Ethical Dilemmas in Healthcare.

Monday, June 19, 2006

“The Magic of the Family Meal.”

Doesn’t it feel like the right thing to have dinner together with your family every night? In most families with their busy schedules, dinner is the only time when all the family members can actually see each other, talk about their achievements and their problems, or otherwise spend quality time together.
I always knew that there was something more with this tradition than just quality time. However, even this simple reason should be enough for all families to try to get together at one table and share a meal as often as they can.
Well, here it is!
“The statistics are clear: kids who dine with their parents are healthier, happier and better students, which is why a dying tradition is coming back”, says Nancy Gibbs in her article in Time magazine.
Studies show that the more often families eat together, the less likely kids smoke, drink, do drugs, get depressed, develop eating disorders and consider suicide, and the more likely they are to do well at school, delay having sex, eat their vegetables, learn big words and know which fork to use.
Beyond promoting balance and variety in kids’ diets, meals together unite families and build its identity and culture. In addition, kids get to learn from their parents how a problem is solved, learn to listen to other people’s concerns and respect their tastes. Parents are undervaluing themselves, when sending their kids to every conceivable extracurricular activity and not allowing their children to spend more time with them. Just talking to Mom and Dad is crucially important in the development of a healthy and happy child.
So start having family dinners! At the beginning it may feel that you have nothing to talk about, or you don’t have time for that, but allow it some time!
Researchers from the Columbia University found essentially that family dinners get better with practice. The more families eat together, the better the experience is likely to be, the healthier the food and the more eager family members are to engage in meaningful conversation.

The Magic of the Family Meal, by Nancy Gibbs. Time. June 12, 2006, pg.53, 4pgs.


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