A Family That Eats Together

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7 Responses

  1. Oscar Gordon says:

    I love cooking a good meal on weekends or during holidays. But during the week, with both of us working and all, I really appreciate those pre-cooked and pre-sliced kinds of things.Report

  2. Rachel says:

    We, the mothers, plant the seeds of curiosity, the wonder of creating something special to please many. Remember where it came from (basic, simple, flavored – all natural all the time). enhance your culinary vocabulary, experiment with new trends and ingredients – but for heaven’s sake don’t smoke it!Report

  3. Will Truman says:

    The good old family dinner is something we haven’t quite mastered yet. We continue to be more grazers in part because it’s so difficult for us to nail down a schedule. But that’s some pretty flimsy reason and this post reminds me that I need to make more of an effort to correct this.Report

  4. Mike Dwyer says:

    I enjoyed this post a lot Yali. We made a real effort in the area of family meals with our daughters and I think it paid off. We used the kitchen table as a place to teach them manners and good eating habits (try it, you might like it) and then we sort of tested those things in restaurants, which we also took them to a lot. Happy to report both girls are excellent eaters with decent manners, though they didn’t quite develop the love of cooking that I have. Two out of three isn’t bad!Report

  5. Michael Cain says:

    We always tried to have family dinner when the kids were at home. And I let/made them help.

    When my daughter was in the high school life skills class they made everyone take one assignment was for groups of four to shop and prepare a dinner for four for $10 (spices and staples like oil were provided). My daughter said that the other people in her group were hopeless, so she said, “I got this.” Her story about bossing the two boys around in the school kitchen is excellent.Report

  6. Chip Daniels says:

    I notice that home designs have changed over the years, with the kitchen and bathrooms ballooning up to gargantuan size.

    In the immediate postwar era, the kitchen was still small alcove separated from the formal dining room, which typically fed a household of 6 to 8 people.

    Modern custom homes have about 2 to 3 members but the kitchens are enormous enough to service a hotel. I consider it almost axiomatic that the larger the kitchen, the less often it will be used.

    Who has time to cook when you have to have two incomes to pay for the mortgage on all those acres of granite slabs?

    I suppose that sounds a bit harsh.

    But as I mentioned in the other thread that the happy benefits of modernity and classical liberalism, e.g. the freedom to pursue a career, the financial wealth to allow even single people to live alone, the social freedom to reorder the family structure into one which may or may not include children or a spouse has in many cases resulted in beautiful large dining tables where there just aren’t enough bodies living in the house to make a shared mealtime.

    The linked article is interesting, in that the people interviewed display the same fragmented households. The solution is fascinating, in that these atomized bits of groups coalesce into a chosen form of community.
    Is this a quirk or the beginning of a new pattern of households and extended community?

    I don’t know.Report

  7. PD Shaw says:

    If there is one thing that I would like to tell my younger-self about parenting, it would be to recognize that there’s a period where your kids are interested in you and what you’re doing, and while it may take a little longer to cook, clean, repair, etc., it’s worth it to involve them. No Tom Sawyer shenanigans required. At some point, they will start taking steps toward being autonomous individuals. Some of the things you did together will stick, others won’t, but at some point it’s too late to start new traditions.

    Not a lot of regrets here, but just looking back I see the playing field differently and would probably make some marginal changes. But still, if the family is going to eat together every night, then a certain efficiency is required.Report