The magic of the family meal

June Cleaver is in an apron and pearls, Ward in a sweater and tie. The napkins are linen, the children are scrubbed, steam rises from the green bean casserole, and even the dog listens intently to what is being said. This is where the tribe comes to transmit wisdom, embed expectations, confess, conspire, forgive, repair.

The magic of the family meal

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June Cleaver is in an apron and pearls, Ward in a sweater and tie. The napkins are linen, the children are scrubbed, steam rises from the green-bean casserole, and even the dog listens intently to what is being said.

This is where the tribe comes to transmit wisdom, embed expectations, confess, conspire, forgive, repair. The idealized version is as close to a regular worship service, with its litanies and lessons and blessings, as a family gets outside a sanctuary.

That ideal runs so strong and so deep in our culture and psyche that when experts talk about the value of family dinners, they may leave aside the clutter of contradictions.

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Just because we eat together does not mean we eat right: Often the richest conversations, the The magic of the family meal of genuine intimacy, take place somewhere else, in the car, say, on the way back from soccer at dusk, when the low light and lack of eye contact allow secrets to surface.

And on those evenings when the mood is right and the family lingers, caught up in an idea or an argument explored in a shared safe place where no one is stupid or shy or ashamed, you get a glimpse of the power of this habit and why social scientists say such communion acts as a kind of vaccine, protecting kids from all manner of harm.

Studies show that the more often families eat together, the less likely kids are to smoke, drink, do drugs, get depressed, develop eating disorders and consider suicide, and the more likely they are to do well in school, delay having sex, eat their vegetables, learn big words and know which fork to use.

The researchers found essentially that family dinner gets better with practice; the less often a family eats together, the worse the experience is likely to be, the less healthy the food and the more meager the talk.

Such kids are also more than twice as likely as those who have frequent family meals to say there is a great deal of tension among family members, and they are much less likely to think their parents are proud of them.

The magic of the family meal

The older that kids are, the more they may need this protected time together, but the less likely they are to get it. Although a majority of year-olds in the CASA study said they had dinner with a parent seven nights a week, only a quarter of year-olds did.

Researchers have found all kinds of intriguing educational and ethnic patterns. The families with the least educated parents, for example, eat together the most; parents with less than a high school education share more meals with their kids than do parents with high school diplomas or college degrees.

Foreign-born kids are much more likely to eat with their parents. Back in the really olden days, dinner was seldom a ceremonial event for U. Only the very wealthy had a separate dining room.

For most, meals were informal, a kind of rolling refueling; often only the men sat down. Not until the mid—19th century did the day acquire its middle-class rhythms and rituals; a proper dining room became a Victorian aspiration.

The magic of the family meal

When children were 8 or 9, they were allowed to join the adults at the table for instruction in proper etiquette. By the turn of the century, restaurants had appeared to cater to clerical workers, and in time, eating out became a recreational sport.

Family dinner in the Norman Rockwell mode had taken hold by the s: Mom cooked, Dad carved, son cleared, daughter did the dishes.

All kinds of social and economic and technological factors then conspired to shred that tidy picture to the point that the frequency of family dining fell about a third over the next 30 years. With both parents working and the kids shuttling between sports practices or attached to their screens at home, finding a time for everyone to sit around the same table, eating the same food and listening to one another, became a quaint kind of luxury.

Meanwhile, the message embedded in the microwave was that time spent standing in front of a stove was time wasted. But something precious was lost, anthropologist Fox argues, when cooking came to be cast as drudgery and meals as discretionary. You can keep a population going by having sex once a year, but you have to eat three times a day.

When we had to grow the corn and fight off predators, meals included a serving of gratitude. It is an act of politeness over food. Fast food has killed this. We have reduced eating to sitting alone and shoveling it in. There is no ceremony in it.

What the studies could not prove was what is cause and what is effect. Researchers speculate that maybe kids who eat a lot of family meals have less unsupervised time and thus less chance to get into trouble. Families who make meals a priority also tend to spend more time on reading for pleasure and homework.

A whole basket of values and habits, of which a common mealtime is only one, may work together to ground kids.

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The enemies here are laziness and leniency:Extended family is a traditional family structure, where has more than 2 generations living together, or we usually call it “Big family” - The magic of family meal introduction.

In an extended family, every member lives under a roof, so they share many things together: meals, housework, taking care children, holding parties or some anniversaries.

The Magic Of The Family Meal. In her essay, “The Magic of the Family Meal,” Nancy Gibbs, explains the important role of having meals plays on children. Gibbs begins her essay by telling us how valuable having a family meal is and the positive outcome.

She believes that having a family meal, more than three times a week, with no . The Magic of the Family Meal by Nancy Gibbs Presentation by Jonathan Lee Writer's Intent Relations Me Identity Argument Audience Tone . Apr 13,  · Where’s the Magic in Family Dinner?

By Lisa Damour April 13, am April 13, am. a recent report showing a decline in adolescents eating dinner with their parents despite the many loud champions of the family meal.

Securing a teenager’s mealtime presence serves up further opportunities for authoritative. As of my opinion, I agree with Gibbs, which wrote the essay "The Magic of a Family Meal", and her argument is on how a family meal promotes communication among all the family members.

For instance, with my family, it is a tradition that we all sit down as a family to eat. The Magic of the Family Meal Search for: Search This “Time” article does a great job of summing up most of how I feel about the whole family meal concept and is much more interesting to read than a big list of statistics!

The Magic of the Family Meal by Jonathan Lee on Prezi