The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Family Dinner Time: Fact or Fiction, Memory or a Dream?
On television, there still exist perfect families, where they gather around the dinner table, eat, and actually have a conversation about their days. There may be some drama that happened throughout the day, but all in all, everyone knows everyone else’s business and everything is okay by the time the meal is over, including the children asking to be excused from the dinner table. Okay, on television, that really was a reality at one time and a reality for families too. Nowadays, I am not so sure.
Somewhere between work, school, homework, television, sports, technology, lazy parenting, gaming consoles, computers, and lack of family closeness in general — somehow the fundamentals of family dinner time became completely lost to the generations. To some, the event is unheard of and they have never experienced it, grew up with it, or even thought about it, because their family just never did it, instead choosing to eat around the television set or grab a quick bite and run to their rooms. To others, they have fond memories of the days when it did happen, where they sat around, talking to their families, looking at their family members, and enjoying the conversation. They may not call their family their close friends, but they still trusted them enough to tell them what went on throughout their day. Then there are the rare families that actually still have dinner time together, where the television is off, and they sit down together, eat together, clean up together, and even spend some quality time after dinner together.
We may not be able to choose our families like we do our friends, but we can choose how we will live with and spend time with the people that we are bond to for at least 16 to 18 years of our lives. Not every person is born into the most loving and best family. Not every family is a great family. Not every mother or father deserve parents of the year. Siblings may even be impossible to live with. So sometimes the special time for a family to bond never even has the opportunity to form or become anything.
Family closeness is a special time and although there are infinite distractions, a family that is close is a family that is truly happy. Family dinner time where communication is the key may also help develop more mature and responsible individuals. To those who did have the fortune opportunity to experience family bonding time, usually over dinner time, there is a special relationship that is formed that is deeper and more loving. This is called a family. This is what family is about. Being able to communicate with each other, help each other solve each other’s problems, grow together, and develop fond memories of each other, while keeping in touch with each other through their lives.
If you have a family or are looking to start a family — as you may have already learned from John Lennon, “Life happens when you are busy making plans.” But if there is anything you want to try and plan for your family or your future family, you want to establish communication, especially over family dinner time. Do not forget that if you are attempting family communication over dinner, it does require shutting off the television and all electronic equipment. Give it a try, it may be worth it. After all, without communication, what is family, really? A bunch of monkeys living together? Nope, even monkeys talk!
Do you still have dinner time with your family? Let us know in the comments!