“Countries with strong food cultures also have strong families.”
When I first read that sentence I thought it was a bit of overreach by Michael Grose, the author of 9 parenting books. But I kept reading, and I changed my mind.
“When people eat together they talk. If you want to get a window into a child’s world, then you need to sit around the kitchen table and have a meal” says Grose.
Michael Grose also says that the English don’t use the kitchen table like Aussies do, and that one third of English homes don’t even have a kitchen table!
Michael has three recommendations for us …
- Serve from the table like the Europeans to create a communal activity – kids stay longer when food is served this way.
- Any excuse for a celebration – term break, finished an essay, anything!
- Turn your evening meal into a night out at home.
I think Michael Grose is right - we underestimate the power of eating and talking. In my case, I’ve always loved to eat with my family at a table that is laid out in an inviting embrace. And I wish I knew about the beautiful French coated cotton table cloths when my children were young – affordable European table coverings that wipe clean with a damp cloth.
My children are young adults now, but they still remember and laugh about the vigorous family conversations we had around the kitchen table as they grew up.
I miss the big family dinners, but I still make a point of having a beautiful table setting when I have friends over for morning tea or lunch.
You can read Michael Grose’ other parenting tips at www.parentingideas.com.au
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