Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Parent to Parent: Family Dinners
There was a time when families sat down to dinner together almost every night, but nowadays the typical family finds both dad and mom working and kids after school activities often running into the dinner hour. How do families find time? Lynn Martinez explains in tonight's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- Even though they both work, Greg and Jennifer Herskowitz try to have dinner with their kids whenever they can.
They like to catch up and re-connect with sons Ethan and Brady and daughter Lexi.
Greg Herskowitz: "I work, my wife works, and so we're busy all week long, and to have time to just stop and have the family together in one unit. It's important not just for us but for the kids to have that time alone."
For them, dinnertime is a time to nourish body and soul. One look at this family's calendar shows how hard it is to make that happen.
Jennifer Herskowitz: "We know it's not going to happen every night because there's always something going on, but we try to do it at least three times a week if we can."
Jennifer is a member of the Jr. League of Miami. Its members have started the Step Up to the Plate Initiative in which members pledge to make time for dinner with the family.
Kathleen Duran: "They say that children who eat dinner with their families are less likely to smoke or drink or try marijuana or prescription drugs."
Studies also show kids who eat with their families have better grades in school and stronger friendships. Dr. Val agrees.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "It's about togetherness, and it's about time that you teach values and how you treat others. You tell stories about each other. You tell stories about your day, so it's something that people remember."
Dr. Val says mealtime should be flexible, so if your days run long, don't worry if you can't sit down for dinner. Instead, have a family breakfast or lunch, and you don't have to whip up a gourmet meal. Let kids help choose what's on the menu, so everyone will enjoy the meal.
The Herskowitz family says it's worth the effort.
Jennifer Herskowitz: "There's something about food and eating food together that gives you that warm comfortable feeling, and that's what I hope my kids take from family dinners."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Valerie Goode
Jr. League of Miami