Family time is increasingly hard to come by as kids and parents are more involved in intensive school, work, and extracurricular activities. While family dinners were a common occurrence in the past for many families, they are becoming rarer.
Family dinners are an important part of family bonding, but maintaining them on a busy schedule can feel nearly impossible.
Fortunately, there are more ways to still have regular family dinners despite crazy schedules.
Family Dinners are Bonding
Dinnertime is not just about eating. It’s also a time for conversation, laughter, family discussions, and more. Laughter, tears, and lifelong memories are born at the dinner table. While it may not be possible to enjoy dinner together every night, creating a time for regular family dinners is important. During family dinners, you can check in with each other and stay connected in an organic way.
How to Maintain Family Dinners on a Busy Schedule
There’s no doubt about it, family dinners are important for bonding and connection. But with kids in different activities and long workdays, they are hard to stick to. Here are some tips for doing family dinners with busy schedules:
- Explain their importance. Talk with all family members about why family time is important and how dinners can help.
- Make them a priority. Once everyone understands the value of family dinners, you can work together to make them a priority when you have free time.
- Schedule them in. Figure out which day of the week works for family dinners and mark it on the schedule. This way, everyone can plan for them.
- Make them fun. Family dinners don’t always need to mean homecooked meals. Spice them up with your favorite take-out or a visit to a restaurant you all love. Consider pairing family dinners with a game night or movie night as well.
- Give everyone a chance to speak. Kids and teens will be more interested in family dinners if they feel heard and appreciated. Give each person a chance to share their updates and express their thoughts.
- Practice gratitude. Family dinners are a great time to practice gratitude as well. Use the time together to talk about all that you appreciate.
With busy schedules, family dinners can be hard to come by, but they are important to prioritize. The connections and memories built over dinnertime will stick with your family for many years. Even those with very busy schedules can find time for family dinners using the tips above.