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6 Tips For Successful Family Dinners

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Something that has always been really important to me is regular family dinners. I had that growing up, Matt did too. So we’ve always tried to have family dinners in our house. When the kids were younger it was much much easier because they were home with me and the only persons schedule I was working around was Matt’s work schedule. Now with kids in school, activities, sports….it’s much harder. But I don’t want to give up on this important part of our family traditions. So I’ve made adjustments. Right now we eat late- usually around 7pm- to accommodate football practice so I give the younger kids a protein filled snack when they get home from school to hold them over until dinner. To maintain the kind of family dinners that I want for our kids I’ve set ground rules.

1. No technology at the table. The phones, tablets, and games are not allowed at the table. Period. They must be left in the bedrooms until dinner is over.

2. The television is turned off. There is nothing worse than trying to talk to your kids about their day only to have their eyes glued to a show on the television.

3. We don’t answer the door or the phones. Whatever it is can wait until after dinner is over.

4. Everybody must eat half of their dinner. I’m careful about portion sizes so there’s no reason why my kids can’t eat at least half of what they are served. I will never ever make them clean their plates, I don’t believe in that. But I do want to make sure they are eating enough good food.

5. Nobody leaves the table until dinner is over. Some of our best conversations happen after some of us are done chewing. It’s amazing how much a teenager will talk once they’ve consumed most of their meal. 

6. Everyone has a job. The little kids take turns setting the table, serving plates, clearing the table. Maia and Tyler take turns loading the dishwasher and wiping the table. Matt puts away all the leftovers. I cook so I’m exempt from clean up. 

These basic guidelines have changed our family dinners and that time of day is something I look forward to every single day. It even makes me want to cook dinner, which is a miracle!

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