Monday, April 18, 2011

Dinner Can Wait

More and more, people are recognizing the true value a family dinner together at the  table holds for everyone.  No matter the size of the family, from 2 to 20, it’s a good thing.

When we think of these dinners in their idealized form, we picture a Rockwell-like scene with glowing faces passing around amply filled bowls of steaming deliciousness. But in reality, it is often quite a feat to gather everyone together at the required time. And a real home cooked meal? Well, lucky you!

If you are fortunate enough to make all this happen, but the Rockwell scene is still mostly
evading you, it may be for this simple reason: everyone brings home some emotional bruising from experiences in the normal course of the day.

For school age children the problems may include rejection from peers, embarrassment, achievement pressures, and as they get older, ever more complex relationships.

Of course the office is also a terrific place for building up stress that doesn’t easily dissipate.  There are the unrealistic deadlines, competition among co-workers, unrealized expectations and of course, worries about hanging on to your job. Oh, and let’s not forget rush hour!

This is the stuff that accompanies your family to the table. Small chance for a pleasant dinner, right?  So here is the motivational tip:

Hold dinner back for a good half an hour. Pour a glass of wine (or what ever goes as a liquid treat in your home) for Mom and Dad and a cool glass of lemonade for the kids and gather in comfortable seats in the family room (no TV) and share your troubles or just LISTEN. Let no one believe you think their problems are silly and not worth your time. When you think everyone has blown off enough steam, ask: ”OK to eat ?” Then go and do it with pleasure and appreciation.

Remember not to reprimand your children for passed or present misdeeds during table time -  keep the conversation light and you’ll be able to enjoy the food and the company.

Good luck with your goal!

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