A SIMPLE TRADITION WITH A BIG IMPACT

in family •  2 years ago  (edited)

What I am about to share may shock some of you.


In case you are not aware of exactly what is in that photo, I'll break it down for you. First, there are two types of people in the photo. I know that many of you may already know that, but I'm not just talking about "big people" and "little people" or even about "adults" and "children." You see, in the photo above, those big adults are actually "parents" and the little children are the "children" of those parents. A group of such people (parents with their own children) is called a "family" in some areas.

The "thing" that the family is sitting down at is called a "table." It is different than a couch, but, if you look hard enough, there just might be one in your home! Although this happens to be a small table, it could still classify as a "dinner table."

Dinner? Yes, please allow me to explain. That "stuff" in the middle of the "table" that the "family" is sitting at is "food." Food consumed in the evening is often referred to as "supper" or "dinner." The name "dinner table" once was a clue that many "families" used to help them decide what to do with this piece of furniture.

I realize that I may have taken an extreme approach to illustrate a point here. However, fewer and fewer families are eating meals together these days, and that is having a negative effect on a lot of things.

Not all too long ago, even in America, it was not all that uncommon for entire families to eat together on a regular basis. By "entire families" I mean parents with their own children and by "regular basis" I mean more often than Christmas and Easter. It seems that many factors play a role in the decline of this once common routine.

For one, families fortunate enough to still have two parents often have two parents that work a lot, frequently starting earlier and staying later. Once you add in that many schools are now serving breakfast as well as lunch, and consider youth sports in the evenings, it almost seems like purchasing a dinner table, or a house with a "dining room," may be a waste of money for many families these days.

Before I continue, I must point out that no one needs to live a life where they do not have the freedom to eat a meal with their family members. Many of us have allowed certain things to take that time away from us, and therefore, we are to blame. Even desperate and difficult situations have ways out of them, if we are only diligent enough to work towards it.

The photos in this post were taken at a local restaurant. Normally we enjoy our meals at home, but whether we eat out or at home, we eat together. Whenever I do not have to leave for work, my family even eats all three meals every day together. We may have an advantage since @mama-pepper does not work outside of the home and we home educate the @little-peppers, but those were choices that we made so we could enjoy such freedom.

At the moment, we are trying to get to the point where I will not ever need to leave home again to work too, so that we can be together and live a life together as a family. Such things may not be what everyone would desire, but that is our goal for our family.

As I reflected on some research about the effects of a family just being able to enjoy a few meals together every week, I couldn't help but wonder about the effects of a family living life together.

If you look online for research about the effects of families choosing to eat dinner together as a family, you will read some amazing stuff. By "amazing stuff" I don't mean tips for how to start a conversation with one of your family members, although you may come across some of those. (Yes, really.) However, I am speaking about things like emotional, mental, nutritional, and developmental benefits.

Many would never consider that enjoying a meal with their children and having some casual conversation can build their vocabulary better than reading books to them. They may not consider that their children may be less likely to become depressed or suicidal. They may not realize that many believe in the benefits so much that pediatricians are encouraged to recommend to parents that they attempt to eat meals regularly as a family.

As I reflected on this recently, I drew a few conclusions of my own. I think that we can all realize that it is not just where we eat or who we eat it with. I think that in the modern divided family lives that are very common in industrialized nations, the family members do not interact very much. To accomplish some real interaction, many families may find it easiest to attempt at the end of the day, hence "dinner."

Since we were created to be a part of a family, if we actually interact within that family we will be living in our "natural environment." I know that this may sound like a stretch to some people, but they are free to believe what they wish, and these are just my thoughts. Others are free to do some research and draw their own conclusions.

However, if we continue with the "natural environment" illustration, let's imagine what life would be like for a fish in the water. Then, let's compare it to what its life would be like in a desert. Can you imagine that? If not, trust me, the fish will do much better in the water, because that it is its natural environment.


Creatures develop best in their natural environment.


So, from my point of view, just being married makes me a husband and just having a child makes me a father. If I want to be the best husband possible, though, I may have to interact with my wife. Likewise, to become a better father, I may have to interact with my children. A family that interacts frequently with the itself will hopefully learn how to establish good family relationships.

I think that all of these studies on "family dinner" are really a clue about what happens when a family spends time together and interacts. There are a lot of benefits cited, and here are just a few articles to get you started if you want to look into it.

My advice for anyone out there who is part of a family is that you think about things like this. Does your family spend a good amount of time interacting in a positive way? Do you know the other members in your family? Do you need "conversation starter tips" just to talk to your spouse or children?

As far as I know, we get one chance with relationships like this. Eventually @mama-pepper and I will be dead and the @little-peppers may be all that we leave behind. I'd like the life that I live with them now to be the healthiest and most beneficial that it can be, and I'd like to be there for them when they need me. That can only happen id I have a good relationship with them and spend time interacting with them. Eating a family dinner on a regular basis is just one way that we can be working towards that goal.

As always, I'm @papa-pepper and here's the proof:


proof-of-a-family-dinner


Until next time…

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Papa-pepper, I so totally agree with you. Best memories of our children growing up, were around the dinner table. We used to talk so much - intellectually, joking, what happened in our day, spirituality as well. At the end of the meal, we used to have tea in an inherited teapot. Our dog at that time, Lulu, used to have her bowl of tea next to the table with us. After that, I used to read out of the Bible, we would pray, and sometimes, when we were all in the mood, I would slid in front of the piano and we would sing a hymn. Our boys often refer to those precious times, and they remember those days as family times, and they still thank me and my husband for what they were taught around the table. My boys went out in the world with a hunger for knowledge and a soft spot for family. What more can be said?

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It sounds like you guys did an excellent job raising your children. Way to go.

I bet you are still reaping a return on that investment!

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If we don't teach them values, then we cannot complain when they come back with the worlds values!

So true...huge point

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Thank you!

Family dinners together creates an atmosphere that nurtures the development of young minds... This is the place we ask children about their days etc.. Social skills and trust is learnt this way.. Shaping children to be contientious and loving young adults... In such a big purveyor of eating together...

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Thanks for adding that!

Great article

So awesome to see another family sitting down to dinner together. We love this time with our family and make it a point to do it every day. It was nice sharing a meal with you all when you were here!

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It was great to have both of our families enjoy a meal together, and to share what they were thankful for!

Amen! The family dinner is one of the most important things that easily falls by the wayside and yet keeps a family together.

It's great to see a picture of the Pepper family together!

I once heard that the ultimate reason the Amish decided not to drive motor vehicles is that it would make it far more likely the families would be going many places during the day and not make it back for dinner. I have my own quibbles with how the Amish decide and do things, but this was an intriguing conclusion they reached.

In our family right now we are typically sharing all three meals together and if any meals are missed it makes a big difference in how we interact. I can't imagine not sharing ANY.

It is a serious commitment to live life together. It takes a lot of care and the least little thing that slides out of place can really effect the family dynamic on the whole.

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Glad to hear that you are enjoying so many meals together and able to spend so much time together as a family!

With the life so agitated that we live in the cities to eat with family is one of the few moments that we must treasure because they are not many and the children grow and they leave. Time is money and that is why we must share it together as long as we can. ;)

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You are correct. Thanks for sharing it.

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Agreed, that the meaning to lfe is choice which we choose to share with others. Amazing.
Life is short & every moment counts.

Family dinners are so important. Even if there is just 2 people , parent and child it is meaningful. For me and my son we share breakfast and then at dinnertime we reconnect. When he comes home from high school we both take a little time and have a cup of tea together and talk for a bit.

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Absolutely! A cup of tea to connect over sounds delightful. Nicely done!

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Thanks!

We are really seeing less and less of family dining together in all parts of the world mate, this is not good at all! Looking at your family sitting together is so wonderful!
At my place, everyday we all eat together, I got this habot from my mum and dad and now I am giving this habit to my daughter!
Great post mate!

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Glad to hear that you are keeping that practice alive!

happy family

the blog is very informative

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This importance of family meal time reminder of yours just makes me plain ol happy. As I just spent an entire day being taught about the importance of our herd and how it affects our overall brain chemistry and health, your reminder of this very essential and necessary family closeness concept really hits close to home. We've been so busy, and I've neglected this area a bit. Thanks for the reminder @papa-pepper😊

Also, I hope ya'll are at the same address, I'm super close to actually mailing you some dried lavender and other stuff. There's also a funny story about what happened to the beautiful lavender plants that I propagated for you. Sigh. Life, I tell ya!

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Glad to hear it was a good reminder, and yes, we have the same address.

Tradition is a thing that is much cooler than we think, often times.

Eeee your kids are totally adorable!! We always eat supper together as a family at the table, unless my husband has to work later than expected and kids are starved (hah, "starved", that is), in which case we eat together and then I sit with husband while he eats later and talk about our respective days. He's aiming to be full time at home with me soon too, although I send my kids to public school at this point because I'm still happy with the education they are receiving there and running a farm is a little safer/easier without small helpers at times! So i guess i can look forward to romantic one-on-one weekday lunch dates with my husband in the future :D

good post

As always, an inspiration,, @papa-pepper! I really enjoyed the post. You are so very right, it is vital to spend time with family and loved ones, i think it makes the nicest memories. It's not even about what you do together, just that you are together. Thank you.

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You are right, just being together is a blessing.

I've looked and looked trying to find this "couch" thing you talked about.
It appears that I am missing this item. Oh well.

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Lol...we were missing this item in our home for quite some time until we finally found a decent one second hand. Ironically, it seems like I only sit on it now during Saturday afternoon, but it does look nice and comfortable in our living room.

The dinner table, on the other hand, was our very first official piece of furniture.

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There may be other items that could be more important... like a television in every room.

You have a beautiful family, united and happy. The children are the ones who fill the house with joy and you have a family that many people would like to have

amen! Thanks brother I loved this reed.

OMGSH, your kids are adorable! Thanks for sharing with us. I hope many realize the importance of investing in the future begins with family at home.

So important! I love that you have put forward your statement about your account, and your goals! Its so important for us to be able to "BE HERE NOW". I cherish the moments when my family is all together, and I wish it could be everyday. As a society, we've certainly lost something sacred in the rush.....

@papa-pepper, I just love this post and thank you so much for writing and sharing it. As so many people look up to you, you could possibly get their attention. Your wife and kids are privileged to have you as a husband and father. I am so excited about this post! In my books one of your best!

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Thanks for the encouragement. I'm glad that you appreciate it.

I'm glad you posted something like this @papa-pepper.
The modern world has totally encroached on so many wonderful moments your post here just identified one out of so many of them.
Every parent ought to read this because it calls for a rethink on their previous actions and how it affects their kids especially at their tender age.

Nice family♪

Family is everything. . I love your story this @papa-pepper. . Thanks for sharing

This is GREAT advice. There are WAY too many people who think that if your child does not please you, the thing to do is kick them to the curb. My husband's parents were Jehovah's Witnesses who cut off communication over cigarettes. I was sexually assaulted as a teen, started acting out and my parents kicked me out. Time mended the relationships somewhat, but our parents were supported in their decisions by a society that considers everything disposable, including our own children. If you want your children to feel like they are loved, then SPEND TIME with them. Don't just ignore them, then realize one day they are not who you wanted so you throw them away. They will pick your nursing home...

hahaha... This is the most amazing thing I heard today, so there is @mama-pepper and the @little-peppers here on steemit? waw...lol. I really love this and for the illustration you give about the decision you make about working at home and tutoring the kids, it is a decision you and the family have made and it is really wonderful, that might not suit me well but right now am so considering something like that too. I love the togetherness, it does not only build the family but it also helps those little peppers have a positive mentality toward life. I wish @papa-pepper and @mama-pepper and the @little-peppers a good life. Cheers!

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THANK YOU!

Beautiful family! Humans are social animals. Regular interaction makes us less likely to be awkward in public. Family is everything, and that message gets lost in work, and other outside factors. Many people do not think of things like this in life. This is a great post! #madrespect

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Thank you for the #madrespect!

Yummm! Now I feel like pizza haha 😵

I will admit that my family has gotten out of the habit of eating together but it is something that I will be reinstating. You are so right!

Wow amazing

Such a novel idea for many nowadays! Your family is adorable!

I agree with what you have said. Funny how many people all over the place that have never met has similar goals in life. Though in my little flock two of my birdies have flown the nest and I only have one left who is about to fly from the nest himself.
I love to cook and bake the reason why is because it brings people together. I personally started home schooling because public school was failing my children. Two was bored and my son who is on the spectrum was regressing instead of moving forward. I decided then and there it is up to me as their parent to make sure they are educated and challenged and being met where they are.
It made my family closer than they were. My kids very close to each other and they are close with me. They know they can come and talk to me about anything and I am not going to flip out on them. Their friends even know if they have a problem they can come to me and I will be there for them.
Keep doing what you are doing. Oh and just in case you don't know I been sharing the 12+ years of home schooling free resources that I have gathered. You and momma-pepper might be interested in some of them for the little-peppers.

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Interesting, I'll mention something to mama! Thanks!

Family meals, asking if you could be excused from the table, eating what was given to you, Sunday dinners with the whole family.......All those things enrich your life in so many ways. You learn manners, respect for your elders and if you don't respect them as a person, how to still be polite. It's great to read posts like yours and know that some things are not as lost as you once thought.

Such a beatiful thing to see the family eating together. A lot of great points why it is so important. You have created an amazing life being able to gather around the "meal table" 3 times a day. The little peppers seem very content!

This is such an excellent post. I think family is one of the most important experiences available for creating strong bonds among its members. Back in the "old" days of my grandparents the family was created for survival purposes. Our culture seemed to run into problems beginning with the Dr. Spock era and spiraling down to the point of overworked parents with little time or energy left for the family. The regular routine of the average household seemed to be rush, rush, grab, grab. Eating on the run to get to this event or meeting seemed to abolish dinner or "supper" around the family dinner table which began with saying the "blessing" of gratitude. So sad to realize that we have become too busy for things such as God and family.

very happy family buddy ,,,

We always ate all of our meals together when I grew up (we were 5 kids as well) and often friends came over for a meal as well. MY best friend (still, after 50 years) was always jealous of our family - she only had one sister and loved that there was so much happening at our table.

Oh my where did that fifth one come from!! You caught up to us!! Such a beautiful family :)

I got the point of your post just from the title and the thumbnail. Point taken.

I did want to take a moment and tell you once again, YOU'RE an animal!! We actually talked about you last night at our Steemit Meetup and we all agree, we don't know how you do it all.

I apologize for not commenting more on your posts and upvoting more as I am already stretched so thin ( althought that argument really doesn't work with you). But I do want you to know that I greatly admire all that you do both in life and in Steemit ( actually more in life.)

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I apologize for not commenting more on your posts and upvoting more as I am already stretched so thin ( althought that argument really doesn't work with you).

Same here, I would always support you and your amazing posts, it is just hard to make the rounds some days. Thanks for all of your encouragement!

As a millennial I am coming to realise more nd more the power of disconnecting from social media and entertainment and connecting with humans around meals. I think the best way to achieve better bonding over meals will be to switch off the WiFi and phones...

We miss each other in the day to day routine of running both physical and online lives. Especially in a world where entertainment is super fast to access and stimulates on a very high level. We need to force ourselves to not make our families compete but rather to put away the distraction and give it our all. If we have any hope of having socially adapted families we must push for relationships in real life not just on social media

First thing, you have a BEAUTIFUL family. I’m sure you are beyond proud of it.

Secondly, this is a brilliant post. My oldest is 18. Do you remember back when Oprah was being an advocate for dinner at the family table? Well, my daughter saw the commercials, and she asked why we didn’t eat dinner at the table. We started, and I have never looked back. It is a very special time, and I love it... I look forward to it.

Since then, I have had two more daughters. One is eleven, and one is 14 months. I’ve always worked, a lot, until our last baby was born. It’s super hard to survive on one income, but the difference I have seen in my children is enormous.They are so much happier, and they are more calm. My husband works long hours, and we, too, are trying to make it to where he can be home more. As sad as it is, he is rarely home at dinner time. He usually eats later in the day. It makes me sad.

I’m also wishing I would have home-schooled my children. The oldest graduates this year, and the middle one is in 6th grade. I feel like the ship sailed. The school system is hard on children. My biggest problems are that they are gone, they are not active, they are forced to eat very quickly, they are not allowed to drink when thirsty, and they are taught to hold their bodily waste until a convenient bathroom time. It’s awful. Somewhere along the way, it seems they stopped caring about the children, and a schedule to prepare for standardized tests became more important.

Sorry for the long comment! Lol! You wrote about a topic that is VERY important to me.

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No problem on the long comment! Thanks for leaving it!

amazing, @papa-pepper should be a good dad's example. the warm atmosphere in the dinner together was very enjoyable. your children and your wife must be very happy and loving you. greetings from me and my family ... this post is my passion.

Sweet shots of your family and Cheers, I do believe like you that families sitting down together for at least one meal a day is so important for a strong family sense of family and support, this trend which I am seeing more and more to people eat separately in their rooms or wherever is not a good trend and harms the ability of a family to forge a strong family bond

Shocking!!! ;)
It's good that you actually care about your family. I couldn't help but think as I read your article about that bit in The Republic by Plato where part of his ideal/horror show nightmare society is that family units no longer exist. Children are taken from their parents and raised elsewhere. People are separated into three categories: gold, silver, and bronze souls, and you aren't necessarily what your parents are, so if silver parents give birth to a gold baby, that baby goes to gold people to be raised, and so on. Marriage doesn't exist, men and women have relations for the purpose of procreation but otherwise not. Military people live in barracks with other military folk, artisans with artisans, etc. The point of all this was so that "the state" became the parent, and people had no loyalty to anything or anyone but the state.
Oh, and school is limited to what is useful for that "class" and jingoism is super important.
Sounds eerily like we get closer to this nightmare every day.

Excellent point.
While I was growing up we always ate every meal (except breakfast) together at the dinner table.
No TV allowed. (not having one made it easy)

It is great you are able to get together and have a traditional pizza together!

Another tip for modern society: Get a basket and set it on a table just outside the room where you will be dining together.

As each family member enters the room, they power off their phone and place it in the basket.

There's nothing worse than phones interrupting a conversation! Enjoy your meal time together- I promise once it gets started, you will not miss your phone or need to google funny conversation starters.

Bonus Make the meal together as a family :)

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Wow, great idea!

Great message with a great cause! The social interactions our kids experience are the developmental laboratory in which they devise their persons. If you care much about your kids, as you clearly do, then providing positive social development is critical to enabling them to become the most successful, and least regret prone, people they can be.

Thanks!

Rockin with the Peppers

[email protected]
i love this post about family. My family(parents home)was like that those days. Even when we were eight in the family, we eat together in one plate, espaecially in the mornings and evenings when all are around. I think its only a few families now that does this together this days.-----busy schedule, kids in the rooms playing and eating theirs, mum or dad eating while on computer and so on. Families doing this stay closer together and bond more than those not doing it. Nice work sir, just saw it resteemed somewhere.

I grew up having meals everyday with my family except for school days. But on school days we would be asked what we did at school or what did we learn at school that day. When there was no school we ate breakfast,dinner and supper together.

My son and I live together and everyday we have Supper together and talk about what happened at our jobs that day.

As a Preschool teacher we sit at the tables and eat snack,lunch and another snack together. We do that to give the children a chance to develop table manners,have a conversation at the table they are sitting at.

Todays main topic was the purple carrots we planted together. And why they just started showing their tops now. 10 days in a total darkness set them behind. My point I am tring to make children need to have adults present in their lives. Not all children live with their parents. And need adults to be there for them.

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This one gets a ReSteem!
Well said, vital information here.

I have to ask. Do you enjoy wearing sunglasses at night?

Or do you just put the shades on for pictures?

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It was just for proof photo.

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Ah forgot you always have glasses on for the proof photo. I was hoping it was more for a fashion statement or something like that.

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I don't know the answer for papa-pepper, but I have started to put glasses on for selfies because, after staying up late to finish steem articles, I am developing bags under my eyes and start to look a little crazy.

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Tricks of the trade!

Hey, @papa-pepper! I couldn't agree more. Family values begin at the family table. We eat all three meals together every day if possible. Sometimes it isn't possible and it throws everything out of whack. We discuss anything and everything together. We eat and pray together. Some people don't understand the closeness we have as a family. My sons are keeping up the tradition in their homes too. Thanks papa-pepper for helping spread the example.

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Thank you for your encouragement and support!

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You are welcome, @papa-pepper!

We have one of those things too and we use it daily, it is an amazing invention that dinner table!
At my house we all get our food and wait for others to get theirs, then we way a short prayer and then we all eat TOGETHER at the Same time. We always have interesting conversations, especially when the 8 year old leads it, lol.
On the weekends we usually have extra guests, the table gets crowded, but we all cram in and enjoy.

"At the moment, we are trying to get to the point where I will not ever need to leave home again to work too, so that we can be together and live a life together as a family. Such things may not be what everyone would desire, but that is our goal for our family."

I am trying to figure this out too, good luck and may we both achieve this goal so we can actually be a part of our family as God intended us to be.
MrEasyFix_bottom_thank_you.gif

Interesting post - thanks @papa-pepper .

Love seeing an article like this, in the fast pace world we live in it is no surprise that sharing a meal around the table everyday is few and far between. Dinner is eaten together with no other outside distractions, I applause your efforts in making sure to eat together as a family!