Round our dinner table is the perfect opportunity for us to relive what has happened during the day. It’s where we can discuss our achievements, our dreams and have a laugh.
You can probably gather that the best way to make that connection with your teen is having dinner together. Research has shown that kids who eat dinner together with family members are less likely to be involved in drugs or alcohol or indeed suffer from depression.
Having dinner together on a regular basis is important and I would encourage you to do it and stay connected or help reconnect with your teen.
Here are my top tips to help you get started.
Turn off your TV & Smart Phones
We give so much attention to the TV and our smart phones these days. It’s important to protect family time together. So prioritise having dinner together as a family after all the world will still be there after 30 minutes!
It’s not just about the food
You don’t have to knock your pan in to cook the ‘perfect’ meal. Pick an easy recipe and get everyone to help out. This is especially important if you’ve been working all day or are exhausted.
Remember to listen
Do you know that your teenager wants to talk to you? Remember to listen to what your teenager has to say. Don’t offer advice unless you are asked. I know it is difficult as a parent not to go in to advice mode but it does make for a better relationship if you hold off until asked and just listen.
Make it fun
It doesn’t have to be a serious chat if it isn’t needed. Take turns to select music or choose dessert. It really doesn’t matter as long as you chat and spend time together.
Make a plan
Agree on which nights will be family nights to have dinner. Protect those nights too. Of course plans can change but make this a priority for all the family and don’t miss this important time.
So do you have family meal times? I’d love to hear how you stay connected to your teen.
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