Dinner is more than just a way to refuel your body. For your family, it's also nourishment for the soul. With everyone following his or her own busy schedule, dinner time is one of the few opportunities to gather together.
With a little effort and creativity, you can establish dinner time as valued family time. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
• Stop relying on meals on the go. Instead of swinging by the drive-thru on the way to or from soccer practice, plan time for everyone to sit down together. It may sound difficult at first, but if you make it a priority you'll be surprised at how well you can make it work.
• Keep the TV turned off. No shows are important enough to interfere with quality time together. That's what DVRs are for.
• Give everyone a chance to share their thoughts. Mom or Dad can start things off with a question, but the dinner table should be a forum for all family members to talk about what's important to them or what their day was like.
• Have your children help with the meal preparation. Learning kitchen skills gives them self-confidence and instills good habits that will carry through to adulthood.
• Be flexible with the idea of "dinner". There will be times when a sit-down evening meal just isn't possible. Simply shift family time to lunch or dinner. The shared time, not the specific meal, is what's important.
Your children will be excited and proud to share their experiences at Horizon around the family dinner table. Our childcare and preschool programs are focused on helping them develop their full academic and creative potential.