This crazy large tribe is built on three things...a strong faith in God, the importance of family, and gathering around the dinner table for a meal. It's been during those gathering times...around the dining room table...that we have shared our wisdom, learn to communicate, inspired one another's dreams, and so much more. Yes, there are many lessons to be learned around the dining room table.
Around the dinner table, our children have learned to communicate.
There is no such thing as a quiet mealtime in the Donnelly household!. Nope! Everyone seems to be talking and laughing all at the same time. They learned quickly the art of jumping in on a conversation (it's a special skill!) and to defend their opinion (which we have no lack of). Yes, it's been around the table that each has learned to defend their beliefs, understood the art of "holding their peace" and appreciate the thoughts of others (well, most of the time).
Around the dinner table, our children have learned to follow their dreams.
It was around the picnic table that dad first shared that he felt that God was calling us to Maryland. It was during a family meal that we listened as Jesse and Kyrsten told us all about their new house plans and we talked baby names. It was during a crazy family meal that we planned Nick and Gabriella's wedding, where we have listened to Patrick and Artur talk computer stuff (all Chinese to me!) and helped plan Elizabeth's trip to Ireland. Yes, we have been inspired around the dinner table.
Around the dinner table, our children have received "therapy".
Who needs a therapist when you have a #dinner table full of very loving, yet very opinionated family members. There is nothing like your older brothers giving "guy" advice, or your little sister letting you in on the fact that the girl in biology class thinks you are cute.
Let's not forget how Elizabeth (during one of her psych classes) decided to analyze everyone...and yes, give her "professional" and ever so educated opinion (that was a shining moment). And God help the kid who can't take "just a joke." You learn to toughen up and not get so offended. Yes, there is lots to learn around the dinner table.
Around the dinner table, our children have learned respect and manners.
Since dad insists that all the girls are fed first (boys to the back of the line), they have learned a valuable lesson...a man provides for his family first. Family mealtime is a great place to practice manners...like "Can you pass the rolls please" or "May I be excused?" Learning to wait your turn, especially when you are hungry and your little sister is taking "forever" is an art...only learned around the dinner table.
Research has proven that having meals together as a family is beneficial psychologically, academically, and even physically.
Yes, those dinner moments are important!
Journal of Pediatrics found that kids who regularly enjoyed daily dinners were less likely to be depressed or suffer from anxiety. Research also suggests that children have a higher vocabulary and get better grades...all because they gathered around the dining room table as a family.
One study suggested that teens who eat daily dinners with their families are less likely to experiment with drugs and suffer from obesity and even promotes a healthier lifestyle.
I have yet to find a study that suggests that we must provide a fancy meal at any certain time of day. But all studies have shown that sharing a meal, simple or fancy, at any time of day together is beneficial. So don't stress yourself out about the details. Just grab your #family, throw a meal together, and gather around the table.
What do you enjoy about eating dinner with your family? Let me know in the comment section below!
Sometimes the greatest lessons in life....and memories...are made gathered around the table.
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