Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Perfectly Practical #74 - Dinner Together at the Table

I was sent an advance copy of the book to review.  All opinions and frustrations about a messy dining room table are my own.  Oh, and the Amazon link is also an affiliate link.  Just thought you should know.  :)

We try to eat dinner together most every night.  Obviously there are some exceptions like on youth group nights when Diva eats at church or date night and we don't have Diva with us at all; but, for the most part, we eat together.

Although I was so proud of Engineer going back to get his Master's, I was annoyed that my dining room table was commandeered during his school terms.  It made eating together difficult since our table was also his desk.  And alas, many nights, Diva and I were left to eat in the den in front of the TV while Engineer ate in the dining room alone.  So glad that's over and we are back to eating as a family.

We all feel disconnected when we can't sit down, talk about our days, engage in conversation, and share laughs over some food.  For us, eating together nourishes not only our bodies but our minds, our relationships, and our souls.

I was asked to review an advanced copy of a book called The Hour The Matters Most by Les & Leslie Parrott, PhDs with Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna (the latter two are the ladies behind the Dream Dinners company and concept.)

It didn't take much persuasion to get me on board to read a book about the importance of family suppers with a few family and time friendly recipes scattered throughout. 

In the forward, the Parrotts begin by letting you know that the book's purpose is not to shame you you into an idea but instead to give you the tools and strategies to implement a new time in your family life - family dinnertime.  They carry on throughout the book being informative without being preachy.

Chapter One laid the foundation for the book with the six qualities of thriving families:  "Commitment, Appreciation and Affection, Positive Communication, Time Together, Spiritual Well-Being, Ability to Cope with Stress and Crisis."  The authors propose that all of these bonds are strengthened around the family table.  At this point I put the book down and just thought about some of our friends with very strong familial bonds.  Interestingly enough, every family that I thought of also makes it a point to sit down as a family and eat together for supper if not for breakfast and supper.

Each chapter has personal stories from the authors and ends with a recipe from the Dream Dinners ladies.  This book is such an easy read yet it gives scientifically researched facts as the basis for the statements.  As a proponent for family suppers, I thought I wouldn't learn anything new but I was very wrong.  In fact, I plan to go back and read it again and this time highlighting the facts I want to commit to memory.  And even though the authors gave a lot of information about studies and reports, they presented them in bite sized chunks so that the reader was not overwhelmed. 

If you are teetering on the edge of feeling like you want to make the commitment to having regular family meal times, please read The Hour That Matters Most.  The authors are not on a high horse or unrealistic about modern families and the time constraints that they face.  They do however, give you reasons to consider prioritizing a family meal - a big reason being an investment in your family.

This is the first in a series of suppertime posts.  After reading this book, I am more determined than ever to have my family all sit down at the table and commune. 

If you have any questions that you would like me to address in this series please write to me at parymoppins (at) ymail (dot) com and I will do my best to answer them.

This is part of We Are That Family's Works for Me Wednesday.

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