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05:55 PM on 06/11/2012
I totally agree with dcgraham45. That is the way I think it should be........family together for the hour that it takes to have dinner together. A great way to stay in touch with each other no matter what the day brings about. I feel sorry for kids who have to settle for throwing something in the microwave, scarf it down with a drink and then..........whatever. Meals are supposed to be enjoyed and families are supposed to "enjoy" each other's company. My humble opinion.
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dancerctry
I love Gardening and Decorating
05:40 PM on 06/11/2012
I'm 31 and have been married for 7 1/2 years with a 3 year old. We still have dinner most weeks once a week with my parents (who live in town). Sometimes my brother is there too. As a kid I hated all that "how's your day" questions from my critical parents and limited them to three each no carryovers. But we all love each other and it's great that my son has this time with them too. Sometimes we argue (the word "critical" again) but mostly it's good conversation. Amazing concidering they were both engineers and my brother and I were overbooked kids.
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DwightMann
If I had a son, he would look like Chris Stevens
05:37 PM on 06/11/2012
The best way to teach / learn table manners is to eat as a family. Table manners extend to overall politeness. Some can learn these things from other sources, but eating dinner as a family is a good thing.
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05:30 PM on 06/11/2012
I was a single parent for a long time. We ate wherever. But since I cooked the meals we inevitably ate them together. I remember when "Survivor" first came on in 2000(?). At 5:30, either my son and daughter, or my daughter and me would run to McD's to get our "dinner" and be back in time for us to sit on the floor in front of the TV watching it. Sometimes there are rituals that involve something other than sitting around a table eating a meal. AND there was discussion during the commercials and cheering during the competitions. That is long gone now .... they have grown up and are on their own.
05:15 PM on 06/11/2012
I grew up with family dinners. We continue that practice. We eat in the kitchen, dining room or out on the patio. We do not eat in the family room in front of a television. Everyone sits down at the table, shares their day or not and then participates in cleaning up afterwards. If you don't talk, you listen. I know other people do it different. That's fine. Marry into my family and I've just outlined how dinner will be at my home. We visit yours? Do it your way.
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05:32 PM on 06/11/2012
I remember those types of dinner. Only my brother and father DID NOT do any of the clean up or the cooking. Dad, because he worked long hours and earned the money to support us, and my brother ... well, because he was a boy.
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omnimax
04:45 PM on 06/11/2012
Anothert article to prove that the "experts" can screw anything up.They are the last people I would go to for advice.
04:39 PM on 06/11/2012
Just because it is an ivy league study does make it worth more than a study done by intelligent researchers. America's golden years were family-oriented-activity years. No matter what the elite try to do to explain it away, the decline of America will be traced to the disintigration of the family unit. Every civilization that debased the family has disappeared; western society has already begun succumbing to the same fate. Those who claim the government knows best continue to prove it doesn't.
04:35 PM on 06/11/2012
My husband and I both grew up in homes where family dinners were commonplace. He had a stay at home mom while part of my childhood my mother was stay at home and once we were all in school, she went back to teaching. Both families had traditions around the dinner table that we tried to emulate and I think we were pretty successful. We both worked full time as well as community volunteering but we managed to have a dinner hour, not always both parents there. No topic of conversation was ever forbidden...no stupid questions. Another method of connecting were car rides...whole family, one parent/one child, etc. the best conversations took place in the car...we were together but there was a certain freedom in not being face to face that allowed for some incredible revelations and conversations.
04:30 PM on 06/11/2012
I run a small business with 12 employees. I have had the chance to work many hours or just a few hours enough to pay the bills. The time I worked a lot of hours was stressting for me, but my wife stayed home and did her best with the kids without me. I now have time to see and spend a lot of time with my four kids. It is hard at times, but i try to enjoy every minute with them knowing someday I wont have them in my home much longer. As a child, I remember my father working every day except for Sundays. And yes we did have meals together, but I don't think it was the meal time. My parents raised eight children, how I am still tring to figure it out. I believe the answer was my parents especialy my mom taking the time to listen to us. My parents were to poor to get us the latest thing, and they did not have the time to envolve themselves in our school programs. They did listen to us and gave us their best advice when needed. All six of brothers and one sister are doing just fine. We are not rich, but we always have each other to help, enjoy, grow, learn, live, and love. I still have both of my parents, and I thank God for it each day.
My point is, just listen to your kids, teach them manners, and love them!!!
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vampyreincubus
Hate only breeds hate.
04:25 PM on 06/11/2012
All this proves is that these overpaid officials we pay to give us advice have no real idea what they are talking about.
07:49 PM on 06/11/2012
what? What planet are you from?
04:18 PM on 06/11/2012
My son, who is now 30 years old, told me that because he HAD to be home at 5pm for dinner he missed out on times when friends were experimenting with drugs during that time of day. It may not always be the actual dinner, it may not even always be about the conversation at dinner, it may be that the child is HOME at that high risk time of day. If there isn't a meal planned though, it would be easy to tell your child it is okay to hang out with friends during 5-7pm - traditional evening meal time. To get parent/child on the same page about drugs/alcohol see a community -based model that works!
Visit www.RealityTour.org or www.facebook.com/realitytour
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Katie Workman
04:13 PM on 06/11/2012
In the end, if it turns out family dinners weren't the thing that made my kids into upright moral citizens and nuclear biologists, I'm still pretty convinced that they're worth it. Most of us don't need a study to recognize the pleasures and upsides to getting the family around the table, as often as is feasible. Nicely said.
07:44 PM on 06/11/2012
I grew up in a family of 6. We always had supper together as a family. As busy as my father was he always made time to sit down for dinner with the family. None of us six are rocket scientists. None of us became doctors or lawyers. None of us became criminals or drug addicts either. We all turned out to be normal adults who do our best to contribute to society and love freedom and democracy. I don't care what a so called "specialist" says. Family dinner is a must for a happy and healthy family.
03:55 PM on 06/11/2012
Ask any of my five children, four of whom are now in their forties, about family dinners and they will all agree that having dinner as a family greatly contributed toward keeping us together after their father left when they were 3 - 11 years old. Sharing a meal, regardless as to the hour, reinforced the fact that we were together. We were a team. We shared each other's good times and bad times. We connected. Sometimes it was tumultuous but well worth it. We found out years later that the two sisters who lived next door watched our family dinners through their bedroom window for entertainment! Several single friends who did not encourage family dinners now wonder why their children, as adults, do not stay in touch with their siblings. I believe regular family dinners are critical to the growth of individuals and the strength of future generations. I am proud that all my children are continuing the tradition.
07:47 PM on 06/11/2012
You brought a tear to my eye. That was a wonderful story. Be proud of what you have accomplished as a mother. WOW!!
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Jospeh Moose
03:49 PM on 06/11/2012
The wife and I always fight over dinner. I now take dinner on the recliner. Much more peaceful that way. I also try to spend as little time as possible in any room where my wife and daughters can be found. I've become quite good at sneaking thru the house. Yes, I know, I am whipped...no need to tell me.
04:08 PM on 06/11/2012
As a woman i could easily be offended by a man who doesnt want to spend time with his wife...but in my case, i am with you lol. I very much enjoy the peace and quiet of eating alone without hearing anybody complain or without hearing anybody eat with their mouth open.
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Jospeh Moose
01:51 PM on 06/12/2012
Why would what I do or don't do offend you? I have no problems spending time with my wife, I love her and she is great...just don't like the three of them together in one room....scary!
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vampyreincubus
Hate only breeds hate.
04:24 PM on 06/11/2012
Just cause there is less drama, do you really think that it is helping anything? I mean come on those problems you don't talk about tend to build up until the pressure is overwhelming and that is usually the point where someone files for divorce or goes nuts and kills their whole family. America has become a country of ignore our problems until it is too late. Shame it may already be too late.
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Jospeh Moose
01:50 PM on 06/12/2012
OH, there are no problems. Wifey and I are just fine when it's just us talking and discussing things...problem is when you mix the girls into it it then breaks down to nonsensical babbling and whining and hysterics and the ever present chance of a complete emotional blow out.
03:42 PM on 06/11/2012
It seems a fine exercise of splitting hairs to question whether it's the family dinner that improves the welfare of the kids, or everything else that happens around and during those dinners.

When my sons' mother and I separated in 1994, I believed, and still do, that having meals together was an incredibly important time. The boys were 12, 10, and 8 at the time. We would eat at the table and, if I suggested that we sit in front of the TV, they objected and insisted that we sit at the table. Now they're 30, 28, and 26. When they can, they still come over for supper one week night and "every other weekend." I never told them they no longer had to follow the "schedule" so they've just kept coming. It may be that they get leftovers too, but I like to think they just come for the company. Until about a month ago, they still lived together, so it wasn't like they had to come to Dad's to see each other.

Put whatever spin on it that you want. I think there's no substitute for face-time at the table. Their friends' parents would comment that they have good table manners and etiquette, and question how that happened. They are engaging with everyone, having eaten and talked with everyone else that's ever had a meal with us. The greatest benefit is all I've learned from them and that's worth every dirty dish its ever produced.