What’s Your Family Dinner Time Like?

Do you remember June Cleaver in her kitchen wearing pearls and pumps? I remember the Leave it to Beaver family eating dinner while exchanging wisdom and witty jokes. It seems that in our fast paced society where people are working longer hours to pay the bills and children are distracted by television, video games and cell phones, that family dinner time is a lost art!

Studies show that children who eat dinner with the family are less likely to smoke, drink, do drugs, be depressed, have a teen pregnancy, or commit suicide. And studies also show that children who participate in regular meal times eat healthier, have higher grades in school and have a stronger bond with each of their family members.

And yet the schedule demands that we be at baseball practice RIGHT in the middle of dinner time! What do we as mom’s do? We have to get creative! We have to be strong and say “no” to some obligations that stand between us and our family time. That’s what we have to do. We must not cave in and abandon the age old practice of eating dinner together! It truly is important!

Did you grow up in a family that ate dinner together? I did. We are a very chatty family! I had two older sisters and we joked you had to take a number to get a chance to tell your story. One pastor who visited our home said that talking with our family was like jump roping. You had to pay attention for the lull to jump in. I have pictures of my brother-in-law on thanksgiving with fingers in his ears because my immediate family of 5 can really get loud when we get around a dinner table! We simply have fun together! And I strongly believe that it is one of the reasons why all five of us are close now as adults and why we all are close to our Heavenly Father.

Are you in need of some meal time pick me up ideas. I found a whole slew of GREAT spiritual conversation starters on Focus On the Family (just click here and scroll through the pages of ideas). Also, my friend Kelly makes beautiful and fun lunches for her children – to see those go here.

And if you are a mom who has learned to be creative with meal times or grew up in a family with great meal time ideas then I have the contest that is perfect for you to enter!

Focus on the Family is running a Mother’s Day Contest!

The contest runs April 26th-May 7th

Here’s the challenge: Write a 250 word essay or upload a 3-5 minute video about how you or your mother made mealtime special for your family.

This is less about what you are cooking or where you are eating and more about how you have created this time as special for your family.

One Grand Prize Winner will receive a year’s subscription to Thriving Family Magazine, have their video featured on Focus’ websites, and get the choice of one grand prize:

-Plane ticket to see your mom or to fly your mom to you
-House cleaning for one month (I could really use this one!!!!!!!)
-Spa Day
-Night Out (Dinner and Broadway tickets)
-A Celebrate Mom Party (food and decorations)

Four prizes will be awarded daily: 4 /Dinner bracelets (for entire family to wear) – these are similar to the “LiveStrong” bracelets, Great Focus Resources, Sample subscriptions to Thriving Family Magazine (3 months worth)

For more details on how to enter go here: Mother’s Day Contest. I know I have some amazing readers with great ideas – so please enter and let me know if you win!!! I’m rootin’ you on!!!

Now get your roast in the crock pot and gather your chicks around for a home cooked meal! They desperately need this time with the family.

Walk with the King!


  1. THank you for this post! We sit down at the dinner table most nights of the week w/o tv, phone, etc. We usually don't answer home phone. Dh does have to answer work phone, but it doesn't happen often that it rings. 😀

    Thank you for the link to the devotionals for meal time! I'm checkiing them out to print. 😀

  2. I am glad that you made this post. We have dinner every night. Even when something is going on that evening, we plan accordingly. My friends are always saying how they need to grab fast food on those busy nights and eat in the car. Since we plan, this occurs MAYBE once a year not every week. I try to explain this, but people don't want to plan. It is easier to go through the drive thru. They are missing alot.

  3. I guess I'm the outsider here lol.

    I have an extremely picky eatter and my husband works a different schedule each day (sometimes not getting home until 9pm) so my son has dinner at 4pm and I spoon feed the baby. Hubby and I eat dinner together once he gets home and we eat sitting on the couch watching TV. We tried the whole eatting at the table thing, but we relax more watching something funny on TV together. Feels kinda like a date every night. That's my 2 cents. 🙂

  4. I was the youngest of 4 (by many years). By age 12 I was the only one left at home. We really didn't sit down and eat together. My mom made dinner, Dad would eat in the his office and my mom and I would plop down together in front of the TV with our food. I turned out OK 🙂 I was bound and determined to have my children closer in age so that it would feel like I was raising them altogether. We generally sit at the table and eat dinner together 5-6 nights a week. We just talk and give lots of reminders about table manners 🙂 1-2 nights a week we let the boys eat in front of the TV while Dan and I eat alone in the kitchen. The boys think that is really fun.

  5. My husband leaves for work at 5pm M-F so I have supper on the table at 4:30pm so we can eat together as a family. This also keeps the kids from filling up on snacks when they get home from school. Most of their activites don't start until 5pm or after so we have already had our supper and we can avoid the drive thru like most families. My husband and I are determined to make family time a priority even though his work schedule is not ideal.

  6. Thank you for this beautiful post. It is so true…some of my most treasured memories are those of us gathered around the table.

    May God bless you!

  7. I love family dinner time! My husband works from 2PM to 10:30PM but me and my boys always sit down together! It's a blast! When my hubby is home on the weekends we eat together always. It is a shame that family time isn't valued as it should be. I love that there are so many women out there who stand up for family!! Keep it up ladies!!

  8. You are SO blessed to have such a close-knit family. Both my husband's and my family are the poster-families for dysfunction. OH, to have a happy family meal with all of them. I can't imagine how wonderful that must be.
    However, my husband and I are striving and praying to change history, starting with us!

  9. Sherry – we do the same – no television, phone, toys etc! And my mom used to take the phone off the hook – I remember listening to the beeping sound right before dinner would start! Thanks for bringing that memory back to me!

    Other moms – I love hearing how you do dinner time!!!! You are working so hard to make it special – GREAT job!!!

    Anonymous – My husband did not grow up in a home where they ate together either – I love your determination to do it differently! Your children are blessed to have such wise parents!

    Much Love,

  10. We eat dinner together no matter what. During this school year, with both of our boys in sports, sometimes it's at 9:00 pm! I make sure everyone snacks, announce that dinner will be late, and go! It doesn't matter if it's a sandwich, a bowl of cereal or a pork loin with all the fixins', we eat together. At the table. And talk. And laugh. And love.

  11. I can see that we need to work on our dinner times. We are renovating, seems like it will never end, but we don't have a table. The kids have a kid table that they eat all their meals at, and if I sit on a step stool I can join them (I don't fit on the little people chairs ha ha). DH works till later and if I eat with him we sit on the couch, but he tends to direct his attention toward the computer or a show.
    I think I will focus my efforts on eating with the kids and just serving DH when he gets home and sitting with him when he has what he needs.
    My kids really need some help with table manners, I'm appalled and ashamed. I thought I was teaching and modeling good behaviour, but much improvement needs to happen. I find meal time to be a bit stressful, someone doesn't like something, someone spills their milk, someone is cramming food in their mouth with their fingers. I find I am reprimanding so much that there is no time for conversation. I need to learn how to wind down and really connect with the kiddos I guess. I'll be scrolling through the FOTF tips for sure.

  12. Courtney! I'm so glad to have found your blog! I'm your newest follower and look forward to reading more and watching your side videos! Many blessings to you!


  13. I love having family dinners each night…although my children are still just wee ones, I think setting that standard now is so important!

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