Tag Archives: eating together

She Cooks, We Clean

I know that I can be simple minded sometimes and this one seems fundamental, but I thought I would put it out there anyhow. If the mother of the household cooks then dad and the kids should clean up, right? Something seems wrong if everyone scatters to do their own thing when dinner is over except for mom. Something is definitely not right if the kids scatter when dinner is over and leave dad and mom to clean up.

There are many benefits of eating dinner together as a family every day.
One of them is an excellent opportunity to teach your kids the importance of working together to help get the dining area and kitchen cleaned up afterwards.

In our house, a fringe benefit of having 3 boys that are old enough to work is that the duties can be spread out amongst each of us.
One is responsible for cleaning the table and sweeping the floor; another is responsible for cleaning the dishes; another helps put food away and I clean off the counters and stove.

If your kids are still young, they can at least carry their own plate or cup to the sink. Naturally, as they get older, then they can do more.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

If it is just you and your wife, if you only have one child or if you are a single mom, the same principle applies. Mom should not have to do it all. The work load should be shared amongst everyone in the house.

If you are already practicing this in your home, then you are probably living in a happy home; cause when momma is happy, everyone is happy.

If your household might need a little work, then the following is how I would go about getting the ship turned in the right direction.

1. First, have dinner together.
This may seem obvious, but if you don’t typically eat at a dinner table together then it’s harder for the kids to form the habits you might be looking for.

2. Talk about it.
Don’t just start hollering and giving marching orders. Make it the topic of the next dinner conversation. Discuss why it is important for everyone to pitch in and help. State what you need help with and then give everyone the option of choosing which one they would like to do.

3. Have the same person do the same task every time.
If no one knows what the other is doing, then something will get left undone or there will just be plain chaos. We are creatures of habit.
The challenging part of this though is trying to prevent your kids from thinking only about theirselves and their own job and not wanting to cross the line and help someone else out when needed.

Good luck and happy cleaning!
If you have any comments or suggestions please share.


Dinner time!

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These words ring out loud every day at our house.
I am normally the one shouting them. Upstairs, outside and elsewhere in an effort to let the kids know that mom has dinner ready and it’s time to gather together and eat.
I am so blessed with a wife who doesn’t mind cooking dinner almost every evening. (we normally give her the weekends off)
For that, I am very thankful.  I am also thankful for a job that allows me to leave work at about the same time each day so that we can have a fairly regular dinner time routine.
I look forward to getting off work each day because I know that when I get home dinner will be ready and we can all sit down, eat together and talk about our days.
I believe that this time together each day is very important for the strength of bond within our family.

A typical dinner time routine goes something like this…
I get home and mom is working hard in the kitchen trying to wrap things up. I go give her a hug and kiss and then check out what’s cooking.  (most time sneak a sample when she is not looking)

The kids are normally done with their homework at this time and scattered, either playing outside, practicing the piano, studying their BQ verses or on the computer.

Mom normally likes help with setting the table.  I have tried to jump in the middle of what she is doing and help with cleanup so that we don’t have to do as much afterward, but she prefers that I just help get the kids and set the table.

The kids duty is getting the glasses filled with ice and drinks.  (Most of the time it’s just water as we don’t drink soda at our house, but I’ll save that for another post)

We load our plates and then start to sit down.  Mom is normally the last one to sit, although I prefer getting my food last as well so that it will be hot.  Nobody starts eating until we all are seated and pray.  A lot of times the kids are getting anxious waiting for everyone to get their food and have a seat.

We have certain rules for dinner time…

  • No TV (we must sit at the table together without distractions)
  • No phones or electronics at the table
  • Phone calls coming in can wait
  • Nobody eats until everyone is seated and we pray
  • We must talk

For this post, I chose a picture of the Duck Dynasty family sitting at the dinner table praying because this is what we do as well.  I like Duck Dynasty for that reason.

When it’s time to pray I take the lead most of the time, but a lot of times I will just sit there with my hands folded and head down and wait to see if someone else takes the lead in prayer.  If the kids are hungry enough one of them will soon figure it out and take the initiative to prayer.  It’s important for them to learn to pray out loud and not be ashamed.

Our prayers are not long, but they must be meaningful. Every now in then I may do the simple prayer of “God is great, God is good…”, but I’ll say it slow and with meaning and elaborate.

After prayer we dig in and talk about how the day went and what may be in store for the days coming.

I love dinner time and I hope that one day our kids will continue the tradition as well.

How about you?  I would love to hear comments about your daily dinner routine or family time.


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