Some say it’s never been harder to build relationships with your kids. This one easy way will make it a part of your every day!
Eating together as a family was a major part of my childhood.
My mom didn’t often make fancy, gourmet dinners, but we had supper together nearly every night, even during my teenage years.
It was something I didn’t think about much until I started a family of my own.
Now I realize that those family table times were one of the ways in which my parents cultivated a strong relationship with my siblings and me.
While I know this is by the grace of God alone and extremely rare, all three of us came to know Christ at an early age, and none of us went through a rebellious period as teenagers or even in our twenties.
We all three still serve the same Jesus our parents taught us about from the time we were born.
Instead of us leaving the faith, the faith of our parents became our own.
When people ask me how my parents raised three kids who never rebelled, my answer is simple: We all had a relationship with Jesus, and we all had a strong relationship with my parents.
In today’s fast-paced world, building relationships with our children has never been harder.
Even before they enter school, we are tasked with deciding which extracurriculars our children should participate, and, once school starts, there is homework and academic events. Even church activities can take precedence over family time.
I am burdened by this.
If we are to fulfill the call to truly disciple our children, then we must spend time with them.
One way our family has sought to remedy this culture of busyness is to only allow our girls to choose one extracurricular activity to participate in at a time. That means that we will not be running them to ball practices and games one night of the week, followed by dance or gymnastics the next night, and art or music lessons the night after that.
We are grateful that our girls’ school has “special” classes throughout the week, so they get 45 minutes of art, music, and Spanish built into each week’s school time. In addition to this, they get to choose one activity.
We want the opportunity to build a solid relationship with them while they are young, and we can’t do that when they are away from us every night.
What’s the easiest way to build relationships with your kids?
I’m now convinced it’s around the family table.
Eating together as a family–at least during the dinner house–will give you the time to really inquire about your child’s day, learn their likes and dislikes, and allow them to open up in ways that would not happen if you are constantly running them to and fro away from the home.
Back in the spring, my good blogging buddy Beth from Red and Honey, came for a visit. During her stay, she told our family about a tradition her family practices at each family meal: Two roses and a thorn.
Each person in the family goes around the table and tells two roses–or good things–from their day and one thorn–or something disappointing.
Our family has been using the two roses and a thorn method of sharing our day around the family table ever since.
If you’re interested in more ways you can cultivate strong relationships via your family table, then check out the new book Come to the Family Table: Slowing Down to Enjoy Food, Each Other, and JESUS. In this book, authors and married couple Ted and Amy Cunningham, give ideas on how to connect with your children, honor family traditions, and create an environment of hospitality–all from your family table! The book includes activity ideas as well as cherished family recipes from the Cunningham family. Check it out at Amazon here!
What are some ways you seek to build relationships with your kids? Do you make the family table an important part of your family time?
Thank you, Tyndale, for underwriting this post and believing in the power of the family table!