The Importance of Eating Dinner as a Family… Even if it’s a Circus?


In my quest to be a “good mom” (whatever that really is), I will try to read skim some parenting books, articles, or podcasts picking up whatever tips or hacks I can get. I’m not one to turn down advice to help my family’s life become fuller or easier. 

A theme of what seems to be sound advice is the importance of eating dinner as a family with claims of better school grades, healthy child well-being, less trouble with behavior, and closer parent-child relationship. But, I’m wondering what these researchers really think dinner with three kids under six years of age and an eight-week old puppy really looks like? 

Eating dinner as a family typically goes something like this: One or more children refuses to eat what I’ve cooked and attempts to remove it from their plate immediately (mind you he/she ate the same meal last week just fine), non-linear conversations about My Little Pony and spider legs, the baby throws food and rubs it in his hair. Someone needs more food or drink, someone needs to go to the potty or a diaper change. Milk spills on the floor (crying optional). The next child needs more food, and has more questions about why there are only four items on the plate. One child is done and really should be sent through a car wash, and night-time wiggles set in. My plate has been barely touched.

Or we eat out with a whole other set of dynamics. Either way, dinner is over.

So, my child’s going to get an A in class tomorrow and tell me all about what happened at school without prodding, right? Winning.

Here’s some past advice from fellow SMB contributors on dinner time:

Fast Dinner Hacks for Busy Moms

Your New, Very Favorite Chili Recipe

All About the Dinner Bowls


  1. Hang in there mama! When they hit the teenage years, the time your poured into them at this age returns in sweet late night conversations, because they know you are there for them!


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