Making time to eat together

Published 11:34 am Friday, August 28, 2015

The family dinner table is becoming something of the past for many.

Between busy schedules, technology and not being as involved in each other’s lives, families are losing what used to be the most important time of the day.

Cell phones and other technological devices have really ruined the times that families do get together and enjoy a meal. We are so used to looking at our phones throughout the day, answering texts, checking emails, concerning ourselves with one of the many social media sites we have or any of the other various things our phones can do these days. We don’t realize that we’re constantly using them when we are supposed to be engaging in conversation with those around us.

Even without technology as a distraction, catching up with the family in the evening is becoming increasingly difficult. Every family member has their own life with their own priorities. A lot of children and teens of today don’t even know what it’s like to sit around the dinner table at night. Talking with their parents and siblings and sharing stories of their day is a foreign tradition to them.

It’s easier to just grab food in-between the points of our busy schedules than it is to sit down for an hour and enjoy a meal with each other.

Children are running off to a sport or an extra-curricular activity. Teens are working late at their first job, staying after school late for practice or busy with their own personal life. Parents are working late to make ends meet with today’s economy. Yes, all those things are important, but making time for family should also be a priority.

That’s just the predicament with immediate families. Those made up of grown children with individual families of their own have an even harder time trying to catch up with each other over a meal. It’s hard for the parents who are now grandparents to get their children together. Every person is on a different schedule.

But being a part of a family who tries her hardest to make sure one day a week we enjoy a meal together — even if that meal can’t always be dinner — is a blessing because those meals and times are some of my favorites. When I look back on the meals I have had while growing up, the drive-thru ones are not the ones I remember.

It is nearly impossible to have a family dinner every night of the week, I know that. But, it is still something that families should try to do on a regular basis, especially if young kids are in the picture.

Children should be able to take this tradition of family dinner and pass it down in their own families when they grow up. But, if families aren’t taking the time to share a meal together, then these dinners will soon lose their importance and, maybe, cease to exist. And if we don’t take the time to cook and eat together, when will we ever learn all of those tasty family recipes?

REBECCA CHAPPELL is a staff writer at The Tidewater News. She can be contacted at 562-3187 or