Not Just for the Holidays: How to Reclaim Dinnertime, All Year Long

Posted December 17, 2010 by

As we gear up for the holiday season, we anticipate those large family dinners fast approaching. While some of us look forward to these gatherings more than others, we all need to ask the question, “why is the big family dinner such a big deal?”

When you look at it closely, I think it’s clear that the large family meal is important because it reconnects the family, fosters greater communication, helps build relationships and allows everyone to share in a common custom. It’s a very powerful event. This is why making it home in time for the big holiday meal has been a central theme in many popular stories and movies over the years.

When we get past the holidays, a lot of people tend to forget the power of this custom and go back to the pattern of everyone-for-themselves when it comes to dinnertime. Usually it is because someone has something else to do or no one has time to prepare a proper meal. These are all valid reasons, but they are not acceptable when you balance them against the loss of the benefits associated with the family meal. The reasons why it is powerful once or twice a year make it that much more powerful every night of the year. The Family Dinner allows children to reconnect with the family after what can be a very challenging day being a kid in today’s world. It gives everyone in the family a chance to talk to everyone else in an open and collaborative way. It also helps build strong relationships between family members in a way that only can happen when everyone works on it everyday.

So, as you are recovering from this holiday season come January, remember one of the good things and make it an everyday thing by reclaiming dinnertime.

About

John McPherson is a leadership and management consultant in Salinas, CA. John and his wife Christina have two children, Fiona and Carson. Both John and Christina’s parents had a great influence in their upbringing, which helped them define how they would parent their children. Over the past ten years, John observed how many parenting practices have strayed from the principles he and Christina have found to be successful, and this led him to write a book on parenting, entitled "Ten Simple Rules for Being a Parent in a World Turned Upside Down".

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