A long while back, at the begining of this blogs life, I wrote about the importance of having Family time around the dinner table. When done on a regular basis, and without the interruption of devices, it can be a wonderful way to strengthen the communication and relationships within your family. Lately I’ve been seeing a pretty wide campaign on social media called #TakeBackTheTable, dedicated to getting familys back (or even just now into) the habit of doing exactly what I had previously written about.
Now that the holidays are approaching, it’s a great time to revisit this idea. While a lot of families in the world won’t be able to do this due to their crazy work schedules, we can all strive to reach this goal of a regular sit down time. Growing up, the dining room table wasn’t just a place for us to eat, it was the main fixture of our house. It was where we did art projects, built LEGO sets, did homework, studied (or lack therof), and most importantly: talked.
We had long descussions on a nearly daily basis about anything and everything. Nothing was considered “off the table” (see what I did there?) and as I grew up we had deep discussions about that which concerns a young man or woman becoming an adult. We talked politics, art, music (endlessly), history and everything in between. In doing so not only did I learn a great deal ahead of my classmates by having a close group to openly discuss these things with, I also gained an element to my relationship with my parents that not many families have. Friendship.
My parents became not just teachers and rule givers, they were a forum of individuals whom I came to trust and admire. Our discussions led to us having a better understanding of each other and our beliefs, what was the same and what differed. The best part of this dynamic was that I learned as much from them, as they have from me. We traded our brains for a bit at the dinner table, even when the other person wasn’t very interested in what one had to say, we listened. Something can be learned from every angle of life, especially when its your own family.
The dining room table, whatever size or shape it may be, should not just be used for sorting out paperwork, or acting as a place to stack miscelaneous stuff. It’s purpose is more than just a common place to eat food. Its an open forum, away from the distractions of technology, where families can become closer. It may be a difficult change to manage for your family, but I encourage you to try. Whether it’s a home cooked meal, or simply a pizza to share around. In the long run, it’s a simple change that can really make a difference in a families’ relationship.