Tell Me A Story…

Thanks to everyone for the sweet birthday wishes to Keith. I made him read all the comments and he was blushing! haha! I totally agree with ALL of you…he is a hottie!! HOLLAR for birthdays! :)

Okay, do you want to hear a story? I knew it!! I want to take you into my childhood and show you a glimpse of how I grew up, specifically in terms of dinner time. I was VERY fortunate (and I do recognize how lucky I was) to have 2 parents who cared deeply about the importance of “family time.” We were (and still are) a very close-knit family and we did a lot together, including dinner. From as long as I can remember we always had dinner at the table as a family. And yes, both of my parents worked full-time jobs during the week. But the value they placed on eating dinner as a family at the dinner table was never overlooked no matter how tired they were or how hard their day was. We didn’t turn on the television usually and the answering machine took the phone calls (and had cell phones been around we would not have been allowed to text or tweet, etc, during the dinner hour) This was the time when my brother and I got to tell about our days. It is still a family joke to talk about how those conversations went:

  • Mom or Dad: “So Josh (my brother) how was your day?”
  • Josh: “Fine”
  • Mom or Dad: “And Kelly, how was your day?”
  • Me: “Well first it started when I woke up. I walked down the hall and went to the bathroom. Then I came downstairs to eat breakfast and had….” (You can see where this is going! haha…what can I say I am a talker)

But ultimately the point was that we shared a valuable experience as a family (this continued all the way through my adult life…we still do this when we all get together now). I was constantly shown that my parents cared about me and about my brother. We never ate dinner on TV trays in front of the television, never ate dinner with a plate in our lap on the couch…but at the table in our same spots each night.

Do you think it is important to eat as a family at the table?

Personally, I do think it is important. This is where we learned proper table manners (important in today’s society I believe), where we were served nutritious meals, where we saw that even though my parents both worked a good dinner was a priority, and where we bonded as a family unit. So important that today, Keith and I always eat at the table. We don’t eat on the couch or in the living room but at the kitchen table every single night. I also set the table and this is where we reconnect after a busy day. We talk about the highs and the lows of the day. The television is off, we do not answer our phones and we just enjoy the company of one another over a relaxing dinner from a usually chaotic day. With that said…I want to know about you.

How do you eat dinner in your adult life today? Does it differ from how it was when you were a kid? What level of importance do you place on eating at the table?

 

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43 Responses

  1. I do think it’s important. When we were kids, we ate at the table as a family. My husband and I don’t always eat at the table, but we do try to make it a point to do so at least once a week. It makes such a huge difference. We actually talk to each other rather than stare at the tv. Amazing how that happens.

  2. I absolutely love eating dinner with my family, but after we “grew up” it was never required that we ate at the dinner table together. It was more in front of the TV.

    I never did like that.

    Now, with my BF I’ll eat when he gets home from the gym, whether or not it’s 9pm. I’ll wait.

    I like spending that alone time at the dinner table together, talking about our day :)

  3. First of all I saw the “fed up with lunch” blog on Good Morning America! These issues are really being brought to the forefront which is exciting :-)

    When I was little I ate at the table, but as I got older my mom and I would eat in front of the tv (it was just the two of us). Now my boyfriend and I always eat at the table, but we do have the TV on sometimes!

  4. That’s so nice! I hardly ever sit at my kitchen table, I’m normally at the kitchen island watching TV :( I’m also usually eating alone. Maybe tonight I’ll make bf and I sit at the table.

  5. I think it’s really important! My mom worked full time and was single but we still had a home-cooked dinner almost every night with no TV or phone (just like you said) even if it was often kind of late. We all helped out and chatted about our days. On Friday’s even, there was no way I could go over to my boyfriends or out with friends before dinner and dishes were done. We’re all so close and all learned to like lots of different foods, so I think it paid off. Now, I mostly eat by myself and usually while staring at the TV or computer. I know I shouldn’t but eating in silence all alone at the table facing a wall sounds terrible!

    • We were the same way…Friday and Saturday were no exceptions! haha! But as I got older (high school) I was allowed to miss dinner time one weekend night. Usually it was Friday night because that was when I would go to my high school football games! Ah…memories!

  6. So funny! I just brought that up today, too! I feel like it’s important to sit and enjoy your food- and that’s why I feel so bad for not having a table yet! lol

    When I grew up, we actually had breakfast and dinner together most days. (My parents were teachers at the school my brother and I went to, so it worked well for breakfast) I think it’s very important to keep families connected that way. Great post!!!

  7. I personally think it’s important to eat at the table especially having children! We don’t always get to eath together, but when we do, one of the things that we do is we ask each person at the table “what was the best part of your day, and what was the worst part of your day”. Having children, you’d be suprised what they will say. I LOVE eating together at the table with my family!

  8. My family was the same way, we always ate our dinner together. Great time and memories.

    Now that I have a family I always try and make it so that we eat our dinner together at the dinner table. My Daughter started eating meals with us at 12 months (when she could pretty much chew anything)and since then I made the commitment to eat at the table and share our meals together.

    I am very lucky to be able to stay at home with my kids and make it a point to create wholesome delicious meals like my Mother did for me. It really did wonders for my Daughter’s appetite and tastes. She loves salads, steals spinach off my plate and will devour anything I put in front of her.

    It’s amazing what a little time and dedication to sitting down and eating a home cooked meal as a family can do.

  9. Growing up, we always ate at the table, too. We didn’t answer the phone and the TV was always off. I wish I were like that now, but there are times when my husband and I eat in front of the TV. Still, we try to keep it to a minimum.

  10. YES! I place the same importance on dining at a real table with real dishes, table manners and conversation. My husband and I were both raised in families that did this and he feels the same about it. We started carrying on this tradition from Day 1 of being married and plan to continue doing so.

  11. I hope he loved my comment! Haha that is the best story because that is EXACTLY how our dinner conversations went when I was in high school. I would always answer “good” and my loud mouth sister would go on for hours! This happened every night!
    Also, I think it is VERY important for a family to sit down and eat together. Someone in the family should cook if the other person is too busy. We always ate dinner together and that is how you start building healthy habits not only with table manners but also healthy food. It is so sad to see my little cousins because their mom NEVER cooks. She is my aunt but i will be honest I F&#(*&# Hate this bitch! She is actually in an affair but that is another story. It’s just sad because my cousins are so young that they do not know what to eat. They don’t know what is healthy or not so they order take out every night because they have no other option. That is a major reason while child obesity is so high these days because less and less parents prepare a healthy meal for these young children when this is the most important time. Then they grow up with no healthy skills and they continue unhealthy life styles. It is truly sad! Great post though!

  12. We eat at the table EVERY night too as I did with my family as a kid. It is extremely important. My parents put a huge emphasis on that tradition and I’ll carry it on with my family for sure

  13. I eat dinner in front of the tv now. But thats because I dont have a dinner table. Or space to put a dinner table if I did have one.
    We used to eat as a family – it faded as we got older though. And to be honest, family dinners did NOT help our table manners. My dads a big kid, and we used to have sock fights at the table.

  14. Hey there, just tuning in! Happy Birthday to Keith!!

    Dinner at my home was the exact same way growing up. I didn’t know any different. Andrew and I have a bad habit of eating dinner on the couch most nights while watching TV. But, we do sit at the table with the TV turned on 1-2 times a week. Yeah, not enough…

    I don’t think we’ll change until we have kids, which hopefully won’t be much longer. I am going to try and create the same dining environment my parents created for me. I do find it so valuable for the entire family to sit there and reconnect over a delicious and healthy meal. Great post, Kelly! :)

  15. I think it’s REALLY important. Ryan and I eat dinner in front of the television many nights now (largely because we see each other so much during the day that we have no need to “catch up” over dinner, but when we have children, I want to eat every meal at the table, no tv, no phones, etc. That’s how I was raised, and I plan on doing the exact same thing!

  16. I think its so so important that a family eats dinner together! I know that I can be hard to do that every night for some families but even a few times a week is great. Its important that a family knows whats going on in everyones life and just to spend time together talking about whatever. Me and my fiance eat dinner together every night unless he has band practice. We sometimes have the tv on but most times we just talk and enjoy our meals together!

  17. I think it’s SO important to eat at the table AND as a family!! It was just my mom & me growing up and we ate at the table sometimes, but she was usually pretty tired and we sat on the couch. I’m always nagging my husband to sit at the table and not in front of the tv…then I always say “don’t make me sound like your mother” hahaa

  18. I miss eating dinner with my family. After my parents got divorced, my mom, sister, and I began having dinner with my grandparents. My grandpa was always the cook! When I went away to college…eating without them made me SO homesick….

    When I have kids, eating together once a day will be a top priority :-)

  19. I definitely think it’s important to eat together as a family. we did growing up, and although there were times that I really wished we could eat separately or something i look back now and really cherish those times we got to spend together!

  20. Great Post! We ate dinner the same way… except I have sister so both of went throught the “well the day started when I got up….” lol

    Raymond and I eat at the dinning table.. unfortunately a lot of times with the tv on.. but normally not because we are watching it.. but because we are lazy to turn it off or to mtue it while eating. But like everyone else said, I definately think there won’t be any tv, phone calls, tweeting or txting while eating dinner when and if we have a little Raymond or Gelareh

  21. Totally agree. I grew up the same way and FH and I have dinner together every night. It’s important to us, to the point that I try to not do schedule anything with my friends during dinner.

  22. I do think it’s important. Eating is nourishment for the body and the soul. Meals are meant to be a shared, social activity. It’s a great way to connect with others. As a kid we usually ate dinner as a family, and it was great. The one time we’d all really be together each day. Now, my husband and I usually eat dinner together, although we often eat different things. It’s weird, I know. We’re working on it and getting better about cooking full meals. We’re usually just so tired by the end of our long days.

  23. My parents never placed a lot of importance on it but I definitely plan to! I think that structured time has so much value to it, esp in todays world when no once will stop to breathe.

  24. We always ate dinner as a family. Due to the exposure, my mother said she did not ever have to teach us basic table manners such as chewing with your mouth closed. I never realized the true value of eating meals together until I worked with Head Start, a program dedicated to education and nutrition with children and families from economically disadvantaged homes. I pretty much worked with kiddos from the inner city. We had to eat breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack with the children all served “family style.” They were used to eating in front of the T.V. We as teachers and family advocates had to teach them everything from eating with utensils to passing food and the appropriate way to serve themselves one actual serving of food. I TOTALLY understand how thankful you are!

  25. We always ate dinner together also, and we were never allowed to have those crazy processed snacks (which I WAS so mad about) but I think it laid a good foundation for me. I still do this with my husband when he gets home and we eat every night at the table.

  26. i do think family dinners are very important. we would always eat together as a family. most the time is was at whatever restruant we could meet at before running in opposite directions again, but we would all sit down together.

    i mostly eat on my own now. breakfast in always consumed in the car and lunch is sometimes too. i really like having dinning companions tho so i really enjoy when the bf and i can sync up schedules.

  27. Okay, I’m way late to this party, but I want to wish Keith a very, very happy bday!! He really is a hottie :smile:

    And, yes, I think eating at the table is so, so important. Not only does it solidfy a family, but it teaches manners and slows everyone down for a bit.

    Unfortantely, I eat on tv trays right now because it’s just us. BUT, I will not do that when I have kids. We will most definitely be at the table for family time. And I only hope to have a kid that wants to talk to me as much as you!!

  28. My family still eats together most days. On normal days I don’t enjoy conversing during dinner though; there’s a time for talking and a time for eating : ) When we go out or have company obviously I’m more social though!

    Also once a month or so my friends and I will get together for “family dinner” at someone’s house; we share the cooking/cleaning responsibilities, open some wine and have nice long meals. It’s a really great (cheap) way to catch up now that our lives are all so hectic!

    When I have kids we will def. do family dinners to teach them table manners and for quality time. Also, when I was little, my dad (a teacher) would stay late on Thursdays to do lesson plans so my mom would take my siblings and I out to dinner to teach us how to behave in restaurants; I’ll absolutely do that too! Such important social skills for kids to learn.

  29. Tell your hubbie Happy Birthday! We have Bella’s 8th on Sat! Dinner around here is scattered. Sometimes we sit @ the table, sometimes we eat @ diff times ( work, swim, life, ect). However, we DO make a priority to get “family” time in at some point. Tonight we all sat around the table and it was awesome. Growing up, both my parents were not around, so it was usually just me and my younger brother ( long, long story), which is why now, we try to make the times were are together so special!

    Enjoy your birthday weekend with Keith!

  30. I cherish dinner time.I think having family dinners are SO important because it is a time for families to gather together and bond over some comforting food. Dinner growing up was always something thoughtful that my mom had put together. My brother and I would come home dog tired and my dad would have been working all day with little more than a PB&J sandwich tiding him over. We all had busy lives but dinner was time to recuperate. In my adult life I make an effort to make “real” dinners. Rarely will you find me throwing a bunch of quick-fix dinners and canned soup together. (I do love a big random salad every once and a while). I am on my own so sadly, dinner is often just me, but I find it relaxing at the end of a crazy day to come back and treat myself to a thoughtful meal/

    love your thoughts!

  31. Kelly I couldn’t agree more- eating together every night is truly one of the most important things to me. My mom always tried to make a hearty meal and we always communicated so well. I firmly believe in the line you said, “it was where we bonded as a family unit.” Love that. I hope to do this for the rest of my life. It’s a connection, a nutritious meal, and a tradition.
    Excellent post!
    And happy birthday to Keith!!

  32. My family always ate together at the kitchen table. Now, I eat by myself in front of my computer. I know sitting down at the table and focusing just on the food is supposed to be better, but I just don’t buy that. Eating would be so boring that way!

  33. We always ate together as a family even though we all had about 20 million things to do. I love my family to pieces and I always look forward to when the 4 of us get to sit down together. I usually eat dinner lying on the floor in front of my laptop or the tv now (the joys of living alone). I actually don’t have a table I could sit at in my apartment!

  34. happy bday to keith!! he def doesn’t look 40 ;)

    i love eating dinner with the family! probably not when i was younger, but i DO think it is important!

  35. that’s so wonderful that you got that family time at dinner and that you and Keith make it a priority still. Dinner wasn’t ever really a big “family” time when I was a kid…partly because my dad would work late, or I would be a sports practice, or my sister would be out doing something with an orchestra or whatnot. But we also were never a close family.

    That said, I KNOW if I ever get married (yea, I wonder sometimes…) and have kids, I will make that family time at dinner a priority as an important time to build bonds and support and as a means of fostering healthy eating.

  36. lol, that cracked me up. My bro and I are totally different, too…that scenerio you gave us is OUR own table, too! I talk and talk abt me, me, me…and my brother will just say “Fine. Yes. no. Uh-huh.” lol..

  37. Eating dinner at the table is DEFINITELY important. It is something I feel really strongly about, but sadly am not practicing as much as I would like with my family. There are many nights where we might have to eat dinner later (bec of me tutoring) and if the baby girl isn’t eating us we just plop down with our dinners on the couch. I hate it. You have inspired me to make more of an effort with that again.

  38. yep I sat down to a family dinner almost daily too! my mom and dad stressed the importanc eof family time as well during dinner. We had to not watch tv, not read while eating and TALK…ohh the thought of doing that these days with all of this technology, but yes we did do it and I am so grateful that they stressed this upon us. As hard as it may be when i have kids one day i plan to do the same thing and also hopefully my kiddies will LOVE to cook like me!

  39. As a mother of 3 young girls, I think it’s very important to eat dinner together as a family. We eat at the table, no tv, phones, computer etc… and we talk. It might be about our day or about philosophy on life ;-) but we always talk. I hope our girls will remember our family dinner times like you remember yours. :)

  40. I have dinner with my family (mom, sister, nephews, and whoever else happens to stop by) once a week. We go around the table and tell what the best part of our day was. Sometimes sharing this with the family is the best part!

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