photo credit: FredMikeRudy
LIVE HEALTHY..L et’s eat, talk, and play together with our kids
One of my earlier posts was discussing ways to LIVE HEALTHY with our kids. Here is the “L” way…expanding on the importance of interaction and conversation with our children for their mental and physical wellbeing.
Eating together as a family, talking to your children, playing with them…simple things that are just “simply” critical for your children’s (and parent’s too) positive physical and mental health! Study after study have shown the benefits of families eating together…better nutrition, better social skills..but other surprising benefits: advanced language development for younger children, less likely for your teenagers to smoke, drink alcohol, use drugs! But, to achieve maximum benefits there is one big stipulation:
eating together must be an interactive mission..which means no outside stimulation at the table such as watching television or answering telephones. Eating together must include conversations with your children.
Sitting with your kids around the table, expanding on words said…discussing subjects (not only yes and no questions)..all these are helpful to develop your child’s language skills…in fact, the more varied vocabulary (and more words spoken by caregivers) that your kids hear when they are young, the more prolific their sentences will be when they are older.
Although there are no teenagers yet “chez nous”..that is coming soon! And, yes, I am worried about the influence of drugs, alcohol and smoking on my kid’s behavior. I try, try,try to be open on these subjects. It does reassure me that my interactive eating sessions with my kids are helping to have an avenue to discuss their problems, have their opinions valued and for them to feel more self worth..hopefully they WILL say NO to drugs, alcohol and smoking.
No, it isn’t perfect here…I never have enough time to play with my kids! Sometimes when they ask me to play with them I feel torn between doing things like making dinner or helping them with a quick puzzle! My brother’s family (they have 2 kids) seem to do it all correctly! At their house they take one night a week to play board games together after dinner. I have other friends too who I know make a real concerted effort to spend high quality time with their children, despite their long work days. Simple things which lead to simple pleasures: I can see how close these friends are with their children. How lucky on both ends! I am trying though. At least with my kids we eat our long “French” main meal at lunch together without the television or cell phones on and we discuss..and talk…and laugh…!
25% of American families always eat with the television on…and your family? Tonight make it your goal to interact with all those around the table, “So, what was the best and worse thing that happen to each one of you today?” You may end up with a laugh!