Screen-Free and Fun-Filled Dinners!

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There are a lot of statistics and surveys that talk about family dinners, but to me the best part of eating together is the “together” part.

I have two distinct memories. First, it was of my own home growing up. When I was younger we ate around the dining room table, but after junior high our dinner time consisted of TV trays around the television. Every night. My stepdad was in control of the remote, and so we watched things like NFL and M.A.S.H.

The worst part about eating together in front of the television is that no one is together. No one is talking. No one is interacting. When you sit with your family in front of the television for a meal, it’s as if you’re telling your kids the black box in the corner is more important than they are.

Contrast that with dinners at my grandmother’s house. We’d always sit around the table, and often she’d bring out her good dishes. There was conversation and laughter, and the food seemed better, too, because the whole experience was warm and inviting.

Dinners around the table are one of my most special memories of my growing-up years. And because of those memories I’ve become diligent about making sure my family gathers around the table to eat together on most nights.

If this is a struggle for your family, here are some tips:

Tips for Going Screen-Free at Dinner

  • Eat in the dining room . . . away from the television.
  • Leave your cellphone and other electronics in the other room.
  • Put $1.00 in a jar for every time you eat with the television off. When you save up enough money, go out for ice cream as a family.
  • Ask family members to share their favorite part and worst part of their day. Give kids your undivided attention as they share.
  • Focus on a fun family devotional like Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions (see below for a sample, and click here to enter my giveaway and RSVP for my party May 1)!

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How about you? What are your childhood dinnertime memories?

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