Mealtimes can be a painful struggle when your children are young. There are few other times of the day that can be as frustrating as dinnertime. Although it can be tempting to throw in the towel when it comes to eating dinner with your kids, there is actually a lot of value to be had in teaching your kids to engage in dinner as a family from an early age.
According to Spark People, there are a few compelling benefits to eating dinner as a family. These include things like opening the lines of communication, and having a good opportunity to teach manners. Having family dinners can be a good way for family members to bond and reconnect after the craziness of the day. Ultimately, it's a really good routine to get into, and stay into.
According to Goodnet, there are other ways that teaching children to sit together at family meals can be beneficial. They cited a study that found that eating with the family can help kids feel secure, and also brought up that kids may be more likely to make healthy decisions regarding food based on their experience of eating together as a family.
Although the "kids table" is a great idea, and may be necessary at times, kids learn best by watching, so having them participate in family meals at the table is a great way for them to learn. They may pick up things like table manners, willingness to eat different types of foods, as well as benefit from the family conversation. It may be difficult for them to stay still, but over time (and with practice) it will get easier for them.
Humans have always seemed to bond over sharing meals, this tradition crosses over many different cultures in different areas of the world. Food brings people together, and is a way to gather and open the lines of communication. This is true of your family as well, the more time you spend eating together, the better. Getting your young children involved from an early age is a wonderful idea, and they will surely benefit from it.