My family ate dinner together more nights than we didn't. And even though we didn't have a lot of money, and family dinner was sometimes simple, we still sat down, together, around the table most nights I can remember.
Family dinner can be transformed into a cherished tradition by implementing a few strategies. Make it a weekly event, whether simple or elaborate. Get the kids involved in planning and preparation for a sense of ownership. Make it special by serving favorite dishes or eating at the table. Use it as an opportunity to connect through storytelling and quality time. Lastly, make it fun with games or potluck dinners.
These approaches strengthen your familial bonds, create lasting memories, and turn family dinner into an eagerly anticipated event.
Let's have a closer look at each of these!
1. Make it a Weekly Event
One way to make family dinner a tradition is to make it a weekly event. This can be as simple as sitting down together for dinner once a week, or it can mean doing something more elaborate - like having a themed dinner night where everyone contributes ideas for a dish (or, as they get older, the actual dish!). Making family dinner a regular occurrence will help to make it feel like a special event that the whole family looks forward to.
2. Get the Kids Involved
Another way to make family dinner a tradition is to get the kids involved in the planning and preparation of the meal. This can be as simple as involving them in choosing what to make for dinner or having them help with the cooking and setting the table. Getting the kids involved will help to make family dinner feel like a team effort and will also give them a sense of ownership over the tradition.
3. Make it Special
One way to make family dinner a tradition is to make it special by serving up favorite dishes, making homemade desserts, and making sure that the television (ad other distractions) are turned off. Taking the time to make family dinner feel like a special occasion will help to make it something that everyone looks forward to and enjoys.
4. Use it as an Opportunity to Connect
Another way to make family dinner a tradition is to use it as an opportunity to connect with each other. This can be done by sharing stories about your day, talking about what's going on in your life, or simply spending time together without distractions. Using family dinner as an opportunity to connect will help to make it feel like a valuable part of your relationship with your loved ones.
5. Make it fun!
One way to make family dinner a tradition is to make it fun! This can be done by incorporating games around mealtime, such as trivia or charades, or by making it a potluck and having everyone bring their favorite dish. Use conversation starters or have everyone share something that made them laugh, that they practiced, or that surprised them. Making family dinner fun will help to ensure that everyone enjoys themselves and looks forward to future meals together.