Lower risks of obesity, substance abuse, eating disorders, and high-risk behaviors
Increased chance of graduating from high school
Expanded vocabulary and reading ability
Positive impact on children's values, motivation, personal identity, and self-esteem
Be An Active Listener
To make the most of your family mealtime, it helps to turn off the TV and phones during dinner. Take time to discuss each person’s day, and maybe talk about current events and news that are appropriate for your child’s age. Many families find that talking about each person’s highs and lows for the day helps them keep up with what’s going on in each other’s lives. Be an active listener and encourage your child(ren) to listen to other family members as well.
Share the Responsibility of Cooking and Cleaning
As often as possible, cook as a family and include everyone in the preparation and clean up process. You could experiment with fun recipes or create new ones of your own, or remake old recipes with healthier alternatives. Try having themed cuisine nights and cook fun themed meals. Find meals that you enjoy and cook them on a regular basis, making sure to try and spend at least an hour eating dinner, talking, and cleaning up together.
At a minimum, make it a point to ensure that you are eating at least four family dinners together each week—you’ll be glad you did!
This article is an excerpt from CCA’s Trailmap for Life program which helps parents prepare your teens for life. There are five fun and powerful sessions parents and teens do together with successful approaches in managing life’s toughest topics. Classes begin March 20, 2019. Click here to learn more!