5 reasons you should have family dinners

Posted on: Monday, November 23, 2015

5 reasons to have family dinners with your kids
Family dinnersĀ are probably my favorite time of the day. When I was little, it was just how we did things. It wasn’t necessarily my favorite time of the day back then, but I didn’t know any different. As I got older, I really started to appreciate the quality time and conversations we would have over the dinner table. And even now, when we all get together for Sunday brunch at my parents’, we will hang outĀ for up to an hour after we finish eating! The only reason we leave is because of Anabelle’s nap time. And now that I’m a parent, I am really starting to see the incredible benefits of eating together as a family!

1. Quality, unplugged conversations

Dinner is the perfect time to catch up and talk about your day. As a kid, I remember this was when we’d not only share stories, but we could also ask questions, share good stories, bad stories, and learn. It was a place where I felt comfortable talking about anything. I definitely want that around our table for our daughters! Now-a-days, I spend dinner either listening to Anabelle tell her Daddy about some of the things she did, or Kevin and I start day dreaming about projects we want to do, venting about stressful situations, and sharing funny stories. And with the level of technology in our everyday lives now, it’s nice to have a place to talk and look into each other’s eyes without the distraction of our phones lighting up with notifications.

2. Teach kids to sit

I don’t think it’s always natural to sit and chat around the table. Anabelle sometimes gets bored and likes to get up and play when she’s done. But since we are all sitting down for family dinners, it’s not hard to keep her there for just a little while longer. She has to wait for Mommy and Daddy to finish their first plate of food and then if she ate her meal, she can ask to get up. Eventually, we will make her wait till everyone is done when we are out with other people, but right now she only understands to wait till we are done.

3. Teach manners

Now that I’m a parent and I’m teaching Anabelle manners, I’m amazed at how much I just picked up from family dinners. How to set the table, salt and pepper stay together, no elbows on the table, lean over your plate. I mean the list goes on, but learning manners never felt overbearing or over whelming since we practiced gradually over time. And now that I have a family, we aren’t able to have family dinners every single night, but every time we do, we are always working on something new with Anabelle. And so far so good!

4. Prepare for going out to eat

Family dinners make going out to eat so much easier! Since we always have conversations over a meal, we aren’t reaching for our phone. Since Anabelle knows to sit while we eat, she’s not trying to run around. And since we have practiced manners, there’s no frustration from bad manners while we are out. Family dinners at home are the perfect practice for when we eat with others, either out at a restaurant or at some else’s house. I don’t have to teach Anabelle manners in a new environment. It’s already natural for her because it’s what we do at home!

5. You learn to learn to like/eat everything

From the outside looking in, it appears that Anabelle just likes everything. But really, it took strategic work and actually takes continuous maintenance. Right now she’s learned the term “Anabelle no like” and it’s actually hilarious, but the only time we let her get away with it is if it’s something spicy… Family dinners help with this in a couple ways. First off, she’s sees us eating. Her eating everything started out as just copying Mommy and Daddy. From the day she started eating solids, I started feeding her as much as I could off of my own plate. And second, when she started resisting, I was (and still am… she did it the other night) right there to feed her bite by bite. And of course she already knows she’s not allowed up because she isn’t done.

How has your family benefited from family dinners?

Life lately…

Posted on: Friday, November 20, 2015


Just a few outtakes from my week! And the highlight of our week: Let’s Go Fishing! Who else remembers that game?! I loved it as a kid! Target, being the genius that they are, had it next to the check out, so of course I just had to grab it and couldn’t wait to teach Anabelle to play! It’s been hours of entertainment already! Morning after breakfast. Afternoon before lunch. I now need to go back and get a few board games for under our Christmas tree. I want to start playing them after dinner! Now that it is getting dark out so early I actually cooked, ate, cleaned the kitchen, showered, picked up the toys, and then thought it was the girls’ bath time. I looked at the clock and it was only 6:30… Definitely in need of some simple family activities for all of us to do together after we eat, because currently our late night go to is TV.



November date: A Library Visit

Posted on: Wednesday, November 18, 2015

November date idea for the family: A library visit with your kids

For this November date, we may have left Daddy behind and made it a mommy-and-me day date… We finally went for a library visit! Anabelle has loved books ever since she could pick them up herself and flip those thick cardboard pages. My absolute favorite time to watch her is when she is quietly reading and examining every page in detail just before flipping to the next page. She gets lost in her own world and has no idea that I’m even watching her. I mean it’s just too cute and I love it! I made a little book corner in her bedroom with books, blankets and pillows, really all that’s missing is a teepee… And then I keep more of her books downstairs on the bottom shelf of my book shelves. I want them to be visible and easy to access so it’s always a no brainer activity for her.

One of my favorite places to go back when I read those Nancy Drew novels, was the library. It kept me freshly inspired and more motivated to read each time I went home with that bag of books every two weeks. I want to do the same for her. I want her to love the mornings when we go for a library visit and constantly be adding books to her reading list because she actually wants to read and not because someone is telling her to read. I grabbed the children’s reading schedule and a library card so we are good to go!

By the way, she loved it! And all week she has been loving the four books we brought home. Kind of nice for us too having books that we haven’t yet read!

November date idea for the family: A library visit with your kids

November date idea for the family: A library visit with your kids

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