Today is Eat Dinner With Your Children Day or Family Day in some parts on Canada. It is the day to focus on conversation. Even though I know that this provides a great opportunity for us to connect, provide guidance and to work out any issues, it is almost impossible to get us sitting together for a true meal, especially now that my sons are young adults.
But it was as equally hard when they were kids, to sit down for a meal. On hockey night – my sons would get off the bus – we would race to the table to finish their homework – we would eat as quickly as we could – and then we would rush off to the arena for back-to-back practices. It was chaotic, but it worked for us.
As parents we worry about assisting our children to become competent, capable and healthy adults. We are concerned about their self-esteem and their overall emotional health. We wish we had more time to spend with them. And we can become ridden with guilt when we don’t live up to the image of what a ‘great’ parent does.
Beverly’s Hot Tip For Building Your Resiliency and Celebrating Eat Dinner With Your Children Day:
If you can sit down with family today, GREAT. If schedules don’t allow this to be the day, don’t sweat it. Your children will still be okay. Your care for their well-being and their development and resiliency isn’t dependent on this one single day.
If you can get together, here are some things you may want to keep in mind:
When caring on a conversation, constructively express both negative and positive feelings and thoughts – children learn how to cope and express themselves through us.
Help your child to put a name to their feelings. Assist them to expand their vocabulary beyond using ‘happy’, ‘sad’ and ‘mad’. Help children to find positive ways of expressing difficult emotions.
Challenge unrealistic expectations when they become interpreted as a self-failure or become expressed as frustration.
Remind your child of the number of different people that they can go to in difficult situations.
Teach your children the importance of developing friendships and what it means to be a ‘good’ friend to someone else.
Instead of just trying to get through the dinner meal – pause. Slow down. Take a moment to check in.
Focus on the positives and not the negatives by getting everyone to describe one thing that went well today. Click to tweet
But Most Of All, Enjoy It.
So, on this day instead of feeling guilty that we haven’t had the traditional sit down meal filled with meaningful conversation, I focus on the fact that my boys turned out to be well-rounded adults, with friends that they can count on.
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!
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