Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent.
Family dinners have always been important to me. I grew up in a home where family mealtime was a priority. My parents always encouraged me to invite my friends to family dinners when I entered high school and extended family gatherings included a table big enough for all of us to sit together. When it was time for me to buy my own home, a large dining room was a must so we would have place where the whole family could fit.
Now as a parent, I strive to instill the importance of family mealtime in my own children. I know in order for them to want to have family dinners we have to make them something they look forward to. About three years ago we started talking about our “favorite part of the day.” Now when we sit down at the table, the second thing out of the kids’ mouths is always “favorite part of the day?” If you are wondering what the first thing is, it’s usually either praise for hot dogs for dinner and complaints for broccoli.
This seemingly small tradition does a couple of very important things for our family:
- It is a constant conversation starter that helps us learn about each other’s day.
- It forces all of us to find at least one positive thing that happened that day.
Granted, my four-year old’s favorite part of the day is often dinner since that is what is happening at the moment. He is also probably the most excited to start the conversation. My hope is that as the kids get older we can also add our biggest challenge of the day. As they get older, I want them to know that no matter what, we can always find something positive in our day and that when life doesn’t go their way, I want them to know that they can talk about it with us, that we can work through it together and that that the opportunity is available on a regular basis at the table.