This Week's View|
by Deanna Lee Birkholm
April 8th, 2002
About the Table
Archive of Ladyfisher Articles
Last time we talked about civility and manners and all the
neat things which make our everyday life enjoyable - more
than just livable. The response on the Bulletin Board and
by email was how much our readers appreciated my comments,
and little things like "pass the biscuits, please," and
"do I have to take my hat off at the table?" It struck
That got me thinking about the amount of communication which
should go on in a family, or between a husband and wife.
I do know that in some families any meal together is not
pleasant, it is more of a screaming match between kids and/or
parents. That simply is not acceptable. (It makes it nearly
impossible to properly digest ones food for one thing.) But the more
important part is kids need to learn that proper, acceptable
manners and consideration in their own household is just as
important as "behaving" any where else.
Mealtime is not the place to verbally beat on the kids for any
reason. It is a time to have real, meaningful conversation.
What are the kids interests? How are they doing in school?
Are they involved in any sports? How do they feel about that?
Do you really know who their friends are? If they don't have
real conversations with you at the dinner table, how can you
expect them to have a conversation with you about a problem?
Meal time is also a great time to praise kids for anything you
can think of they did right. It builds self-esteem,
pride and self confidence. Not to mention trust in you.
One of my dear friends mentioned in passing that he and his
wife rarely have a meal together. I do understand what it is
to live in a household where both husband and wife work - and
if they have different schedules it's even worse. One of the
real problems of our society today really. But though it may be
difficult, I do believe it's important to not just try, but to
plan to have meals together.
We are social beings - we need the interaction of our familes
to fill out our world. We need to be loved and cherished.
We need to be understood, and we need to understand those
we love. It is impossible to do that or be in a real relationship
without that interaction. It's called conversation.
Our television sets are on almost non-stop. We use it as
background - and when they are on we don't talk. You might
interrupt the train of throught of the person watching the
program. Try sitting down to a meal with the TV off. You
will be surprised at how quiet it is. Perfect for a nice
visit. When is the last time you asked your spouse (or
significant other - gads how I hate that term) about their
dreams? Where do they want to be in a year? Ten? Ever?
It's time to re-connect with the family - and allow yourself
to feel. To be the person you know you are. Have a nice
dinner. ~ LadyFisher
If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to
post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!
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