Each new school year brings with it a fresh start for you and your family. I would like you to consider a habit that will have a positive effect on your child’s success; eat dinner as a family most nights of the week. This simple act of sharing a meal brings countless rewards for children. It builds relationships within your family and builds your child’s self-esteem. These two ingredients make for a child who is successful academically, socially, and physically.
Several strategies will make these family dinners a success. Keep the TV off. Invite, but don’t require, each person to talk. Listen without interrupting. Don’t make mealtime a time for lecturing. It is a time for family members to talk about their day or what’s on their mind. You’ll send a clear message that your child is important and deserves to be heard. This sharing and listening develops stronger relationships and helps develop your child’s self-esteem.
Your reaction to this new habit might be: “We can’t because our kids are running in different directions every night”. If so, your children may be overscheduled. Consider cutting back by only enrolling each child in one extra-curricular activity each season. Sounds harsh? Remember: a strong bond to family will lay the foundation for success in school, sports, and life. This bond will prepare a child for adulthood more so than time invested in activities.
Sharing meals on a regular basis is a fun way to help your child be successful in school and in life. Start off the school year by putting family time first.
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