Why Have Family Meals with Teens and Preteens

September 24, 2009 at 7:55 am | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment
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I have children ranging in age from 30 to 9. And through out this whole span of five children, dinner together has been the optimum nightly choice. Of course in the life style that we all have now, it is not a nightly event. Our dinners range from rather traditional, to breakfast, to crackers and cheese, and even sometimes just a mug of a hot drink.

But my children cherish this time. This is one of their friends’ favorite part of being at our house. This being together for the loud, talkative and totally interactive meal.

And what do I do to make this happen? Simple and way totally overwhelming. The simple is like Nike says, I “just do it.” It is as part of my being as getting dressed in the morning. Which is when I make lots of my dinners. The overwhelming part is putting the meal on the table. I often scurry around to get the meal actually on the table. And with kids of such varying ages, it has been an obstacle course to get the little ones fed while the big ones have their after school activities.

Now that I only have two kids home all year and third with me for half the year things are no less crazy. Its when they are teens that the meal craze really hits.

So one thing I do to have my children feel included in the family meal, even if they can’t be there is to give them a dinner plate of the family meal. They eat this where they are, or int eh car going or coming.

Right now I have a soccer car pool with four kids. The kids want to be in my car because we have pasta and sauce, salad and milk. Not your ordinary fare for car food, but it makes the family meal on the go be the happening thing.

By extending the family meal to where your kids are and who they are with, has a few great effects. First, you kids will eat a much healthier meal than the normal fast food. Second, your kids will know that what they are doing is important, and that the family tie is also important. These two entities are not exclusive. Third, when your child is at home your child knows that eating together is fun and valuable. Fourth, the discussions at family meals can be truly enlightening and educational.

And the most important thing that you as a parent give your child by extending the family meal is to assure your child of the love and interest you as a parent have in them. There is nothing better than to give this gift to your children.

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