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Drop the Devices and Talk: Family Dinner Time Tips from PACT and Moms of Pelham

Filed in Uncategorized by on June 4, 2015 • views: 290
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By now, PACT knows Pelham parents have gotten the message: that making family meal time a habit is a simple way to connect with your family and also make it less the likely that your children will use alcohol or drugs as they get older.Family Time generic image

In honor of the last Family Time of the school year – scheduled for Wednesday, June 10 — we recently asked the Moms of Pelham Facebook group the following question: “What do you do to make family meal time quality?” Here’s a synopsis of what followed.

The biggest piece of advice? Get rid of the devices, as much as is possible — that alone leads to conversation. Still, mothers admit that, sometimes, it takes ingenuity to get the family talking.

“When my kids were younger we used to go around the table and you had to say what your favorite part of the day was. We did it enough that I think when we do all eat together, we’re kind of ready to talk about it,” observed Eileen Miller.

Meredith Ohmes offered a variation on the popular conversation theme of asking everyone what the best part of their day was. “Each night we say what our favorite part of the day was, then move on to our least favorite part. You get a lot of information with those two questions!” she said. “The kids also learn a lot about the parents’ day and always love hearing what was tough for the parents – the angry boss, house repair issues, and so on.”

“To move reluctant talkers, we play ‘share three things about your day, one of which is not true’ and then the others have to guess which is the fake,” added Christa Acampora.

Others make dinner special by making it more of an event. Said Christine Costa Rosskopf: “We sit down together every evening meal. Table is set nicely with cloth napkins, silverware set out correctly and glasses filled with ice water. No pots, pans or packages on the table (ketchup and mustard allowed). Grace holding hands.”

“I am a big advocate of home cooked meals, I cook 5 to 6 nights of the week most weeks!” exclaimed Julie Maloney.

However, if you’re wondering how anyone ever gets their family to sit down together, you’re not alone. Donna Carew asked the group: “How do you all have family dinners? We are always all over the place.”

Claire Persanis, who serves on PACT’s Social Marketing Committee, replied with a fact about family meal time that should give parents heart: “It doesn’t have to be dinner. Studies have shown that any meal together benefits kids.”

With that in mind, PACT wishes everyone a great summer and many meals together, whether they be breakfast, lunch, dinner … or going out for ice cream.

(This story originally appeared in The Pelham Weekly on June 3, 2015.)

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