(WAFF) - We all know it’s important to spend quality time together as a family, but sometimes, we don’t spend as much time with our loved ones as we would like - particularly when it comes to mealtime!
That’s why September is National Family Meals Month. The goal - to remind you of the many benefits of gathering together at the table.
“It seems in the past, in every culture, breaking bread together as a family has been a ritual that happens from birth to death,” says Alissa Lapidus, a licensed clinical social worker and owner of Empower Behavioral Health. “I believe that we’ve gotten away from that quite a bit with sports overscheduling, everybody on their phones... and so much happens around the dinner table that’s really important for a family to bond.”
Lapidus says everything from education to drug prevention to overall success later in a child’s life can be improved simply by having a meal together. Doing things like letting the kids participate more in the conversation and even letting them participate in making the meal can also be a huge help.
“If parents ask more open-ended questions and have the kids do more of the talking, then they’re participating more in the meal."
While there are many distractions like sports practice or TV time, Lapidus says it’s so important that time at the table be a priority.
“The thing is - family dinner is the biggest predictor for happiness and success in a child and in a family. So, it’s interesting where our priorities have shifted, and it might be time for that pendulum to swing back in the other direction to really protect family time and family dinner."