I don’t know about you, but for us, the holidays came upon our family with a huge collective sigh of relief. As a family we are not over-scheduled with lots of activities and after school stuff but in spite of this, we were all still in much need of a break; a break from routine and the opportunity to just chill out.
Monday 17th March found us all in our pajamas at 10am where the only decision required was whether to have pancakes or waffles and the day to come was ours for the picking. Whoo hoo, the holidays were here!
This holiday was a time for family, a time to relax and be free from routine. A time to connect, for puzzles, card games, board games and a time to have dinner together every night of the week. What a treat! With three kids and only one activity each during the week, it still means that most weeks, we only manage about five meals together where all five of us are present at the table.
According to Eisenberg, M., et al. (2004) in their paper on “Correlations between family meals and psychosocial well-being among adolescents”, they found that:
“Families who eat together 5 or more times per week have kids who are significantly less likely to use tobacco, alcohol or marijuana, have higher grades, less depression and fewer suicide attempts than families who eat together twice or less per week”
I always knew that having meals together as a family was important but I have to admit to being amazed at these findings. Some of our best family discussions and laughs invariably happen at our dinner table. We often roll a family dinner into an opportunity to hold a family meeting and finish it off with a special dessert or family game. This holiday, our youngest was responsible for dessert one night. He had such fun concocting his dessert, making his shopping list and putting it together for us all to enjoy!
Now, don’t get me wrong, this holiday was not all plain sailing and idyllic bliss. Just like any other family we had our moments. Moments where the kids were at each other’s throats; there were Oscar winning performances just for Mom and Dad, moments where all they seemed to want to do was play on their devices, moments where we thought we were going to have a lovely family ski day only to find ourselves on the mountain with just one of our three kids…… how did that happen? I’ll spare you the details!
But, for the main part, it was a fantastic break.
Was………. it’s over! Where did the two weeks go? Did we really have two whole weeks off? Yes we did and the 6.40am alarm on Monday 31st March was a short sharp shock back to reality and the routine of school.
So what was our take home from these holidays? Meal times are too great an opportunity for us to miss out on to reconnect with each other at the end of a day. Whenever possible, even if it means eating slightly later than we would want, we will continue to make eating together as a family a priority, to end each day together around the table, to discuss our day, laugh, get serious and generally enjoy each others company. Whatever comes our way, we will embrace it here.
What was your take home from the March break? I’d love to hear from you.
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PPS. I am starting a new 6 week block of Parenting Classes in West Vancouver in April. For registration and more details, please visit www.yourparentingpartner.com under EVENTS.