The Family Dinner

I was watching a late night old TV show, and as it ended, there was a pretty shot of a family sitting around the dinner table laughing and eating together. The camera had zoomed out and it was showing the sweet scene from outside the window panes, looking in. It got me to thinking about how long it had been since we rounded up our kids and had a family dinner around the dinner table.
Somehow, that notion just kind of slipped through the cracks lately. We have definitely been eating around the TV more than the table lately. That’s got to change. Without looking up any statistics, I think we can all confidently admit that we don’t gather around the dinner table often enough.
I heard something the other day that really struck me. If you have a 12 year old daughter or son, did you realize that there are only about 300 weekends left before they turn 18? Isn’t that crazy? That’s about 2,000 family dinners. Doesn’t sound like so long at all when you look at it that way.
So this past week, I enlisted the support of my prince and asked him if we could start turning off the TV and sitting around the table for dinner, and he quickly agreed.
It’s hard enough to get the house cleaned and dinner cooked, let alone get everyone together at the same time, focused on having a family meal together. But I am determined, now more than ever.
I won’t say that my teenager loves the idea. I’ll be honest; the kids were so frustrated about the TV being turned off, etc. that there was more bickering than talking the first night. But we had a pretty nice and funny conversation during last night’s supper, over a lot of smiles. I think family dinner time is growing on them too, though they still don’t want to admit it.
I know it will never be as peaceful and picturesque as that scene of the family through the window pane of that movie, but it will be in my memories, I’m sure.
With our phones containing the whole world at our fingertips, and endless entertainment, and TVs with streaming services containing every movie and TV show ever made, there are plenty of distractions in our home….pulling us away from the good stuff. I am as guilty as the next guy when it comes to the magnetic field seemingly surrounding my phone. But when I purposely set down my phone and don’t touch it, nor the TV all day, I feel so much better.
An electronic-free day is almost as good as a day at the beach. Can we just knock down all the cell phone towers? I’m so over it. Every now and then we go on a vacation where there is little to no cell service, and it is truly SO NICE.
What if there was a 2 hour time slot that was electronic-free every day? I bet we’d find ourselves having more family dinners.