Family Dinner Table


The dinner table is a lively place at our house, often a jostling for a seat at the head of the table (the youngest!) and a loud jumble of talking, laughing, reminders about table manners, complaining about the menu, complimenting the chef and shooing the pets away from the table.

To try and bring some order and positive reflection I usually try and steer the conversation into a reflection at least a few times a week to their ‘best/favourite thing’ of the day. This is always interesting to hear stories that otherwise be told until bedtime or later, or maybe not at all. Connecting with one another about their day is important when we usually head off into different directions for the rest of they day and it helps me to reconnect with where everyone’s mind-space is at before heading into the evening routines.

Eating at the dinner table is something I’ve always done since my childhood (with 8 in my immediate family) and I hope that we will always do this as well. We only don’t eat at the dinner table on Friday or Saturday nights if we are doing movie or game nights, or when we have lots of after school activities on (silver lining of COVID-19 restrictions!).

I know this ritual of eating together, talking with one another is one of the best rituals and best predictors of positive mental health that we as adults can cultivate for our children, so despite the chaos and calamity at times, it’s not a routine I’ve any intention of stopping!

Published by Kate French

Clinical Psychologist; expertise in autism and child and family psychology.

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