Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What's for dinner?

I guess my family just doesn't understand me. I am one of many that can pin point a thing or two the I will do different when it comes to MY kids. Just like my parents thought, and their parents before them, I think it's only natural. One of them will be traditions. My husband and I have been married with no children for 13 years, and in that time, have set certain patterns, as can be expected, and I advised him that some will have to change now that our daughters were born. Some, he agrees, but others he just down right looks at me like i asked him to streak through Fenway.

For example, we usually eat our meals in from on the TV, but I didn't want to get the girls accustomed to that habit (do as I say not as I do right?) So, as soon as we started them on solids (6 months ago) I have been trying to eat my meals as I feed them. I wanted to get them used to eating at the table with me (us would have been ideal, but again DH is stubborn). He preferred waiting till they took their naps to eat, instead of joining us at the table. I actually remember one time he told me YOU can get them used to family dinners, I'll join you guys when I come back. How convenient (he was getting ready to deploy) while it's a struggle to feed them and myself, it's all me, but when they're practically feeding themselves then daddy can join us? Wouldn't want him to give up precious tube time, heck by the time he comes back they'll probably be in drivers ed. All this is another session, another rant, for another day. I just wanted to share with you some info I found (yes, related to my bitch session).
Even very young children benefit from sharing meals with their parents or caregivers. Daily family rituals and gatherings build connections that provide children a deep sense of security and support. In fact, a major study of 12,000 teenagers found that those adolescents who feel close to their family and school are less likely to:
  • suffer from emotional distress
  • have suicidal thoughts and behaviors
  • resort to violence
  • smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, or smoke marijuana
Other studies have found that eating as a family, rather than in front of the TV, reduces the risk of obesity and diabetes. The statistics also show the time families spend together has long-term positive effects on children's behavior. If gathering everyone for a regular dinner hour is difficult, however, you can schedule other regular family times. Focus now on establishing family rituals to maintain a close family bond as your child grows.
HAHAHAHA Eat that Sam!!! Momma was right!!!

I didn't want this because of statistics, I just wanted it because we never had it growing up, and I feel if we provide them with an environment that is familiar and expected, that it will create a comfort zone. I want to set up a place where we can talk as a family. I'm thinking long run results too, I'd hate to have teens that are not communicating with mom or dad. With my girls I definitely want the lines of communications open.
We never had family dinners or family time, and I'll admit, I resorted to 3 well maybe all 4, of the above mentioned, but DH always had family dinners, family time, and the most he's done is drinking and smoking cigarettes.. (I'm calling out to anyone brave enough to admit they've always had family time or family dinners as a routine and still resorted to violence, smoking, drinking, etc.?) I'd love to hear your thoughts


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