Bonding Strengthens Relationships

bonding strengthens relationships

Bonding Strengthens Relationships

written by JMac ©

Most times looking forward to dinner makes the rest of the day go smoother. Regular eating of dinner nourishes the body, but eating together as a family at the dinner table does better than that, it provides the best atmosphere for bonding as a family. Social issues, jokes and laughter are shared among family members, helping to strengthen their relationship with each other as well as their inter-generational ties. Such bonding strengthens relationships.

In most cases we hardly remember when last the dining table was filled with family members eating together. As hectic and fast-paced as our lifestyles and schedule can be, the family dinner together is the best way to get everyone to keep in touch after a busy day and share thoughts or plans. In the cases of children a sense of security and healthy child development is achieved by bonding and there is improvement in his or her school performance and the general wellbeing of the child.

Amazing things can happen when a family does things together. A family that can bond together will be a family that is united forever. The world is fast paced and works against families being united and bonded together, but making out that extra time to prioritise having meals together strengthens the bond. Not eating together also has quantifiably negative effect both physically and psychologically.

How to Get Your Family to Eat Together

Are you a good cook? This is the first criteria in having the family enjoy dinner; no one is happy making conversations at a table while eating something they aren’t enjoying. Make simple meals that you feel comfortable with to ensure that no one grumbles about the food. Also remember that meal times can be adjusted on such occasions to ensure maximum presence of family members. Getting the whole family involved in pre-dinner arrangements is a great way to start. Get everyone involved in setting the table together; this imbibes the importance of togetherness. This leads to small talks and sharing jokes. Ensuring that the television set is turned off is a great way to avoid distraction and also, let the answering machine handle the telephone calls.

If yours is a praying family, taking turns on different nights to give thanks to God should be paramount. Positive remarks, expressions of love and moments of laughter are ways to connect at the dinner table with each other and with your children, and they with their siblings and you their parents. Resolving problems or bringing up issues that dampen the joyous atmosphere should not be done at dinnertime, as this may possibly create a negative association with eating and with food, leading to eating disorders later on in life. Creating your own family traditions like Tuesdays as barbecue nights and Fridays as ice cream nights tend to give the family members something to look forward at dinner. Try improving each night with new cuisines and add occasional surprises to the dinner table. Participation of all family members in the clearing of dinner table, stacking of dishes and washing up should be observed.

Leading by example is a great way to have others follow. Make having dinner together an expected part of family routine where you reinforce family values, have general conversations and express love to each other and grow spiritually.

Benefits of Eating Together

  1. Family bonding: one of the easiest and most effective way for families to be involved in each other’s lives lies in having frequent family dinners together. Eating together as a family creates the adequate environment for family conversations.
  2. Model manners: when families sit down to dinner together, this is the perfect means to display or correct appropriate table manners, meal etiquette and social skills among members. Try not to instruct or criticise but rather lead by example. These manners won’t be achieved if families do not eat together.
  3. Communication: Conversations during the meal provide opportunities for the family to bond, connect, and learn from one another. It’s a chance for you to share information and news of the day, as well as give extra attention to your children and teens. Family meals foster warmth, security and love, as well as feelings of belonging. Eating alone can be alienating.
  4. Family tradition: Food served at the family table helps to shape and give lasting meaning to our cultural heritage; it leaves a positive effect on the younger generation.
  5. Healthy eating: families who do not tend to eat together at the family dinner table in the home at least twice a week, have higher tendencies to have members who are overweight than those who do. This negative effect can be attributed to the fact that when we eat out, especially at inexpensive take-out / take-away joints, we tend not to eat very healthy foods due to the fact that meals made at such joints generally have higher fat, salt, and caloric content.

Bonding is important in every family as it helps stabilise every aspect of the lives of members, from manners to spiritual balance. It is a tradition that is waning in every household today but studies have shown that it is of utmost importance to eat dinners together at a table. Inculcating this method will go a long way in strengthening family union.

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