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Importance of eating together as a family.....

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PinkFizz | 11:13 Mon 10th Jul 2006 | Parenting
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I always make sure that we sit down together as a family for our evening meal,no tv on in background,and all eat and discuss our day,and then after the meal we chat about anything else - could be school,whatever we want to share.(only time we eat separate is if partner is working very very late). But after talking to friends I seem to be the only one to do this - they feed their kids first,then eat with their partners later on,and so rarely eat as a family.I think this is so important,but seems to be a part of life that is vanishing.What do you all think??


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totally agree with you PF. On the odd occasion when my wee boys dad is working late, we'll eat before he gets in but other than that, meals are together round the table, as a family. This is what we did every mealtime when I was younger, and i think it's vital to have this family time together. Also, I've always thought it's the key to good eating habits in children. My wee boy eats what we eat, and is encouraged to try new things etc cos he sees his dad and I eating them.
I agree with you Pink ~ however Mr Pippa rarely gets home before 7.30pm during the week so it can be difficult for us all to sit down and eat together.

I usually eat with the kids ~ as far as I am concerned, it is more importatnt that I eat with them than with him! he understands this, and what I usually try to do is eat a little bit with the kids then eat a little bit later with Mr Pippa...doesn't do my waistline much good, but hey ho ;o)

At weekends it's different. We always have meals together then, & it's something we always look forward to. It can be difficult in this day & age..I remember we always used to eat together as a family, but my dad worked locally. Nowadays a lot of people have to travel long distances to work, which can make mealtimes together near on impossible.
I agree with you Pink but my son is 12 months old and he needs his tea at 5pm, the exact time i finish work. I do sit at the table with him in his highchair to eat but my bf and i dont get dinner until he is in bad after 7.30pm.
On days when i stay at my mums my son gets fed by her at 5pm and also sits at table with us all at 6.30pm and has a little bit of food then too.
When hes older perhaps it will be easier.
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Hi all.I didnt mean to make any of you feel guilty - I know how hard it is.I was referring more to the families who can't be bothered to eat together,you know - the kids eat on laps on front of tv,parents not fussed about sitting down together.And yes it is quite hard with very little ones I know.
Oh I know that Pink :o)

I do agree ~ it upsets me to think that there are quite a few families who do is an important part of social education for children, and it is sad that is ignored.

My pet hate is having the TV on while you eat. My parents would often do this even though we sat down to eat together. It would drive me mad and still does!
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I know exactly what you mean Pippa.Whether its all my kids or just us two and the youngest ,we really enjoy it.Litte one tells us about his day at school,even tho he has already told me at 3.30! And yes,he eats absolutely anything,and probably because he follows us - he was asked at school last week to write his favourite meal in the whole world,and he put broccoli,carrots,sweetcorn,peas,broccoli quiche,and raw mushrooms!!!! And he is only 6!
I'd love to do that pink,thats what i want but with 16 yr old out and about,youngest at club,hubby getting home late its just me and the boy (14 yr old) so i tend to eat later with hubby or not at all,on a day when we all here together (once in a blue moon)the oldest two are so busy digging at each other that the girl will throw it down and shoot back out,i want what you have!!!
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awww electric! Don't get me wrong - we disagree at mealtimes aswell,we're not the Waltons!! But I do try to keep meals together as b/f works in eve at home as well so its the one time we are all together!
pinkfizz your right to sit together we do,its the only time you really are able to have a chat about the day,yep no tv,we used to have the tv on and my little girl wouldnt eat her tea to interested in the programs but now i tell her eat all your tea up then you can and she does.i have friends who dont even sit at the table they all sit with there tea on their knees i dont think thats right at all people may think different
we eat all our meals at the table in the dining room. We have breakfast altogether with Mr MF, but rarely have dinner with him in the evening as he works in the City is rarely home before 10pm; I think that's a bit late for kids to eat and certainly too late for them to go to bed (My kids are 12, 8, 4,3,1). However, we do always eat at the table as I find they eat better when I eat with them. Also, I can't imagine the mess it must make eating on the couch in the sitting room, kids wiping their fingers on the cusions; No, no, no, at the table, nice quiet music, proper cutlery and napkins is the only way for us im fraid.

But you're right, Pink Fizz, I think it is a dying trend. Lots of my peers never eat at a table. In fact, even the new houses that are built now are not always built with a dining room, but rather a lounge diner (for purposes of TV, I guess) or a kitchen diner (for the TV i guess). We don't even have a TV, which is so another thread, but all part and parcel of the fact that families just don't talk enough. So much heartache could be avoided if families were comfortable talking with each other....
We always ate together as a family when I was a kid and if I ever have kids it's a tradition I'd like to keep I think. We had a lot of good discussions and laughter round the table I remember.

Also, I think it might help with potential food problems for them in later life as so many people have battles with food, annorexia, obesity etc... I think it's good to teach kids at a young age that it's ok to sit and enjoy food. Not sure if that made any sense but I know what I mean!!
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Im glad im not the only one!! Infact when my b/f moved in with me,his ex never laid the table at all,she ordered a takeway every night!!
So he thinks its such a pleasure to eat as we do.We even get our little boy to lay the table,napkins as well etc! (only pretty paper ones but all the same...)
Good for you!!!!!!! We recently started eating at the table together every night. I just quit working, so I can have supper ready for a decent time. I feel like it makes the family communicate much better. Everyone should do this. As far as letting the kids eat alone, well, they are part of the family too, there will be plenty of time for just the couple to eat together when the kids are grown and gone. Take advantage of this time together! God bless!
We always ate at the table when my kids were young as I was bought up like this. My husband on the other hand wasn't. He reluctantly did this even after the children left home but now we have a seperate dining room, he refuses to sit at the table. Personally I hate sitting in front of the tv to eat. As you say it is nice to sit and talk about your day. Sadly though I think people lives are so busy now that it is not always possible.
Hi pinkfizz, good on you, I do exactly the same as you it is such a great way of finding out what has been going with everybody and as a child my fondest memory is of my own siblings and mum and dad sitting down for dinner. Especially sunday roast what a laugh we used to have and the topics that were discussed wasn't just about school and work it always usually ended with fits of laughter too!! KEEP IT UP
hi just to let you know we do the same we even went out and bought a diningroom table that cost us �400 but its worth it to sit and eat together as a family we have 4kid and its great to sit and listen to them after we have eaten we talk about anything thay wont to and because of this my oldest son (he is 12)tells me everything thats on his mind its great hope this is usefull for you
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