All great change in America begins at the dinner table.
Growing up, our dinner table was the place to be from 5:30- 8:00…sometimes even longer. Yes, we did have those days where we had to hurry to make it to a ballgame or to a school activity, but for most days, my parents had the uncanny ability to slow the world down so we could come together as a family.
(Quick note: Please don’t picture the Leave It to Beaver family here, but instead insert a messy family of five. I’m sure the sweet minister, who lived next door, prayed for us on a daily basis.)
While sitting at our dinner table, stories were shared, jokes were told, riddles were asked, costumes were worn, opinions were never held back, and sometimes even a little necessary tattle was told….such as, “She is having a honeybun every day for lunch at school!” Our older sister, a senior at the time busted our middle sister, the freshman honeybun eater! Conversation was always lively and it always kept us coming back for more day after day.
Today’s post is nothing new nor groundbreaking, but our goal is to be your encouragers – the table talk encouragers. We encourage you to take the time to make the time for a family dinner at your house. However you want to do it, yell it, write it on a note, ring the dinner bell, do a pig sooey call….come up with your own way, but gather your family around the dinner table.
Your family will thank you for it. I cherish the time we spent sitting around our dinner table. Looking back on those political debates, daily riddles from my dad, Spanish lessons, current events discussions, family stories, good manners games, I realize how that time molded our ability to form thoughts, create opinions, and discuss different points of views. Simply put, my sisters and I became critical thinkers while sitting at our dinner table.
Critical thinking: disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence. (Thank you Dictionary.com)
With all the information being thrown at us daily, critical thinking skills could be getting harder and harder to obtain. All the different mediums of information is at a twenty-four hour, three hundred and sixty-five days a year pace. We seem to never get a chance to take it in and fully digest it unless we make a point to talk about it with others.
As an adult, I find myself still going to my mom and dad to discuss events, talk politics, or just share stories. It is our way of sorting through the large amounts of information, working out the kinks, and forming clear thoughts and opinions. I also have my own dinner table to talk about issues and important events. My kids are younger, but my husband and I will talk about current events across the country and around the globe with them. Not always are the kids as engaged as we are, but that’s okay. They are hearing how discussions take place between two people who don’t always agree. (My husband and I can have very different views which calls for some heated discussions sometimes.)
So, families across America, what’s changing at your dinner table this week? It might be an adjustment, but you will see positive shifts within your family. It took my husband some time to learn that dinner is not over when your plate is empty and your belly is full. It is just beginning, actually. So, be patient and have some conversation starters ready to go for tonight’s dinner!
We’ll post some ideas for y’all this week to help get you started!