Walking my kindergartener to the bus stop this morning, she mused, “The question of the day today is – Do you like reptiles?” As context, her class takes attendance by placing popsicle sticks with their names on them in the appropriate answer column to an ever-changing question of the day. Apparently, one of her classmates had chosen this question because he has quite an affection for reptiles. Ella, not so much.
She then said, “Know what I asked when it was my turn to choose the question? I asked ‘Does your family eat dinner together?” Now this is a child who knows the way to her mother’s heart! After I gave her a big hug and told her how much I loved her question, she told me that nearly everyone had said that they did eat dinner as a family. There were just a few who did not. And with that, she was off to play with her bus stop cohorts and begin her day. And I was left thinking again about how much our actions as parents matter.
I’ve blogged before about the importance I place on the family dinner. I’m glad so many of her classmates are experiencing this ritual, too, because it can be such precious time for families to spend together in the midst of our hyper-scheduled lives. If you’ve gotten away from the practice because life’s become too hectic, maybe it’s time to give it a try again, even once or twice a week. Find a way to gather around your table as a family and share a meal. The benefits are enormous and well worth the coordination effort it takes to pull it off.
Do you eat dinner as a family? It’s the question of the day.