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Eating dinner as a family is a big deal

Grace Chapel Resource Center

If you have kids, you know how fast time flies. And if you’re not careful, opportunities with them will fly by as well. We have to make connecting with our families a priority!

One of the easiest ways to connect with your family is to eat together. Sounds simple enough, right?

But like, when do I have time to do that? I’ve got emails to catch up on.

Often times, families use dinner as a chance to catch up on TV. Listen, binge watching a good show isn’t the worst thing in the world, but there’s not a big return on that investment!

Sobering Statistics

We found some stats about eating together that really stood out to us:

  • Eating family dinners at least 5x a week drastically lowers a teen’s chance of smoking, drinking, and using drugs
  • Teens who have fewer than three family dinners a week are 3.5x more likely to have abused prescription drugs and to have used illegal drugs, 2.5x more likely to have smoked cigarettes, and 1.5x more likely to have tried alcohol 
  • In the past 20 years, the frequency of family dinners has declined by 33%
  • The largest federally funded study of American teens found a strong link between regular family meals and academic success, phycological health, and lower rates of early sexual activity and suicide 
  • A study of preschoolers found that meal time conversation with children helped build vocabulary more effectively than listening to stories or even reading out loud

Wow. Some sobering stuff to think about. 

Closing Thoughts

Let’s commit to love our family well by simply sharing a meal together as often as possible. If you’re new to eating as a family, set a goal to eat dinner together at the table twice a week, for starters. 

After all, everyone eats – we might as well eat together!

And one more tip: put your phones away at the dinner table. It kinda defeats the purpose is everyone is nose down looking at their screens.