Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Family Dinner Magic: Yet More Reasons to Eat Together

Ok, now I'm convinced. No more kid only meals while I wash dishes and Dan cooks our dinner while talking on the phone. We're all eating together. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

From the Slate article, The Mac and Cheese Effect: Why the family dinner is good for parents. The family dinner is ambrosia and nectar and manna, too, researchers have long told us. It helps prevent teenagers from abusing drugs and alcohol or smoking, and it protects them from stress, asthma, and eating disorders. It boosts kids' reading scores and grades. By the time all the virtues of dinner togetherness have been extolled, you can only feel that if you love your kids, you have to get home in time to sauté the stir fry. You might even cut back to working part time to force-feed them falafel, as law professor Cameron Stracher relates in a book he published last year.

Happily, according to a new study, family dinner appears to be good for parents, too. The research by lead author Jenet Jacob of Brigham Young University found that among 1,580 parents who worked at IBM, those who said their jobs interfered less with being home for dinner tended to feel greater personal success, and success in relationships with their spouses and their children. The working parents—both mothers and fathers—had all of these buoyant feelings if they made it home for dinner more regularly, even if they still worked long hours. They also felt more kindly toward their workplace. Parents who missed dinner at home because of work, on the other hand, felt gloomy about their professional futures. "It is noteworthy that although longer work hours predicted significantly greater perception of success in work life, work interference with dinnertime predicted lower perception of success in work life," Jacob and her co-author write.

1 comment:

The Jensen Family said...

my family ate dinner together EVERY single night and because of that we were always very close and stayed out of trouble. dinner time is one of my favorite memories growing up! i try to do that with Matt and Jack but it is a struggle sometime with work schedules! props to you for trying!