Making family dinnertime a priority takes works and intentionality. It seems that we are always on the go and often neglect this valuable time together. But, it doesn’t have to be that difficult. If family dinnertime is not part of your routine, it may take being intentional to get is on the schedule. But I promise, you will be glad you did. In this post, I share 5 simple ways to make family dinnertime a priority in your home.
It is so important to connect as a family prior to the start of a busy week. I don’t know about you but once my alarm clock goes off on Monday morning, it is game on!
With work, sports, homework, keeping up with housework, grocery shopping, weeknight Bible studies and other kid activities we are generally going full speed ahead.
If we are not careful, this can put strain on our family relationships if we are not intentionally taking time to be together routinely.
Spending time together as a family especially around the dinner table is a way for us to share our dreams, success, failures, and to really get off of our chest anything that is bringing us down.
It also strengthens the family relationships which fosters trust and safety.
How To Make Eating Dinner As A Family A Priority
1. Dont’ think you have to make it a 4-course meal
Seriously, family dinners can look like ordering Domino’s pizza if that is what it takes to bring your family together.
I completely understand how busy weekends are as well.
Sometimes it’s the only time we have to catch up on our to-do list. I get that.
That is why simple meals are ideal during busy seasons.
Examples can be as easy as a rotisserie chicken, Caesar salad, and angel food cake with berries and whip cream. I’m talking store bought here!
Whatever you decide, make it simple, but just get around the table.
2. Leave your phone and devices in another room to make family dinnertime a priority
Y’all, I completely understand that this can be hard. But when you are making family dinners a priority it is so necessary to eliminate distractions.
This is your time together with your family.
This is YOUR time together! Your phones will be there and you will not be missing out! Let’s face it, our children are watching us.
They do what we do.
When we have our phone in one hand and fork in the other we are essentially tuning them out without even meaning to do so.
These days looking down at our phone come so natural that it doesn’t even phase us. We don’t think about it.
A lot of times we get after our kids for too much screen time, but when we have their attention, let’s make the most of it and lean in whole heartedly.
Make it a priority to be fully present around that table.
3. Try out a new recipe
Okay, I know I said to make it simple and no, you definitely do not want your Sunday dinner to be burdensome.
But, if you like to try new recipes but you don’t feel like you have time to do so, this would be a great time to broaden your horizon and try something new.
Again, keeping is simple is the name of the game here. Don’t start with a major meal overhaul. Just take one thing at a time.
If you saved a recipe on one of your Pinterest boards, try it out.
Now, this will take some prior proper planning on your part.
You will need to make sure that you have all of the ingredients that you need and you have budgeted the time in your afternoon for it.
Another great way to try new things is to get your kids or spouse involved. Ask them what they would like and jot that down.
Let them also help out with things in the kitchen even if it is as simple pouring liquids into a measuring cup, peeling potatoes or mixing in the salad dressing.
This is really helpful if you have picky eaters as well!!
4. Start a few conversations
Allow your kids to ask you questions about what life was like when you were going up.
What was your favorite food? What was making the new headlines? Or, what were your friend’s names? What was your favorite teacher and why?
These conversations can lead to other conversations and so on.
On the flip side, ask your kids engaging questions like if you were stranded on an island, name three things you would want to have with you.
Or, who would you bring?
Ask them about their view of the world around them? Do they feel safe? Do they feel anxious about anything?
Some conversations may be lighter than others, but this is such a good time to have real talk with your kids.
Having this time together will become meaningful for them and they will look forward to having your attention.
5. Getting it on the calendar will help make family dinnertime a priority
In many homes, if it’s not on the calendar, it will not get done!
Mine is no exception. Visually seeing this time on the calendar is a super helpful way to make Sunday dinner a priority.
Not only is it helpful, but often it is a must. We tend to write the important things down in our planner or calendar, so we don’t forget them.
We typically don’t write down things like, drive to work, or put on makeup, because those things come natural to us.
But, in the beginning as you are learning to make Sunday dinner a priority in your home, you may have to write it down and plan it out.
Also take note of what you have and what you will need.
This just means that you are being intentional and desiring that time of connection with your family. And that is what we are going for.
Now, if Sunday is not a day that will work for you, don’t worry. It really isn’t about the day, it’s about setting time aside to be together and sharing as a family.
Pick a day that is right for your family and follow the steps I’ve listed. I promise that you will not regret it.
I also want to tell you that if your family is not used to having meal time together, don’t put pressure on yourself to get it all right.
It may not be in the beginning. Start small if you have to.
I know some seasons in life are just plain overwhelming and the thought of something like having a Sunday dinner together as a family may seem like more work.
I don’t mean for it to be. If all you are able to do is whip up a bowl of boxed mac and cheese and sit with your people for about 20 minutes, I call that a win!
Let me know how your Sunday dinner turns out. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org