Feb 2, 2012

Family Dinner

Here at Many Many Hats we believe in family dinners!  We don't think it is a just a good idea, we feel it is CRUCIAL to our family’s survival.  Growing up in the Shinney household, we had regular family dinners.  Sure there were nights when the kids fought, the good food was not appreciated and spills abounded, but nonetheless we were together. We were the normal, very busy family. All four kids had full schedules with sport practices, music lessons, speech contests, church activities, regular school projects and so much more.  Our schedules were CRAZY! Amidst all that craziness, family dinner was a constant family tradition.  A tradition that helped bind us together.

 The key to family dinner is not the food; it’s about the family being together at a regular time and in a comfortable and safe place; home.  It is a time for sharing ideas and concerns.  A time for teaching values while we eat nutritious meals.  Eating dinner together helps everyone to be accountable for their day: what happened, where did we go, what took place?  Accountability is becoming a lost trait in today’s society and something we need more of. 

 In 2006 Time Magazine put out an article by Nancy Gibbs. In it she said, "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."  Gibbs pointed out that it is more than just teaching kids good manners and how to eat healthy; it is about building strong relationships through communication.  Kids face many challenges in today’s world they NEED to know where they can turn for help.

Our favorite quote about the need for more families eating together comes from Jospeh Califano, President of the National Center on Addiction and Substanc Abuse.  He states " the family dinner is more powerful than any law we can pass, any punishment we can level for protecting children against risky behavior.  Parental engagement is a critical weapon in the fight against substance abuse."  He continues, "If I could wave a wand, I'd made everyone have family dinners."

We know that having family dinner isn't going to automatically make everything magical in a home or family.  Heavens, sometimes family dinner is the cause for family drama!  But it is where we learn to work through isssues, obey rules, and communicate.  Our family, like every family, is not without its problems and heartaches.  We had regular family dinners and it didn't save us from the challenges the world sent out way, but it did help.  Our family is loyal to each other, can communicate with one another and loves each other despite our differences.

We know it isn't easy.  In fact, often it's downright hard and even sometimes unpleasant; but it's worth it! And we're here to help.  In our blog you'll find recipes that your family will love and tips on bringing them together.  A lot of our recipes are simple and budget friendly.  We encourage you to make a plan, set some goals and get your family around your table more often!

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1200760,00.html#ixzz1nAvdJgEa



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