4 Ways to Make Family Dinners Stress-Free
One of the things that I vowed to do when I left corporate America is to have family meals at home more. We know that our family should eat together as often as often as possible. After all, research shows that it builds stronger family bonds, reduces the risks of kids getting in trouble, and it saves on the family budget. But maybe you avoid or dread family dinners because they are stressful and demanding. They can be, yes, but they are definitely worth the trouble! And, with these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy them more and stress out about them less.
Keep Weekday Meals Simple
Having a family meal doesn’t mean you have to go all Cooking Channel! The goal is to spend time together, not eat gourmet meals. Find ways to make the weekday menu simple. You could have your grocery shopping done for you or even subscribe to a meal service which supplies you will that the ingredients and recipes. Both of these options are widely available and affordable. But if you don’t want to go that way, why not batch cook on the weekends and freeze meals ahead of time. You can also put the slow cooker you have to good use so that dinner is finished by the time you get home. All of these ways make family dinners less stressful for the cook in the family.
No Electronics Rule
This is pretty self-explanatory. It’s darn near impossible to have a conversation when everyone is texting or IM’ing on Facebook. This rule should apply to grown-ups as well as kids! Michael & Gail Hyatt talk about this in the 7-day Challenge. Please click the video below. (You will need to sign-up for the challenge)
Have Everyone Pitch In
It’s still pretty common in this era for one person to be responsible for the shopping, planning, prep, and cooking. That just doesn’t seem fair! When everyone pitches in, you get to spend even more time together. Cooking is a fun activity, and it’s good for teaching life skills to the kids. It even encourages appreciation and gratitude for all of the work that goes into making every single meal!
Keep It Positive
It’s easy to do. You finally have everyone gathered in the same place, so what better time to bring up disputes or to criticize. This will only cause stress, even when you aren’t doing it. The reason is that your family will start to associate family dinners with being preached at about their behavior. They will come to the table defensive and uncooperative, which totally negates the entire procedure. Save the heavy discussions for another time and focus only on sharing what happened during the day and enjoy one another’s company. This will make dinner less stressful and more enjoyable for everyone, and the whole family will start looking forward to family dinners.