Using Family Time to Build Relationships

What do your children want for dinner?—Maybe they just want you!


So many things take up our time that it takes a very conscious effort to make “together time” happen.

Eating Together as a Family is Important

Eating together as often as possible can produce great rewards for our families. And it isn’t just about food. Dinner can be a time when we communicate with each other and teach our children values. It provides a way for us to regularly connect as a family spiritually and emotionally. In a society of increasing instability, doing this one thing has the power to stabilize our children on a solid foundation of home and family. In our world of too much to do and too little time to do it, family meal time also provides us with a consistent reminder of the most important and cherished pieces of life—each other.

Research Says it is True

According to some research eating meals at home together is a strong predictor of children’s academic achievement and psychological adjustment (Anderson and Doherty, Family Relations, 54:655.) Other research also suggests that children are more likely to have healthier eating habits, closer family relationships and have ability to resist negative peer pressure.

It takes dedication and self will to make sure family mealtime is safeguarded from other activities, however wonderful those activities may be. Above all the extra curricular activities the very best thing for our children will be time spent with their parents and their siblings.


We have been trying to implement this practice more regularly in our home. It is not easy. Our family seems pulled in many directions each night. There always seems to be an obligation expected of someone somewhere. But this week as we have had dinner together each night I have seen a difference for good in our family interactions. I do feel like we have connected spiritually and emotionally.

After dinner on Monday evening of this week we enjoyed a planned “family night” together. I thought I would share what we did in the hopes that maybe it wi