The family dinner is a powerful thing. Our childhood meal experiences follow us the rest of our lives, and it’s not just about the food.
For me, Sunday Dinner brings back such special memories of delicious comfort foods, a nicely decorated table or picnic, conversation, games, and laughter. I have sought to build on those memories through my time spent with my own family and circle of influence.
ISEE Group is challenging you to join us in “Reviving Sunday Dinner ” or identifying at least 1 day a week that you enjoy dinner together as a family.
We all have a choice: we can think of meals as a chore, or we can be intentional and choose to look at the family dinner as a privilege, an opportunity, a gift, a pleasure and a powerful tool that’s capable of improving your family relationships, strengthening generational ties, and building stronger families.
Be intentional. Know your WHY?
It’s about LOVE!
Sit together and share, lean in, listen, and learn.
Say one thing that you are grateful for.
It’s critical that the atmosphere at the table be warm and inviting, that all members of the family feel that it is safe to talk and know that someone is listening. You can try a game like Rose & Thorns: each person talks about their thorn—something that bothered them that day or made them unhappy—and a rose—something they are proud of or that brought them joy.
Switch up locations! Of course, you want the majority of your meals to be around the family dinner table but sometimes a picnic on the living room floor, a meal on the deck if the weather is nice or even heading to a park can refresh everyone’s attitude about being together.
Have a progressive meal. Starting with appetizers on in the living room, move to the main dish at the dining table, followed by dessert on a field of grass with a picnic blank
MAKE IT SIMPLE -
If preparing a meal is a challenge, try a meal kit or delivery service. Getting the family engaged in meal prep can make them more interested in the meal itself. Cut down on the amount of dinner prep and spend more time with your family at the table eating together.
MAKE IT COLLABORATIVE – Cooking creates teambuilding and oftentimes can become a teaching tool. Get members of the family involved in choosing the theme, creating the dinner menu, preparing a dish, or organizing games and activities. Preselect 2 – 3 options that you are comfortable with and you know can be executed and have them choose from those options
Have a conversation jar! Make dinner time more engaging for everyone by creating a “Family Dinner Conversation” jar. Decorate an old glass jar or box to make it feel special, sit down with your family, and have everyone write down a few questions and conversation starters.
Over dinner have your family take turns choosing a slip of paper from the jar and have fun laughing and learning more about each other as you answer silly questions and ponder different scenarios
Play a game. You can still practice table manners while having fun with table games like "Guess Who", “Finish the Story” or “Telephone.”
Have a theme! Whether your theme is being whisked off to a foreign country, or simply BLUE NIGHT, having a theme will bring laughter to the table and possible education!
Play “restaurant." Print a real live menu and order your food from your kids! Let them plate it and serve it to you, or vice versa.
Have a dinner bar: Seafood bar, Potato bar, pasta bar, salad bar, or any type of bar allows the family to have a little more control over their choices, within the realms of your meal.
Identifying opportunities to train, equip, and reinforce time spent together. Learning by doing! This can include grocery shopping, cleaning the house as a team, gardening together, etc..
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