I have always assumed that happy families eat dinner together. Even though I pretty much raised myself, growing up I thought everyone ate dinner as a family. Yet, now I realize that is not the case and in fact most families eat dinner together only about four times a week and ten percent of families only eat together twice a week. And as children get older and the number of activities they are involved in increases, the meals eaten as a family decrease, just when teenagers can benefit from family dinners the most. The reasons families don’t eat together are familiar. Oftentimes conflicting schedules prevent family meals. Other families report that they don’t have time to cook. Some parents profess that they don’t know how to cook. And many families have the television on during dinner and about 1/3 of families eat in front of the television. This does not allow for much family interaction. I will have to admit that my family falls under the last category. We have hardly ever eaten together as a family and we always have the television on. My daughter has her own life, works and goes to college. My son is a teenage boy who stays in his room most of the time. And by the time I get home from work and settle down, pretty much everyone has eaten already. But, the one thing I could always count on was us eating together, as a family, on holidays. Yesterday was Easter and I spent 2 whole days cooking and getting everything prepared for our Easter Dinner. What I didn’t anticipate was everyone eating separately. My daughter and her boyfriend went to her room to eat, my son went to his room to eat and I and my husband sat in front on the television eating. It wasn’t until after dinner that I realized we did not eat together. I became very upset because I knew I could count on a holiday to eat as a family. It is the bed that I have made all these years. I guess I shouldn’t expect it to change now. It’s a pity that so many wunderful people are missing out on what could be meaningful time with their loved ones. I love spending time with my family. We genuinely get along and enjoy each others company.
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