familyAs a usually busy working parent, we understand that you can’t always make it home by dinnertime. Sometimes, you have work to complete and deadlines to meet. So sometimes, you have no choice but just to stay late at the office every evening. However, it is important for parents everywhere to have dinner together with their families, most especially their children, even if it’s only once a week. It is the only time of the day when families can reconnect, and plan, and recharge together.

Family meals may the lower incidence of drug addiction and other problems. Studies have shown that children who have dinners with their family at least twice a week may be less likely to have problems with drug addiction, teen pregnancy, depression, and suicide. There’s something about the family dinners that make the members of the family bond together and share their problems, and in so doing, it reduces these destructive behaviors.

Meals shared are healthier. Fast food is usually convenient, especially when you or the little ones are hungry. However, making it home for dinner more or less means the entire family will be eating better. Meals prepared and eaten at home are usually more nutritious and healthy because mom is in control of what goes into each dish.

Meals had together lead to conversations that nourish the mind. Eating dinner together as a family also leads to family conversations that have value. Talking about your boss’ new phone, for example, may help your young kids stay updated on the latest technology. Discussing your little daughter’s assignment may inspire you to come up with your next campaign. The possibilities are endless.

Kids develop better social skills. When you’re eating at the dining table, you lead by example. You teach your children etiquette, you teach your children social skills, and you teach them how to behave in the dinner table.

It help kids expand their palate and cooking skills. It’s an opportunity to encourage children to try new dishes without forcing, without bribing, without coercing. In case your children don’t like to eat vegetables, for example, you can always get them involved in the preparation. Being part of the cooking process allows your kids to better appreciate what’s on their plate, even if they are mostly green, leafy, and healthy!

Finally, family meals help boost vocabulary. Studies have also shown that family conversation will boost the child’s vocabulary better than reading. A book, after all, only contains so many words. With a live conversation, on the other hand, kids have the freedom to express themselves and ask questions from those around them.