Or …….my second option is choosing to not eating dinner with my kids, and instead sitting with them and eating when they go to bed. Choosing not to eat my meal with them and having the time to listen to them. Choosing not to eat dinner with them but being able to laugh and pay attention and hear about their day, and listen to the new songs they learned, and have an easier transition to bath and bedtime.
Sometimes on week nights, when time is short and I have things going on after bedtime, or I feel like my kids are able to stay up later I choose option one. But when my kids are tired, or need a little extra TLC before bed, dinner on my own it is!
Because family meals are amazing opportunities for enjoyable time…..except when they’re not.
My amazing colleague Cori Stern always uses the analogy of “buckets” your kids need filled throughout the day and the behaviour struggles that can often come come from your child’s “buckets” not being filled enough.
Family meals are a great way to fill your child’s bucket but that doesn’t happen if meal times turn into sources of stress instead of times of socialization.
If you’re finding the whole family avoiding mealtime because it’s getting to be THAT stressful, remember that family mealtime doesn’t have to happen EVERY night to be worth while, nor does it have to happen at dinner.
Try implementing one night per week where the whole family eats together, or find another meal (such as breakfast) or snack time that might work better with everyone’s schedules.
The true beauty of family meals is about so much more than the food we put on the table or whether everyone is eating the same thing at exactly the same time, and I would hate for anyone to miss out on any of the benefits of family meal time, by well…..having a family meal!
I would love to hear from you! Do you eat dinner together every night?
What are some of the ways you make sure everyone is able to sit down together?