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Monday, November 19, 2012

Make a New Family Tradition This Thanksgiving

As I think about Thanksgiving, I like many of you, think about my life and what I am thankful for. I am so grateful and blessed to have such a wonderful family.

Thanksgiving for many of us is a time to be with our families because most people have the day off of work and the kids are out of school. It’s a day families can come together and have a day of family time.

I think sometimes we get so caught up in everything that is going on around us that we forget to take time for our own family. We are either working, shuffling the kids from their after school activities or doing whatever else takes time away from enjoying a sit down meal with the family.

Thanksgiving is a great day to start a new family tradition of eating together at least a few meals a week.

Have you heard that slogan “The family that eats together stays together?”  Research has shown there are benefits to eating together as a family.

I know in my own house, we try to eat as a family every night for dinner. Sometimes it is hard because of those after school activities or work, but we eat most of our meals together at the dinner table. I think it does make a difference. When I was younger, my mom and dad would always try and make sure we ate dinner together. I have 2 sisters and a brother, so it was difficult with all our schedules, but somehow they managed to have us together at dinner most nights of the week.

Funny thing is my parents still try and get myself, my sisters and brother together with our spouses and kids (18 of us all together now) every couple of months for a meal together.

I think that was one thing that made my family very close.

One of the big benefits of eating together is communication. You learn what went on that day at school with the kids. The first answer you probably get when you ask your kids, “How school was today?” Is the one word answer, “Fine.” Sometimes we have to dig deeper and ask them “What happened in school today?” I know my kids love to tell me everything that went on that day at school. It’s good for them and you to know how their day went. The other benefit is you can show your kids good table manners. Kids need to know what they can and can’t do at the dinner table. Parents need to set an example. When we cook at home, we can have the kids help us prepare the food. Kids learn how to cook and when they get older they can cook for their families. Another benefit is the food you prepare at home is usually it is pretty healthy, compared to going out to eat. Not to mention you can save money cooking at home.

It’s time to start this Thanksgiving with a new tradition of eating together more times each week as a family. I know the benefits and memories will last a lifetime.

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