Is trying to gather your family around the table for a meal like trying to corral a group of cats?
Dennis and I grew up having traditional family meals after Sunday morning church services. As a young bride, I followed our parents/grandparents example. The tradition was comforting to us, and we wanted to ensure our children understood the Table Principle.
What is the Table Principle?
I first heard about this principle at a women’s retreat led by Devi Titus.
The Table Principle is a truth that transcends culture and time. Since the creation of the first table, the table has been of primary importance to the family system. This principle stands true even when values shift and lifestyles change. Time spent at the table satisfies a cry of the human heart because a lovingly prepared table is a place where the presence of God dwells and individual relationships are established. The Home Experience
Devi’s passion for bringing families back around the table for a meal kindled my desire to spread the message. During that retreat I remember thinking that I hadn’t done a lot of things right while raising my children, but I am proud of making sure we regularly practiced the Table Principle.
When a newly married young relative had her first baby, I went to help the new parents. Preparing home-cooked meals was a joy, but I was bothered that because they didn’t have chairs around the kitchen table, they ate in the living room in front of the T.V. I found some used lawn chairs to use as dining chairs until they had the funds to purchase better ones.
The Table Principle Benefits
The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) published a study on the benefits of the family table in May 2014. This one stood out to me:
Teens would rather watch less television at dinner so their family could talk more. They expressed that the meals do not last long enough when eaten in front of the T.V.
Believe it or not, one study found that teenagers look forward to family dinner as much as vacation. Seventy-one percent of teens in one survey said that they consider talking/catching up, and spending time with family members as the best part of family dinners.
*Who would’ve thunk?*
Want to read more benefits?
The Family Table:
- Impacts all of our senses –the sight, touch, taste, and smell of food, as well as listening to family conversation.
- Provides structure for the day, allowing children to feel more secure and safe, knowing what to expect.
- Provides one of few places children can observe their parents interact, negotiate, solve problems, express emotions and treat one another with respect. The family table gives them a chance to see how adults interact and cooperate.
- Finds teens are likelier to get better grades at school.
- Enhances language development.
- Offers less emotional stress and better emotional health.
Are these benefits you want to see in your family?
When families regularly share meals together, everyone benefits — the children, parents and even the community. Making the Family Table a priority from an early age can serve as a “vaccine” against many of the harms that come to children from a hurried lifestyle.
Ready to Reclaim Your Family Mealtime? Start corrallin’ those cats- –I mean your family….
Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight… for your sons, your daughters, your wives, [your families] and your homes!” ~ Nehemiah 4:14