Eating Dinner Together as a Family

I have to wonder if this is a dying tradition, to eat dinner as a family at the table. TV off, home cooked meal, everyone talking, laughing, sharing tidbits about their day.

Now I should admit, I did not do this growing up. Living with my mom who was on her own in the kid raising department and working long hours to support us, dinner was often me cooking or fend for ourselves. She and I ate in front of the TV. She still made time for catching up on my day and I don’t feel like I missed out on anything growing up.

Enter my husband. After we were married, every dinner was together, kids and all, at the table. No exceptions. I didn’t mind it, our boys seem to love it and will eat breakfast and lunch together at the table even when we don’t require it. Upon asking around and reading different blogs, I’m finding that this concept of eating dinner together is become more rare.

Many families have too many activities, Dads working late, soccer/band/dance practices, life getting in the way. I get it. But for my own family, we work dinner around that. If we have multiple games/practices or what-have-you, we eat dinner either earlier or later, or sometimes if McDonald’s is involved, we will still go inside and eat at the table. Together. I don’t know why it is so important to me now, but it is, so we do what we can to keep it going. It just makes me feel connected to the boys somehow.

Do you sit at the table for dinner? If you do, why is it important to you? If not, Why not?

20110529 dinner with JoBoHa  007
Creative Commons License photo credit: milesgehm


Fueled by coffee and wine. Wife to a doc, mom to three boys (one with Autism), a puppy and a tortoise. I knit, I get crafty, I tweet.

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  1. Marlene says

    In my home my mom was the one (i guess like in many other cases)that was putting food on plates. And i remember i would wait OR ask her to putt food on my plate so it could taste better :)

  2. says

    I grew up with a family who ate dinner together at the table every night, so it’s something I wanted to continue. My dad worked rotating shifts, so we ate at a time convenient to him and his work schedule each week. I’ve transferred that to my own family. I’ll add an extra snack for my 21mth old if we need to have a late dinner because we’re going to all sit down together at the table no matter how late Hubby is getting home. I give her activities to keep her busy while I’m cooking so she will eat her meal with us. I want her to know eating dinner as a family every night, whether we’re at home or stopping at a restaurant for a quick bite, is an important part of our family.

    We also incorporate my dad & step mom in our dinner routine by meeting them for a family dinner at their favorite restaurant once a week. It gives me a break from cooking once a week, and it has been a great help in teaching my daughter that family meal time extends to her time with her Grandparents as well. Plus we started the tradition long before she was born, so she’s always had 1 meal in the restaurant each week. I think it has helped in teaching her how important it is to behave in a restaurant.

  3. says

    We have dinner together every night whether it’s at home or out. If we’re home we’re at the kitchen table. It’s only on extremely rare and occasions that we’ll eat in the living room. Growing up my family ate dinner together every night too. If we had plans they better wait until after dinner. No phone, books or TV at the table either. It’s a great time to connect with each other and talk about what’s going on in everyone’s life.

  4. says

    We eat dinner at the table. My husband sometimes doesn’t make it because my 18 month old finishes lightening fast and needs to be taken to the tub. My kids have never eaten a meal anywhere but the table.

  5. says

    Although my husband is not home during the week for this, I always eat dinner with the kids. On the weekends, it’s a big deal for all 4 of us to eat together as well. Because so much of our day is rushed, I want to make sure we always have that time to look each other in the face (okay, when I get to stop jumping up and down to get stuff, that is).

    Don’t quote me on the study, but added bonus: families who eat dinner together have higher literacy rates and do better in school.

  6. Danielle says

    I only did the sitting at a table with family at my grandmothers house. My mother never did that we set at the table she sat in front of the tv unless it was a special holiday. I part of me would love that but there are a few things that make that impossible. One is no table currently lol and the other is my husband never had that sitting together at the table and said he wouldn’t do it.

  7. says

    We do the same. Every night we have dinner together, and if it requires earlier or later because of schedules then we modify. A lot of times we do breakfast together too. But I feel like we’re pretty lucky to be able to do that.

  8. Marie says

    Yes, we do…even the teenager! It is important to still stay involved in our children’s lives, even as they get older. My husband started a tradition many years ago. Each person is asked to name the best and worst part of their day. Sometimes that is all we get, but many times it leads to more in depth conversations about what is going on in their lives. I grew up eating dinner with my brother, mom, and dad around the kitchen counter..I am glad my family does the same.


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