Relationships need food too
August 19, 2012 by
Categories: Family, Research

Back in the days before electricity, families gathered around the fire to talk about their day, share stories, and maybe even sing. These days, while we don’t have a fire to gather around, we do have a dinner table to fill this function. Recently, a studywas conducted by researchers at Cornell University and the University of Minnesota. They used data collected over three time periods starting in 1994 and ending in 2002. They found that family dinners reduced mental health issues, drug use, and delinquency. They were also interested in determining if these effects lasted into adulthood. Family dinners didn’t have a direct effect, but giving the teenagers an early start at well-being, did provide some advantages.

Image by Annie Mole

The bottom line? Have dinner as a family.  Growing up, I remember having a lot of conversations at the dinner table (most of which made my grandmother lose her appetite). While the nauseating conversations, as fun as they are, may not be the best to have, it is also a time for families to talk about their day. It is possible to approach this activity from a non-threatening stance. For example, everyone around the table can answer the same question, such as, “If your day was a bug, what kind would it have been?” Too nauseating? How about, “Top three good things that happened today? Top three bad things?”

The important thing is to make sure it doesn’t become a point of contention. Relax. Enjoy. And eat.

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