Communication Opportunities: The Family Dinner Table

We have already addressed several reasons why communication is so important.  Next we will discuss a few venues for communication.  Each of these venues we can use to “zone out” as a family but we have discussed the fact that we need to be intentional in creating opportunities for communication.

The venue we will be discussing today is the dinner table.  It’s ok every once in a while to enjoy pizza in front of a movie as a family or brown bag dinner in the car because of a crazy night.   This however should not be the norm.   Research over the past few years has shown the value of eating together as a family.  In fact, an article in TIME, by Nancy Gibbs called The Magic of the Family Meal states, “Studies show that the more often families eat together, the less likely kids are to smoke, drink, do drugs, get depressed, develop eating disorders and consider suicide, and the more likely they are to do well in school, delay having sex, eat their vegetables, learn big words and know which fork to use.”

Sitting down together as a family can also be such an awesome tool for teaching communication.  Children can learn the give and take of a conversation.  It can also be a great place to talk through how their day went as well as listening to how other family members faired.  The dinner table can also be a place for fun.  As parents we can be creative conversationalists and do games around the dinner table.   We must remember that even though we may be tired from our day we set the tone for how the conversation will go.