October 10, 2016

Newsletter: How to Leverage Mealtime

Mealtime is much more than a time to eat, it is an opportunity to build communication, relationships, and to educate. Studies have shown the teens who eat five to seven meals with their family each week are twice as likely to get A's and B's in school. Mealtime should be a pleasant time. When people are upset it can impact digestion. It is not a time for power struggles. Give the family a variety of choices and let them select their meal and proportions. Turn electronic devices off and choose to use the time together in a productive and meaningful way.

Seven Ways to Leverage Mealtime...

1. Hygge Dinner by Inviting Dinner Guests

Invite interesting people, from church, neighborhood or your husband's work, to join your family for a meal. Getting to know others is often a broadening experience. Leave stress behind and enjoy the time together.

2. Kennedy Method

As her children grew, she placed a bulletin board in the hall with articles for the children to read and then discuss at the table. Even when the family and cousins gathered at Hyannis Port, at the Kennedy Family compound, the cousins participated too. The newspaper was posted and the cousins would look for articles to discuss with John Kennedy's father, Joseph Kennedy.

3. Share a Book

A friend of mine would clear the dinner table and out would come their books. Each would pull out what ever book they are reading. All of the family would read silently, the book of their choice, interrupting from time to time to share what they are reading.

4. What Good Question did You Ask Today?

My husband would ask the family: "What good questions did you ask today?" He would share what his question was and what he found out. I shared too. This set the example, no one was forced to participate.

5. International Nights

My sister-in-law used the Fifth Monday to focus on a different country. She would go to the library and get books on that particular country. Then she would decorate for the dinner, select music and prepare authentic food for that evening.

6. Listen to an Audio Book

What? You did not get to read the Power of an Hour Sunday Classical Spotlight? Listen to it on the audio link provided in Power of an Hour.

7. Debrief

Discuss a book you just finished with the family or a field trip you just finished. What was your favorite part? What did you learn? Parents participate and share too1.

Leverage your mealtime for building relationships of love and broaden learning!

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