My husband and I both grew up in families who ate supper together every night at the dinner table. It was the standard in our homes and I did not think it unusual. We carried this tradition into our married life and have kept it with our own children. Today I can't count the number of times people have told me "how quaint" our tradition is or how unusual we are. Most people, I hear, do not eat together, and especially not around the table. Lots of people have told me they eat on their own in front of the TV. Others say they have such different schedules that everyone in the family is pretty much on their own for most if not all meals.
Our own dinner tradition kept up through babyhood, school and sports schedules, varied work schedules, etc. provided for our family a time of communion. It has been a time to talk over the day's events, enjoy each other's company and also a time to learn the give and take of making conversation; it's been a time to learn table manners and just manners in general; we've also learned not to bring up any kind of disciplinary issue or purposefully start arguments. When arguments have started, we've learned how to diffuse them or how to agree to disagree amiably, hopefully. The children have also learned the valuable lesson of appreciating what other hands have cooked and have learned to appreciate good food. These are good lessons for everyone, child and adult alike.
Eating together in the evening is a priority in our home. Without that time together we would quickly lose touch with each other...and I don't want that to happen.
For more information on the importance of family meal times check out the following website: