Making Time for Family

You might remember a couple months ago when I wrote about making time for family meal time. I have been trying to make it a goal to sit down together more often during the busy week with my family.

Making Time For Family Meal Time

I’d say overall we’ve been doing pretty good. Not perfect by any means, but doing it more often.

One of the things Dr. William Doherty who has studied the importance of family mealtime recommended was to have the kids help clean up after the meal.

Before partnering with Barilla and Share The Table, I have to say that I wasn’t much of a stickler when it came to having the kids help clean up dinner. I think I was so used to my mom doing all of the work when I was a kid that I started doing the same thing to my kids! They left the table to sit on the couch while my husband and I cleaned up. It hit me when Dr. Doherty said there were benefits in having the kids help clean up dinner. First of all it teaches them to be responsible and second of all they get a sense of “togetherness” helping be apart of clean up.

I remember the first time I said “Ok boys, help put all of these dishes away and clear the table.” There were moans and grumbles under their breath but they did it! That day started a trend of the boys helping put their dishes away and clear the table for every meal.

I’m not sure I’ll see the “benefits” of this one right away, but I will say that I sure love it!

Mason and Pax June 2014-2

I’ve really enjoyed seeing the reaction of my boys faces when I put a little more time and effort in setting the table for dinner. Let me be clear, most nights it’s nothing fancy, however some nights I’ll get out my nicer dishes and make the table look extra special. Their faces light up and they say “Wow Mom this looks great!” I have to hope they’ll remember little things like this.

We were on a good roll for a while then school let out for summer! Talk about putting a wrench in the works. Summer camps start, swimming all day in the afternoon and little desire to be in the kitchen happens quick. I figured if dinner is trickier to get us all together then why not try for breakfast. Before swim practice, we try to sit down, chit chat and enjoy our meal as the sun peaks through the windows before the busy day ahead.

Looks like for the rest of summer break we’ll be sitting down more often for breakfast, but once school starts back up in August it’ll be back to our fun family dinner meal time traditions.

I’d love to hear what works for you in the summer for your family to spend meal time together! I need some more ideas for my crew 🙂

Have a great day!

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post on behalf of Barilla, however, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive sentiments towards Barilla or their products.

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3 Responses
  1. Lisa F.

    I loved reading this article and I plan to incorporate into our list of priority for family time here in my home. Since it is summer vacation and here in AZ the sun goes down after 8 our dinner time is now later which works for us with my older boys at high school football practice so they usually don’t get home until about 730 anyway.
    A quick question as I might have missed the articles. If you have a chance can you please let me know what the names of the eecipes for the first two pictures on the left side the two pasta dishes? They look delicious! Thank you.

    1. Jenny

      The pasta dishes are Classic Cheesy Stuffed Sausage Pasta Bake and Bacon Pesto Mac and Cheese. Search those titles on my sidebar and they’ll come up for you 🙂

  2. Julie @ Girl on the Move

    I love that y’all are doing what works for YOU! Family dinner isn’t great in the summer so you’re doing breakfast instead. As for the dishes, now that I am in my early 30’s I look back at my childhood and am grateful that my mom encouraged (i.e. forced) us to help with clean up after the meal. It created additional family time and taught me responsibility.

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