Have you ever wondered about what can be the best times to communicate as a family? Never wonder again, as you rediscover your children by insisting on a family meal together. It is the perfect time to share about your day, to laugh together at a humorous story, to communicate a need or a prayer request. Family mealtime gives you the perfect opportunity to teach your children how to give thanks to God and how to be thankful for daily provision. Family mealtime is a time for the parents to be vulnerable and share about the good and not so good parts of their day. As parents do this, it will encourage the children to speak up and share their difficulties also.
Some families end with a short devotional time and others discuss their plans for the evening or the next day schedules. Simply start by prioritizing mealtime together. Turn off the computer, the radio, the hand-held games and the TV. Then initiate discussion by sharing something from your day followed by asking others to share. If no one opens up, perhaps pose a question like, “What was the best part of your day today?” or “What was your least favorite activity today?” Remember, as parents open up about their day it will provide an example for the children and teens. Dads and moms do not have perfect days and talking about that sets the stage for more openness among the family.
We still look forward to and enjoy those family meal times around our table with our adult children and their spouses. It’s amazing what we hear from those childhood years – things that we enjoy hearing and being reminded of and things that we wish we just didn’t know.