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Natural Awakenings Space & Treasure Coast Florida

Relationship Recipes for Families

Apr 06, 2011 09:57AM

Even with the challenges of today’s busy schedules, family dinners are making a comeback. Social scientists have long touted the benefits of family dinners. Several studies show that children who eat dinner with their families are less likely to get involved with drugs and alcohol than those who do not. They also tend to get better grades, exhibit less stress and eat better. Clearly, family dinners are worthwhile.

How do you make them successful? First, make it easy on yourself. The point is carve out a positive period for the family to be together Dinner can be simple, elaborate, carryout or pizza delivery. Second, turn off the TV, cell phones, computer and video games, Talk about what happened in everyone’s day. Keep the conversation positive, and make sure everyone gets a chance to speak. Dinners are a great time to teach, so practice table manners. Kids learn best by watching. Finally, extend your time together. Linger after dinner and continue the conversation. The dishes can wait. Better yet, keep talking as you go for a family stroll. Exercising with family has a bonus; it does double-duty as quality time, no matter when or where you do it, so it’s worth the effort to make it enjoyable.

While family exercise and dinners are not a panacea for a dysfunctional family, evidence shows that they are worth the effort. University of Michigan Exercise Physiologist Audrey Hazekamp sums it up, “Parents teach their children by example. Have some fun together. Doing so will keep the whole family physically and emotionally healthier.”

For more information call Joyce Rizzo of Healthy Home Products at 321-637-1924 or visit

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