HELPING YOUR KIDS: Changing Up the Dinner Table

HELPING YOUR KIDS: Changing Up the Dinner Table

Do you remember, as a kid, sitting down to family dinner every night? Did Dad sit and one end and Mom at the other? Or did you and your siblings all sit in the same seats with Mom claiming the one closest to the kitchen? I do.

Today, my husband and I work hard to still have sit down dinners as a family. As the kids are getting older and increasingly involved with activities inside and outside of school, this becomes more difficult. Yet, back when the kids were done with high chairs and sat up at the table we instituted a rule – sit where you want.

I can remember watching the movie Dead Poets Society when it was released in 1989. It was a powerful movie and one pivotal scene is Robin Williams, as instructor John Keating, standing up on top of his desk to explain to his students how they must see life from all different angles. I don’t know why that simple message resonated with me, but at the time one of the examples I immediately thought of was the dinner table. My memories of sitting down to dinner are a bit skewed as I only remember dinner from one angle, one position that I always sat in.

Now, with our family, there is no one spot or one view of dinner. There is no designated “head” that indicates power or authority. We move around every single night. This may seem a bit trivial, but I believe it is helping our kids to see dinner as a flexible, engaging event – not something rigorous that has only one view, one approach to our family dynamic.

Are there aspects of your life, or for your kids that may be tilted by only one view? Look around and see where you can make a simple shift to view your life a little differently.

Links for you: IMDB: Dead Poets Society

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