While there are traditions we don’t really enjoy, we certainly wouldn’t want to miss family dinners. Why are they so important?
Nowadays it’s harder than ever to find time for our family and friends. Some people work abroad and never stay at home, while others manage a lot of professional commitments on a daily basis, which makes them unable to spend quality time with their family members. Not to mention that there are people who work even during weekends to increase their budgets. This is why it is extremely important to make family dinners a treasured tradition. Even though balancing between professional and personal commitments can often be hard, there’s no excuse for any of us not to try our best to attend family dinners at least once a week. Here’s what you need to have in mind when organizing family dinners.
Don’t wait for special occasions
Millennials want to spend more time with their family members, especially with their kids. In fact, according to a survey, spending quality time with their loved ones is one of their leading personal goals. It really doesn’t matter if you’ve already heard from your family members in the last 2 days – prepare them a dinner and then invite them to your place as soon as possible. Be assured that surprises are still in fashion, especially when it comes to food. You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to invite them over. Sure, you can organize something more extravagant for someone’s birthday or a wedding anniversary, but it’s still nice to have simple family gatherings every once in a while.
Plan in advance
Let’s suppose that most of your family members rarely cook at home. If you asked them, they’d probably tell you they don’t have time to plan their meals, let alone eat healthily. That’s why family dinners organized by you can be special and even educational. Why not prepare healthy meals and give your loved ones an idea of what mindful eating is? If you know what their favorite meals are, try to prepare them in a different way they’ve never tried before.
Make sure that everything goes smoothly
Provided that you organize a family dinner at your place, it’s in your best interest to ensure that everything goes smoothly. While some cooking appliances you can fix yourself, you definitely want to have an experienced and trained expert complete more complex kitchen equipment repairs, for example if you have Neff appliances. It’s very important to maintain control over other circumstances too. If small kids are coming to the dinner, it’s better to keep them away from sharp objects and electrical devices. So, make sure to take these out from the dining room before the kids arrive. Also, provide enough food and beverages so that you don’t have to walk to a grocery shop in the middle of the evening.
Yet, don’t overcontrol
In order to fully enjoy the evening, you’ll have to let some things happen spontaneously. Even though your family surely loves you and will appreciate the effort you put in the organization of the dinner, don’t try to overcontrol the atmosphere. Let them choose where they want to sit or what music they want to listen to. However, if you are aware of the certain topics that could be unpleasant for some of your family members, do try to stop a conversation that might lead to a possible argument. For example, unresolved family relations, financial issues and politics are some of the subjects you definitely don’t want to talk about during family gatherings.
Prepare a last-minute dessert together
Later in the evening, suggest your family to quickly prepare a last-minute dessert together. For example, you can ask kids to pick their favorite no-bake dessert and then start preparing it with them while other guests watch the news or talk about some serious stuff. The fun is guaranteed. Besides, there’s literally no better ending to a perfect family evening.
If you still have doubts regarding family dinners, remember what Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando in the ‘Godfather’) once said: “A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man”. All jokes aside, never let your job fully dictate your personal life because later it might become too late to have all your family members sitting together.
Tracey Clayton is a working mom of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in hers parenting articles. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”