The Family that Eats Together, Stays Forever
I was reading Notbuk ni Lhan's latest post; Iba na Talaga Sila. My heart was broken while reading that post. I couldn't imagine how kids today utter such harsh words to an eldery couple. This makes me think how and why kids today think and act differently (not all, I think). Sabi nga ni Lhan na magkaiba talaga ang mga bata sa ngayon kesa dati. I wonder why and how? Probably because of how the world evolves, it also affects the personality, characteristic and behaviour of the person. Technology, TV shows, Computer games, Internet are the few things that can impact and influence kids behaviour.
But I tried to dig deeper and understand what is the main reason why kids doesn't even give importance to good manners and right conduct. Then it boils down to how the family interects with their kids. How family values the importance of eating together. I remember Sharon Cuneta's Lucky Me commercial where it tackles about how important it is to have time for kids during meal time. With its infomercial: Ugaliing kasama ang pamilya sa hapag-kainan is one of the best thing that a family can do to save the future generation.
So, you might ask: What is the importance of family meal?
When I was a kid, our family always eat together; breakfast, lunch dinner. My parents make it sure that everyone should be in the table before the food is served. Unfortunately, family meal today is disappearing fast. I believe that having a family meal together should be recognized as a vital part of strong, stable family life. Eating together is the time when everyone can gather after a day hard at work or studing in school to share adventures and stories.
During meal time, children can learn and find out about family traditions and have time to observe their parents, good eating habits, be exposed to different foods, have interesting discussions and develop self-discipline.
Family meals helps to develop sense of security and stability. When children feel secure they feel much happier and find it easy to do things specially at school, they act much happier in interacting with other kids, in their hobbies and interests. When they feel secure and stable its easy for them to deal with difficulties and stress and emotional upset. regular meals is beneficial for health reason too. This will regulate all of the body's cycles- physical, emotional and mental.
Family meals allows children to share their ideas and views. This is the time parents can listen to their children and teach them words of wisdom. In the same way, this is the time children listen to their parents. It feels good when parents understand the concerns of their children and then understand who they are. Dinner time, for example, is a great time to gether everyone and share about the things, concerns of their children, share thigns they discover and learn from school, people they have meet, and observations from the day. Basically, they can share anythign they want to their parents. This helps children to develop respect and compassion.
Family mealtime keeps the doors of communication open.
Children gain a better sense of belongingness within the family. This is the time for family to come together as a group and develop a feeling of belonging. The sense of belonging leads to better self-esteem.
When parents make regular family mealtime important on their schedule, this will give the children an impression that they are their priority and not their work. It will shows them that kids and spouse are its top priority more than anything.
You can do this:
- Have a family dinner four to five times a week.
- Turn off TV, MP3 players, PSPs and the like during mealtime.
- enjoy positive conversation during the meal.
- Spend at least an hour eating dinner, conversing, and cleaning up together.