With Thanksgiving table still in recent memory, I have found myself reflecting on how important it is that we teach our children to respect the family dining experience – especially when seated at a holiday table with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, as well as parents and siblings.
In this day of eating on the run, fast food and “quick fix” meals, it is important that we preserve the holiday dinners that many of us remember as children. It should be a time to talk to each other and share conversation in a relaxed fashion. This means adults and kids, put those phones away, and more importantly, parents, leave the kids’ phones at home. There is plenty of time to talk, text and Facebook with friends during the rest of the year, but holidays are for family and close friends to interact, share a meal and be thankful for each other.
One way to get everyone involved with each other is to give everyone a task in preparing the meal. Let the kids fix a relish tray or get the rolls ready for the oven. Let the younger kids make placecards for everyone’s seat or help with setting the table.
And this way of reacting to each other shouldn’t be reserved for holidays alone, but it seems in our fast-paced lives, this is often the only time we have to be together without the pressures of work and other responsibilities. So enjoy the rest of this holiday season and make sure you set the example and enforce manners with the younger members of the family.