9/26/07

Teen Talk

We’ve learned that hospitality in our home really pays off, especially around our dinner table.

I think back to an article I read in The Washington Times, back in January of this year, where Cheryl Wetzstein writes about statistics taken from Child Trends Inc., regarding kids who come from a strong home life.

"Family meals are still the norm in the American family," said Brett Brown, a researcher at Child Trends Inc., which recently issued a paper on the importance of eating together.

Teens who eat regularly with their families are more likely to do well in school, delay sexual activity, have better mental health and are less likely to get into fights, think about suicide or smoke, drink or use drugs, he said.

It's also evident from research that children from all kinds of families -- two-parent, single parent, low-income, minority, immigrant -- "are likely to eat together," said Mr. Brown. "For kids who are facing other challenges, this is actually a great strength, an asset that they have."

This reminds me of a conversation that we had recently with our kids, around our table. Some of their friends were present when we discussed the difference between encouragement and what courage really is.

Encouragement is fostering courage in another person, to build them up to do the right thing. It does not mean that it is always done with comforting words. Doing the right thing is not always easy! To be courageous is to show bravery, many times in the face of fear! A level of sacrifice is almost always involved.

Referring back to my July post, "The Table," here again is my accronym for the TABLE:

T Talk
A Always safe
B Break bread
L Listen
E Empathize

How about you? Do you make an effort to sit down for family dinners?

(Top photo: our kids discussing an article that caught their attention this morning at breakfast. It was by Focus on the Family, and it was about kids being video game junkies!)

11 comments:

ValleyGirl said...

When my husband is around, we always eat all together, but I find so often I'm not patient enough or I get bored eating with just my girls. I'm failing in that department. I definitely want to be a strong, eat-together, share-together family, and I guess it needs to start with my attitude.

Barb said...

We always have sit-down dinners at night, but they are more and more sparsely populated as our kids grow up. It's always more fun to have the kids and their friends there tho. Kids have an honesty--in words and in body language--that is refreshing and makes for great conversation. They just seem to have less concern about maintaining "image," at least sitting around a family-type table.

Mrs. Jones said...

Hi Sandy, I stopped by your blog last night for the first time in a while too, but someone called me and I didn't get a chance to leave a note. You beat me to the punch.

When I was a kid, my parents were much better about eating dinner together than we are with my kids. I loved discussing things, and it taught me how to debate topics as an adult without being confrontational. I enjoyed it.

My husband travels a lot and works late, so sometimes in order to get the family all at the table at once, I get up early and have breakfast waiting for us all to sit down and eat the morning meal together. I give each kid a bible verse to read think about before I send them all out into the world.

I love your pictures of your kids having their discussion!

Classic MaMa said...

We absolutely make it a point to sit down for dinners. We even make sure my 9 month old's eating schedule fits around ours so that he understands that we all eat together. We talk about everything with our 9 year old little tween becasue we believe that if we talk about nothing, she'll feel comfortable talking with us about something when she gets older.

GiBee said...

We sit down to eat together every day, but Hunter is still too young to actually hold a conversation ... even so, it's still important for me to lay the foundation and get him used to eating together, praying together, etc. as a family unit!

chocolate girl said...

i am really enjoying your blog...i will come back when my little ones are down for a nap and read some more...great stuff here!

Freshly Found said...

Hi there. Great to see your blog. What an interesting theme. Thanks for dropping by mine and leaving a comment! I will be back!

La Tea Dah said...

Great post! Love the TABLE tips --- talk, always safe, break bread, listen, empathize. Aren't kids the greatest?

LaTeaDah

Nadine said...

When the kids were home, we always ate as a family. It was the best time of day. We laughed so much at dinner time. Even when the kids were older and had jobs, we ate as a family as much as possible.

Joyce said...

I believe you whole heartly. My husband worked a 2nd shift job while our 2 daughter grew up. While my husband worked I made sure that the 3 of us ate together as often as possible And on Sunday all 4 of us. The girls are very respectable adults and living their Christian lives in Michigan.

OKGardners said...

You are absolutely right! Keep doing what you are doing and you will continue to have successful kids. Praise the Lord for caring parents.

Betty (Oklahoma)