The Power of Dinner

 Yesterday was the first day of school for my kiddos and it was certainly a departure from previous years. We decided to take a last minute vacation last week so we missed “Meet the Teacher” on Thursday. It’s not usually a big deal so I didn’t think a whole lot about it. Neither of my kids are new to the school and they both are comfortable with the building and staff. I figured we’d just take our supplies in on the first day, shake hands with the teacher, take a picture or two and that would be it.
Mom Fail.
Both of my kids, the boy and the girl, started having mild anxiety Sunday night that escalated into Monday morning. Both started questioning,”What if I can’t find my classroom?” and “What if I don’t know my teacher?”
We talked them down, explaining that we would, of course, walk them in and help them carry the supplies. We talked about how we would go with them to introduce our family to the teacher and say, “Hello!” It would be fine. It was fine.
After school I was so excited to hear all the details of the day. I wanted to know who they sat with, what their schedule looked like, and how awesome their teachers are. I was met with tired, overwhelmed silence and a few grunts.
Enter the power of dinner.
We decided to have a celebratory dinner at one of their favorite burger joints and as the lemonade and fries were ingested the words slowly started spilling out. Shelby knew all of her teachers first and last names, their cities of origin, and their favorite football teams. She had a sense for which one is going to be her favorite and which one is going to have the strictest classroom. She told us about a new friend who moved to our town only a week ago and an old friend that she was happy to reconnect with.
Seth told us about recess and lunch.
I’ve always known the value of a family meal. I’ve been a long time believer that sitting down together is a bonding experience and allows kids and parents to talk to each other about things other than punishments or instructions. Last night was a great reminder that sometimes they just need a little time to decompress after a day of over-stimulation. Dinner is a non-threatening place for them to share casually and for their dad and I to learn fabulous tid-bits about the day and about the kind of people they are becoming. Our dinner was not fancy, nor was the conversation, but both were valuable components to ensuring the health of our family. Time spent together is like a shot of vitamins to our relationship. I want to make sure family dinner time is a priority in our lives.

One Reply to “The Power of Dinner”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.