One of things I despise about parenting in the Internet-age is the vast amount of “research’ we moms and dads have at our fingertips. Research that says our baby will have a third arm growing out of its back if you don’t breast feed; research that says your kid will never get a job if you are a helicopter parent; research that says your kid will be a thug if you don’t eat dinner together as a family five times a week.
As parents, we devour this research and feel determined to adhere to it. We feel smug when we achieve this lofty goal, and deflated when we can’t.
That’s how I felt about dinner time this year. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get my busy brood together around the table at the same time. I read the research, and I knew the benefits of eating together as a family — teens who stayed off drugs, achieved higher grades, and were just, well, better.
I imagined my kids smoking cigs under the bleachers and skipping school because we didn’t break bread on a regular basis. I was failing them.
And then I started digging deeper and realized it’s not so much about dinner as it is about dishing. Family dinner time is often the only time families are spending together, which is why it is so important. Spending time together. Now that is something I can work with. I also forced myself to take a long, hard look at my kids and I remembered that these girls are happy and healthy. We are doing okay.
I am excited to write about my dinnertime dilemma further on one of my favorite sites: Lies About Parenting (LAP). LAP debunks popular parenting “advice” that may not work for everyone in order to raise happier healthier kids — and parents.
Find my article here (http://liesaboutparenting.com/family-dinner-bonding-alternatives/).