Yesterday Caleb approached me and said, "Mommy, I like it when you sit next to me when we have dinner." It absolutely melted my heart. I told him that I liked to sit next to him too.
Later that day it occurred to me what a lost art family dinnertime has become. One of the questions I ask in my substance abuse assessments is how did your family eat dinner when you were a child. I have only had one say their family sat down together to eat. It is sad how many families put food on a plate and eat in the livingroom in front of the television. No family conversation, no laughing at each others jokes, no learning about each others day, no prayer time before the meal, no stories, so much is missed by not eating together as a family. That is not to say there are not times to do it differently than this-- we occasionally spread a blanket on the floor in the livingroom and have a carpet picnic for supper as a family. We usually watch a movie we rented.
The family in our country is crumbling and our country can not survive if it is not restored. It is not a matter of if our country will be destroyed it is a matter of when if the family structure is not restored. It amazes me how many times parents easily give up their influence over their children by handing it to someone else. Now I am not proposing that family meals will fix everything wrong with our nation or our society, but I am saying it is one way a parent can start to reclaim their rightful place of influence over their children. Ask Caleb he will tell you that family table means so much to him so he tells me how much he likes to sit next to me. Don't miss those precious moments with your child.