Family is the key ingredient to Real Life Family Dinners
This isn’t the first time you’ve heard us talk about REAL LIFE and it won’t be the last. It’s what we do: focus on tools for Real Life Parenting.
Today, we are talking about the real life family dinner. Not the one that happens on TV, nor the one that happens in a photo spread for a great cookbook or Martha Stewart Living magazine.
When we talk about the real life family dinner – we are actually talking about the thousands of family dinners that you will inevitably have over the course of your children’s lives. There isn’t just one. There are thousands (365 dinners x 18 years of childhood = 6570 dinners). This means that we’ve got many, many chances to get it right.
And getting it right doesn’t take much.
Recipe for Family Dinner:
3. Mix together and let it happen
*You may also want to add any of the following: conversation, disagreements, someone needs to go to the bathroom, someone’s foot touches someone else’s foot, discipline, laughter, tears, silence.
It’s that easy folks.
In her recent article, We’ve overloaded family dinners with expectations and symbolism, Elizabeth Renzetti shares,
“a new study by three sociologists from North Carolina State University. After hundreds of hours interviewing 150 women “from all walks of life,” and watching them prepare meals, the authors conclude, “the idea that home cooking is inherently ideal reflects an elite foodie standpoint.”
The study revealed that women were hindered by all the invisible iceberg hours under the tip of meal, including shopping, transport and cleaning. But they also suffered dashed expectations – imagining their delightful meals would be greeted by beaming, grateful Brady Bunch kids, they found the Manson family at the table instead. Seldom were their efforts appreciated.”
One of Renzetti’s key points is,
“perhaps in order to encourage home cooking we should think about how we fetishize food in the first place. No home cook’s chicken is going to look like the picture in the Times. It is the Sophia Loren of chickens. My roast chicken tends to look more like Phyllis Diller, but sometimes it’s delicious anyway.” That is real life!
Let’s see family dinners for what they are – a chance to connect, eat and experience real life with our families. Forget about magazines, facebook, TV and the perfect anything…unless of course the perfect family dinner is just what it happens to be that day.
And if it doesn’t work out, you’ve got another 6569 chances.