As we come into this holiday season, when we spend time celebrating the season with family and friends, it is a great time to keep traditions and maybe for some, to start some new ones.
When I was growing up if you asked me where the heart of our home was, I would have said our kitchen table. It was a place, where there were a lot of conversations, laughter, tears, decisions made, etc. I believe through these moments, realized or not, our family values were conveyed to us. It was a place where my family gathered pretty much every day to do life together.
Actually, throughout history, the dining table has always been a place for people to bond. People could have eaten anywhere, but they created the table to bond with others around the pleasure of dining. Being respectful by using table manners was a part of that event.
For some of us today, I think we have lost the understanding of how important dining together is to the health and well being of our families.
Studies show that when children dine with their families, they have less depression. Studies also indicate that children who know their identity, i.e., who they are, also have less depression and additional issues. I believe it is all connected.
Even the lessons we learn at the table help us throughout our lives. For example, when you teach your child to hold the fork correctly you are not just teaching the action of holding the fork, but rather you are teaching the attitude of self-respect and confidence. You are not teaching what to do, you are teaching how to be…it is much bigger!
I encourage us to set the stage, by setting the table for time to bond with our families. To show them they are of value by declaring it a cell free zone and spending this time in personal space and not in cyberspace. Whether we set a formal fun place setting using our good china or plastic plates, we show that everyone has a place at the table to connect, be present, feel valued and belong.
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