Does Your Family Eat Together?

eating together

After I had cooked dinner, my daughter came out of her room and said, “Mom, you have my permission to make this again!”

This is a comment I read today. What struck me wasn’t that the daughter loved the food her mother had cooked. It was the fact that she “came out of her room” while apparently eating it.

When I was growing up, it was very important for our family to have dinner together. Every night we would either sit around the dining table or spread out in the living room with our TV trays. Even though we always had background noise to block out the sound of each other eating, we were all in the same room. That was our family’s daily quality time.

That’s when we would catch up on the day’s events, what was said, done and what was coming up tomorrow. We shared the happy moments we had experienced and the disappointments. Everyone, who wanted to, had a chance to talk. We laughed and teased each other, and I’m sure we argued every now and then too, especially with the temper I had as a child. But no matter what, that was a very special time for all of us.

Now that I have my own family, I’ve continued that tradition. Sometimes our dinners are rushed, but we’re together nonetheless. That time is important to us.

What I find interesting, is that when I mention to others about my family’s nightly dinners together, more often than not, they give me a perplexed look. They sometimes even laugh at the idea, as if eating together as a family is foreign and pointless. They can’t understand why a person would even bother attempting it. The people in their household rarely eat in the same room and usually at different times. Serve yourself. You eat when you eat, wherever you want to. No big deal.

I suppose for some families it’s not a big deal. That’s what they’re used to and if it works for them, then that’s what matters. But, I still can’t seem to wrap my head around a family who keeps themselves separated from each other. Where’s the family?

A family who eats together stays together… Sounds like good logic to me.

But it seems, according to many people I’ve talked to, that I’m the odd one when it comes to this.

What about you? Is it important for your family to eat together? Or, is it simply a tradition of the past, not very practical in today’s hectic world?



This post is part of SoCS: Temp

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43 Responses to Does Your Family Eat Together?

  1. aviets says:

    It was pretty much non-negotiable that we always sat down to eat together. I am convinced this habit was a huge part of the reason why our kids are able to talk comfortably with adults, have a wide range of interests and general knowledge, and have a solid background in current events and politics. We talked about SO many things around the table. Including things like the kid in class who’s driving one of them nuts…and then discussing what might be going on in that kid’s life to make him behave that way. Developing empathy. I truly believe that time together can make all the difference in growing kids who are good citizens, kind and loving people, and critical thinkers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mewhoami says:

      I completely agree with you. We learn a lot as children when we spend time with adults. We learn about “adult things” and how they handle every day issues, which in turn teaches us how to do the same. As you said, it’s a great time for learning and certainly helps with a child’s development.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Glazed says:

    I like the tradition. It can be group therapy for a family. Maybe it’s unworkable in some family structures. And in abusive families it can be a dreaded tradition. But I believe it adds potential to a fulfilling family experience.

    Like

  3. I do agree so much with you. When my kids lived at home, we always enjoyed our meals together. This was the time where we could eat, talk and share our experiences from the day. I found it so very important to have at least one time at day, where we sat together and spent our time together.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If you are home and haven’t already eaten (sometimes my 19 year old eats at work) then you come and eat dinner with everyone else. Why wouldn’t you?

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  5. CharleneMcD says:

    Growing up we always ate together. Every meal breakfast, lunch and dinner except during school time and then it was just breakfast and dinner. My husband and I kept up that tradition with our boys. My husband does the cooking so we not only ate together, they cooked together. Now my sons are great cooks just like their dad. With them out of the house, my husband and I still carry on that same routine. That is our down time together after sometimes very long days. When our son’s come home to visit now, they expect some type of great meal that they will prepare together. I watch them with the ladies in their lives and they continue on with the tradition of eating together. I guess you could say eating food in our home is family time no matter what the day or time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mewhoami says:

      That’s wonderful. Not only did this tradition get passed on, but it seems as though it also helped to strengthen your family bond. That’s what family time is all about; learning and bonding and love.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. lunatique77 says:

    My bf and I actually talked about this topic this morning. We don’t have kids, so we are our own little family. We always take turns on cooking dinner. Breakfast does not happen during the week, because he has to work earlier than I do. But at weekends, we make sure to have prolonged breakfast. I would do the same with kids, it is also how I grew up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mewhoami says:

      That is very sweet that you two take turns and spend that quality time with each other. I’m sure your children, when you have them, will appreciate this carried on tradition.

      Like

  7. April says:

    I like our dinners together….lots of memories were created.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hope Floats says:

    When it’s was my daughter and I up until she was 12 we always ate at the table. After puberty started…gosh you have to pick your battles right? My hubby and I almost always eat together except when he is later getting home. I find that I can’t sleep well if I’ve had a big meal after 8PM. It was tradition and I think even with a busy family and different schedules, its a great idea to schedule in one night to have a family dinner. Food is meant to be a social thing…

    Liked by 1 person

    • mewhoami says:

      I understand the eating after 8 issue, as it is the same with me. On late nights like those, we make an exception in our home as well. You are right that a family should schedule at least one a night a week to eat as a family. That time is so helpful to the building of a strong family bond.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. When my children were all at home we ate dinner together every evening. This was a requirement, no matter what, you had to be home for dinner. I was raised the same way. I think it is vital to a family to eat together. It gives everyone a chance to come together as a family and discuss the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m kind of surprised myself to learn someone would let their teen eat alone in their room. We always had dinner together – even with my dad’s sometimes-awkward working hours as a county sheriff – and the TV was not allowed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mewhoami says:

      No TV, great idea. We tried, but none of us could stand hearing each other eat. 🙂 It must have been hard having your dad working that type of job, but glad to know that you had quality time when you were able.

      Like

  11. hsampson says:

    Yes this is so important! Thank you for this reminder and i hope that we as society do more to keep those values alive. Unfortunately is not the case throughout the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. George says:

    I agree with you. We always sat down together at the table and had meals as a family. I think it’s important to share that time and what’s going on in everyone’s life. If families are so busy that they can’t find the time, maybe it’s equally important to rearrange schedules so they can make the time. If not, one day they will wish they had.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Excellent point, George. If a family is too busy to spend time with each other, then maybe something in their schedule needs to go. Many times what we think is important is in fact, not very important at all. While in the meantime, what *is* important gets neglected.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. dalecooper57 says:

    I work shifts, so every other week I’m not home when my daughter gets in from school, nor when she goes to bed. So on the weeks I am home, dinner is one of the times that we can all be together and catch up.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Completely agree with you. Whether it’s one day a week or everyday, it’s so important for families to be in touch and on the same page. When I was younger, my sister and I would eat together every night and mum and dad would eat together later on, but my sister and I would still be present for this. Communication is key in families, and I believe this is where I have fallen down many times, especially since having gone to Uni. It’s tough to keep in touch when you have your own life, but food is always some great glue for getting everyone back together

    Liked by 1 person

    • mewhoami says:

      I think that it’s neat that you and your sister still joined your parents for that time, although you had already eaten. Most kids would be out playing and forget all about it. That time is special and you’re absolutely right about communication. Dinners together may seem simple to some, but they have a big impact on the family.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. DailyMusings says:

    growing up we always ate together unless my father was traveling, but even then mom and the kids sat down together. In today’s homes many of my friend’s husbands work later hours, so there are no family dinners.It is sad to me

    Like

    • mewhoami says:

      It is sad and you’re right about work. It seems that in many families, work has taken priority and usually not on purpose. It just takes over, therefore I think that especially now, families need to be very mindful of making time for one another.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. NotAPunkRocker says:

    My kid is old enought now that he makes dinner and eats before I get home because he is always hungry, but when he was younger we did eat together.

    Like

  17. When my kids were growing up we had dinner together EVERY night as a family. It was VERY important. Even my kids, at that time, pointed out their friends did not do that. And they were glad that we did. I think it’s a huge thing for a family to do.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Prajakta says:

    I am from India and it makes me glad to say that most meals are eaten together as a family. There is still this “traditional” aspect to our living and honestly, eating without my family is something I cannot imagine. Even now, if I see someone eating alone at work I join them because eating alone is simply awful!

    Like

    • mewhoami says:

      I love the traditional customs of family and think that too many families are missing those key aspects these days. It makes a big impact on the family and their closeness with one another. It’s great that you stick with tradition and also that you won’t let others eat alone. That is very kind of you.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. We ALWAYS ate dinner together when I was growing up. Now that I have a daughter, we still do. Because she’d never eat if I didn’t sit there and make her, but we enjoy the time together.

    Like

  20. LindaGHill says:

    Whoever eats, eats at the kitchen table. That’s a given here. Only if I’m alone and even then it’s rare, do I eat in front of the tv. I do love our family time at the table together!

    Like

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