Prather Pediatric and Allergy Center - Ask Doctor Brent

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Title: For Busy Families, Make Meal Time Sacred

Category: Positive Parenting


    How much time do you actually spend with your children each day?  A study done at Columbia University showed that the average parent spends about eight minutes per day.  This is sad and is probably part of the reason for many of the problems we have in society today. 

      In today's busy world parents must be creative in finding ways to spend time with their children.  If Mom and Dad are both working, it may require getting up  a little earlier to share breakfast and possibly drop one of the children off at school.  Another ideal might be going out to eat on a regular basis such as Saturday morning to McDonald's as a family or Sunday after church to a favorite restaurant.  My family loves to go to Sadie's Cafeteria at the Acadiana Mall every Sunday after church.  This has become a new family tradition and the children really get excited about it.  Where you go is not important but the fact that you spend time together is. 

      Supper time is usually one meal that families find time to sit down together.  Even if it's only a few times a week try this meal a special family together time.  Unplug the phone, lock the doors, and turn off the TV.  Decide to have a nice slow meal and involve every family member in the discussion.  There is no better way to discuss current important topics such as what's going on in the school, community and even around the nation than around the dinner table.  Ask your children questions and then sit back and listen.  At first the children may be upset about having to sit with Mom and Dad for 45 minutes or an hour but soon they will get used to it and even look forward to it.  Again, what you eat is not so important as the fellowship and sharing around the food.  By making certain meals sacred family time you can share your faith, your character, and your values with your children.  You can insure that you will beat the national average of 8 minutes per day spent with your children.  I encourage you to try this with your family for a few months.  You will do it the rest of your life.