

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