Sunday dinner

Growing up my family ate dinner together almost every night, right until the day I left home. To this day I look forward to a Sunday dinner invite at my mom and dads. It’s comforting, it’s tradition, and I think it made a difference in our house.

That’s why I want to keep up the Sunday dinner tradition with my kids. But I’ll be honest, I haven’t been very good at it thus far. Whether it’s the fact that my kids are still young and hardly eat a thing I make, or perhaps it’s that life seems so busy that making a traditional Sunday dinner can feel like another pressure in an already hectic week, I’m not sure. But I feel an intense desire to do this for my kids. I buy into the whole argument that dinner with the family helps children grow into healthier people.

One of the studies discussed in this Time article found that family dinners get better with time. Apparently “the less often a family eats together, the worse the experience is likely to be.” Makes perfect sense to me. It’s like anything, practice makes perfect. Families who spend time together are more likely to comfortable with each other.

The research isn’t conclusive about why family dinners work, but one thing is for sure, I believe, like the article says, that it reinforces a whole host of family values and habits. I think it sends a message to our children that they matter, that the family matters. So much so that parents are willing to protect time just to be together, time that is as free as possible from outside distractions and pressures.

I get that in today’s busy world, it isn’t always easy to do. Kids are busy, parents are busy, there just isn’t enough time in the day. That’s why I’m working hard to cement this tradition while my kids are young. Weeknight dinners will be important and as much as possible we will make it a priority to eat together. But Sunday nights will be protected, everyone will be expected to be home. It will not be optional, it will be mandatory. It was when I was growing up. Not only was it mandatory, it was family time. That meant friends weren’t invited. It was time for our family. It’s a tradition that I think is worth working hard for and an investment in my family that I believe matters.

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20 thoughts on “Sunday dinner

  1. qt_pie1602 says:

    We have always eaten dinner as a family on Sunday. Now that we are older and have kids of our own, we still go to our mom's. I look forward to it. No matter how busy lives can be, it is a day that we all look forward to. The kids get to spend time with their "Neena" and I get a much needed break! I hope when my kids get older, they will look forward to coming for Sunday dinner at my place too!

  2. qt_pie1602 says:

    We have always eaten dinner as a family on Sunday. Now that we are older and have kids of our own, we still go to our mom's. I look forward to it. No matter how busy lives can be, it is a day that we all look forward to. The kids get to spend time with their "Neena" and I get a much needed break! I hope when my kids get older, they will look forward to coming for Sunday dinner at my place too!

  3. qt_pie1602 says:

    We have always eaten dinner as a family on Sunday. Now that we are older and have kids of our own, we still go to our mom's. I look forward to it. No matter how busy lives can be, it is a day that we all look forward to. The kids get to spend time with their "Neena" and I get a much needed break! I hope when my kids get older, they will look forward to coming for Sunday dinner at my place too!

  4. qt_pie1602 says:

    We have always eaten dinner as a family on Sunday. Now that we are older and have kids of our own, we still go to our mom's. I look forward to it. No matter how busy lives can be, it is a day that we all look forward to. The kids get to spend time with their "Neena" and I get a much needed break! I hope when my kids get older, they will look forward to coming for Sunday dinner at my place too!

  5. A Crafty Mom says:

    I love this idea – we really try to do this too. Right now our lifestyle affords us the ability to do this most nights (I am still home on leave, husband is home at a decent time), but I know as schedules get busier it will be difficult. It is getting more pleasant now that my kids are a bit older (5, 4 and 21 months)!

  6. A Crafty Mom says:

    I love this idea – we really try to do this too. Right now our lifestyle affords us the ability to do this most nights (I am still home on leave, husband is home at a decent time), but I know as schedules get busier it will be difficult. It is getting more pleasant now that my kids are a bit older (5, 4 and 21 months)!

  7. A Crafty Mom says:

    I love this idea – we really try to do this too. Right now our lifestyle affords us the ability to do this most nights (I am still home on leave, husband is home at a decent time), but I know as schedules get busier it will be difficult. It is getting more pleasant now that my kids are a bit older (5, 4 and 21 months)!

  8. A Crafty Mom says:

    I love this idea – we really try to do this too. Right now our lifestyle affords us the ability to do this most nights (I am still home on leave, husband is home at a decent time), but I know as schedules get busier it will be difficult. It is getting more pleasant now that my kids are a bit older (5, 4 and 21 months)!

  9. Chantal says:

    I really enjoy eating all together. And I do love the extra special Sunday meals.

  10. Chantal says:

    I really enjoy eating all together. And I do love the extra special Sunday meals.

  11. Chantal says:

    I really enjoy eating all together. And I do love the extra special Sunday meals.

  12. Chantal says:

    I really enjoy eating all together. And I do love the extra special Sunday meals.

  13. Rebecca says:

    Growing up, my mom was a working mom and while weeknight meals may have been quick, we all remember with fondness how wonderful her Sunday meals were – roasts, stews, full turkey dinners – amazing.But typically, even with 4 kids and all of us going in different directions, we ate together almost every night of the week. It was very important. After we all moved out, we still typically get together for family meals.I really want the dinner table to be a great place for my kids – even with the fights to eat or try foods, it's a place to visit, catch up and communicate. And, slow down.Great post

  14. Rebecca says:

    Growing up, my mom was a working mom and while weeknight meals may have been quick, we all remember with fondness how wonderful her Sunday meals were – roasts, stews, full turkey dinners – amazing.But typically, even with 4 kids and all of us going in different directions, we ate together almost every night of the week. It was very important. After we all moved out, we still typically get together for family meals.I really want the dinner table to be a great place for my kids – even with the fights to eat or try foods, it's a place to visit, catch up and communicate. And, slow down.Great post

  15. Rebecca says:

    Growing up, my mom was a working mom and while weeknight meals may have been quick, we all remember with fondness how wonderful her Sunday meals were – roasts, stews, full turkey dinners – amazing.But typically, even with 4 kids and all of us going in different directions, we ate together almost every night of the week. It was very important. After we all moved out, we still typically get together for family meals.I really want the dinner table to be a great place for my kids – even with the fights to eat or try foods, it's a place to visit, catch up and communicate. And, slow down.Great post

  16. Rebecca says:

    Growing up, my mom was a working mom and while weeknight meals may have been quick, we all remember with fondness how wonderful her Sunday meals were – roasts, stews, full turkey dinners – amazing.But typically, even with 4 kids and all of us going in different directions, we ate together almost every night of the week. It was very important. After we all moved out, we still typically get together for family meals.I really want the dinner table to be a great place for my kids – even with the fights to eat or try foods, it's a place to visit, catch up and communicate. And, slow down.Great post

  17. Hollee says:

    We never had family dinners growing up — my dad was a busy physician and was never home. I am trying to create the family dinner experience for my kids. I will share a secret that is really helping me (I never met this woman in my life and have no monetary reason for saying this): I subscribed to http://www.menufortheweek.com and a woman named Dawn sends me a weekly grocery list and recipes for a week. It is amazing! I've made dinner every night for the past few weeks. One other thing we do at dinner: Each of us shares the "best part of the day." I hope my boys remember this when they're older; I can't help but smile at some of what they share, and it helps me focus on the positive. I really liked your post! -H

  18. Hollee says:

    We never had family dinners growing up — my dad was a busy physician and was never home. I am trying to create the family dinner experience for my kids. I will share a secret that is really helping me (I never met this woman in my life and have no monetary reason for saying this): I subscribed to http://www.menufortheweek.com and a woman named Dawn sends me a weekly grocery list and recipes for a week. It is amazing! I've made dinner every night for the past few weeks. One other thing we do at dinner: Each of us shares the "best part of the day." I hope my boys remember this when they're older; I can't help but smile at some of what they share, and it helps me focus on the positive. I really liked your post! -H

  19. Hollee says:

    We never had family dinners growing up — my dad was a busy physician and was never home. I am trying to create the family dinner experience for my kids. I will share a secret that is really helping me (I never met this woman in my life and have no monetary reason for saying this): I subscribed to http://www.menufortheweek.com and a woman named Dawn sends me a weekly grocery list and recipes for a week. It is amazing! I've made dinner every night for the past few weeks. One other thing we do at dinner: Each of us shares the "best part of the day." I hope my boys remember this when they're older; I can't help but smile at some of what they share, and it helps me focus on the positive. I really liked your post! -H

  20. Hollee says:

    We never had family dinners growing up — my dad was a busy physician and was never home. I am trying to create the family dinner experience for my kids. I will share a secret that is really helping me (I never met this woman in my life and have no monetary reason for saying this): I subscribed to http://www.menufortheweek.com and a woman named Dawn sends me a weekly grocery list and recipes for a week. It is amazing! I've made dinner every night for the past few weeks. One other thing we do at dinner: Each of us shares the "best part of the day." I hope my boys remember this when they're older; I can't help but smile at some of what they share, and it helps me focus on the positive. I really liked your post! -H

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