Whenever possible, our family gathers around the table to share dinner (at least 4-5 times per week). It seems like such a small thing, but with busy schedules, it really takes some work to get it done. I think it’s important to let our kids know now that these dinners are important so that we can continue to make them a priority as they approach their teen years. Not only the dinners, but the kids themselves.
One thing that we stress is giving thanks for our food. We not only want to say grace and thank God for providing, but to thank those who hands did the work. For the most part, that tends to be me, but Beth will often get a “thank you” for pouring drinks or whichever component she helps with.
Now that they kids are no longer toddlers, they are able to help me in the kitchen a little more, which means that I get to share the thanks. I kid you not, it is hard to get a bigger smile from a child than when they get a “thank you” for all of their hard work.
Well, this past week, the girls were out at piano practice. Those days are hard, because it throws us off of our typical mealtime schedule. In order to keep it close, we try to choose easier meals that we can have on the table when the girls get back. Thank goodness for my little man.
I believe that, in a kitchen, no job is too small and no one is too small to have a job. Sometimes you just have to find the job that fits a child’s abilities and sell it to him. For boys, if they think that you don’t think they can do it, they will do everything they can to prove you wrong!
I put my little guy on bacon duty. I turned on my griddle and gave him one task: flip the bacon. It’s a simple job and certainly one that I could have done faster. But faster wouldn’t have included him and wouldn’t have helped to teach him anything. Faster wouldn’t make me a better father, just a faster one.
At the end of the day, the girls came home and a dinner of pancakes and bacon was waiting for them. We said grace and dug in. I started to get “thank you’s” around the table when I told them about the help that I had. He was beaming as he heard, “thank you for making the bacon, Matthew.”
How do you show your kids that they are the most important thing in your life? Is family dinner a priority? How about kids in the kitchen? Leave a comment and share your story.