The planets align and the miracle happens…everyone is home around dinner time. So you wonder what you are going to do now and quite honestly after getting off work yourself, you don’t feel much like cooking. You are also asking yourself…what happened to the once common family dinner?
The family dinner became the thing of the past. Seeing a family dinner on a television show isn’t even common. The reason is that lifestyles have changed. Moms must work and the children in the home are involved in lots of activities. Many homes are single parent homes and extended family lives out of town. Business can be open 24 hours any and all days of the week, so work doesn’t end at 5p and no longer is everyone off from work and activities on Sunday. People who live in the same home may not see each other often let alone everyone be home around dinner time.
When you know ahead of time that the family will all be home, communicate with everyone that you want to have a family dinner and set a time. Remind everyone that it doesn’t happen much and it is something important to you.
If there are older kids in the home and/or other adults. Spread out the responsibilities for dinner. Even if you choose to eat out, order in, or pick up something to eat at home together, let everyone have a part in the family dinner. With supervision, even young children can feel part of the family dinner plans.
Planning for the dinner:
• Decide where the dinner will be
• Delegate responsibilities of preparing or picking up the meal
• Have younger children get the table ready
• Teens can be in charge of sodas or other drinks
• Buy a special dessert or have who ever is off work make the dessert
• If people are on a diet and can have a day off from their diet, plan for it to land on the family dinner night
If it has been a long time since the family got together, add a family game or movie to the night. If you have a large age range of kids, let the younger ones partner up with an older one to form a “team” and let them participated at the level that they are capable of. Many of the animated movies keep a child’s interest but have some funny jokes throw in so that only the adults get to make the movie fun for everyone.
Avoid talking of anything serious or problems; save problem solving for a family meeting. Keeping the family dinner fun and extending the fun to into a relaxing family night, will create memories together. The more fun everyone has and the more relaxed everyone is, the more likely they will be on board the next time you want to plan a family dinner.
When you choose to order out or to go out to eat, if you live in South Florida FL consider Mama Jennie’s. You can keep your family dinner simple and casual with pizza or you can have a special dinner and serve their lasagna, stuffed shells, or eggplant Parmesan. There is even desserts available. Ordering out or eating at their friendly restaurant will make any family dinner special and memorable.