I wish someone would have warned me before I had kids that there exists an hour of the day that is more torturous than the others. It would have really helped. And maybe it’s just the toughest hour for me, but I’m doubtful that’s the case. And which hour would I be talking about? The dinner hour. Come 5:00pm, I’m tired. Kids are tired, house is a mess, homework, reading, piano and chaos is happening all around me. We’re all starving and practically nibbling on the walls. My biggest problem on days like that is I don’t have a clue what we’re eating for dinner. I forgot to be organized that day. Okay, most days, I forget to be organized. But I find that when I do prepare a meal, someone without fail, rejects it. I admit, I’m no Rachael Ray, but I’m also not serving up a trough full of slop.
Dinner is a maddening subject for me. I do know one thing, and that is the benefits of family dinner outweigh my frustrations. I enjoyed reading this article in the New York Times about the benefits and challenges of sitting down to a family dinner. Being busy is nothing new for any family, and to make family dinner successful requires a little planning. But again, it’s worth it.
One day, after experiencing another stressful dinner hour, I thought, I’m doing this all wrong. Dinner should be fun. It should be a time where our kids open up and tell us about their day, the good and the bad. It should be a time where we feel connected to each other. And I think it should be something we all look forward to. In our house, it’s my job to create that. I have found that when I put some effort and scheduling into our dinner hour, it runs relatively smooth. And the times that I make it fun, it runs great!
Here are 12 ideas that can help make dinner the highlight of the day for you and your family. Enjoy!
p.s. You may want to grab the camera for some of these!
For more ideas on how to plan fun, family dinners, I recommend the book, Great Kids are Homemade.
Disclaimer: We only have “Crazy Dinner Night” (that’s what we call it) every once in a while, so that it can keep its luster. It’s not for everyday use!
What is the dinner hour like at your house? Would your family be up to any of these ideas? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Read more from Mandy at mush.
Get the latest updates from Kid Scoop - Like Us on Facebook!
Read More on Kid Scoop: