Family Dinner Challenge-
Try the family dinner challenge and start strengthening your family today!
Our FIRST CHALLENGE!
Your first CHALLENGE is to have a “Dining Room Dinner” at LEAST once a week for 30 DAYS and 3-5 “Casual Dinners” as needed. Here are the Rules:
- If at all possible, have every family member in the household present for dinner. If someone is missing due to deployment or traveling- skype or facetime them in.
- Have children participate in preparing the dinner and table if at all possible.
- Take a picture of your family doing the challenge and tag us in it @challengemyfamily
Types of Family Dinners-
There are 4 types of family dinners. Which one is your family’s norm? How can you improve? What do you already do well? Evaluate your family dinners and then make necessary adjustments according to your family’s needs and goals.
Come and Eat as You Please:
Sometimes getting everyone’s schedules to line up perfectly for dinner is nearly impossible. Whether one or both parents are working or kids are participating in extra-curricular activities, family dinner can really be a struggle. “Come and Eat as you please dinners” are sometimes necessary but definitely something that should try to be avoided.
Family interaction and influence is very minimal.
Don’t let this become the standard in your home!
We spend lots of nights eating around our countertop or kitchen island. When dinner just needs to be quick and easy we eat here together. Maybe your “casual dinner” takes place in front of the TV or on your kitchen floor (seriously, we have done this before).
Even though the dinner and setup is not formal, family interaction and influence happens. If a family member is missing- it’s okay- you STILL have dinner with the rest of the family and reap the rewards.
Dining Room Dinner:
This is where the magic happens.
Family dinner is placed on the dining table and passed around. Plates are set (whether paper, plastic or glass, it doesn’t matter). Kids can be dressed, undressed, dirty, ornery, asleep… all that matters is that EVERYONE is present.
“Dining Room Dinner” is the in-between of casual and vip. It is formal enough to practice manners but informal enough to relax and be more carefree.
This environment is ideal. It is fun and interactive.
Consequently, it is a teaching and learning haven.
Take advantage of it.
Keep reading for more insights on how to use this dinner time to its maximum capacity.
These are the fanciest kinds of dinners where family and perhaps guests join. The nicest dishes are used, all the kids are fully clothed, mouths and hands are washed, napkins are on the table… heck, you may even have candles lit.
These dinners are AMAZING and definitely cherished.
While they may not happen as frequently as we’d like, make an effort to have at least one of these dinners during the month challenge. Kids will learn table manners and how to interact with guests that are important life skills.
How Family Dinners will FORTIFY and STRENGTHEN Your Family:
- Your children will be less likely to abuse drugs, try alcohol, and smoke cigarettes.
- Your children will be smarter.
- You will have better relationships with your children.
- It is a stress reliever.
- Your family will be healthier because they eat healthier.
- Your family will save money from not eating out as often.
*These results are based on a family having 4-7 “casual or dining table” dinners each week.
Ideas and Tips for Maximizing Benefits from Your Family Dinners:
As much as possible, let the children help in preparing the dinner and setting the table. This helps them realize it is a team effort and that they are needed to make family dinner possible.
When sitting down to dinner be pleasant. Don’t let the stress of the day or angry feelings ruin what you just prepared.
Start the family conversation with this simple question: “What was your favorite thing you did today, (name of child)?” Prompt them as needed if you get the “it was good” line. Encourage conversation! Our family does this and now when we sit down to dinner and Dad says, “So, I have a question for you guys!” They all excitedly reply in unison, “What was your favorite thing you did today?!”
Have the children help clean up the table and do the dishes. Dad should also merrily pitch in! Showing gratitude for an awesome dinner will help Mom feel appreciated and excited to continue her efforts.
PLAY MUSIC AND DANCE. This always adds fun to mandatory chores. Relax. Have fun. Show your kids you still got it.
*Be sure to see our Family Dinner Challenge RESULTS here after our 30 day challenge!