Every evening, after my husband and I come home from work, one of us makes dinner. The kids occupy themselves with toys and games while the other parent catches up on whatever is necessary. "Dinner's in five," the cook of the evening announces to the rest of the family. The kids stop playing and the eldest helps set the table. Everyone sits down to eat. This is one of our only times together, as a family, which is why millennials shouldn't abandon the traditional family dinner. The family dinner is one of the only "old" traditions my family follows and when our lives get busy, we still manage to sit down together and do what we all love best: eat and talk.
My family eats dinner together every night of the week and breakfast together on the weekends. As with most traditions, though, many families are now skipping the family dinner due to schedules or other restrictions. According to a report from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University, only 59 perfect of families report eating dinner together at least five times a week, which is low when one considers all of the proven benefits of family dinners.
In our fast-paced, social media, technology-obsessed world, savoring and protecting some family traditions is essential for some family structure and unity. And while I'm totally fine with millennials "killing" all sorts of antiquated industries and traditions, I will fight to the death for my dinners with my family. Family dinner have been researched extensively for decades and the research usually produces similar results. Kids who eat dinners with their families tend to do better in school, are less likely to do drugs, and have better eating habits. And while some of this research doesn't take certain external factors into account, like socioeconomic status, for the most part the results stand true for all families. In addition to all of the proven benefits of family dinners, they are important to me for the following reasons: