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7 Unexpected Benefits of Eating Together as a Family, According to Science

“There is no guarantee that the simple act of eating at home surrounded by family will save children from developing unhealthy lifestyles or making regrettable choices down the road. It may not make them more virtuous or socially more responsible. But it can lay the groundwork for a lot of things that point them in the right direction.”

family dinner with friends
Eating meals together just might be the ultimate parenting hack. What else can you do in an hour that will improve your kids’ academic performance, increase their self-esteem, and reduce their risk of substance abuse, depression, teen pregnancy, and obesity?
Over the last two decades, study after study has shown that simply taking a few minutes each day to turn off screens and genuinely connect with each other over food can improve the physical and mental health of all family members involved…

How to Make Bonding Time Out of Screen Time

“It’s not easy for working moms like us to be with our kids all the time. But spending time with them even in watching television can make up for the lost time we had. This kind of bonding time can really strengthen our relationship with our children.”

(C) Mothersniche.comWe don’t reward our children with television time or take away these privileges for non-compliance with house rules. I have nothing against a reward/punishment system, but taking away screen time feels like punishment for the parents, not the kids. When my kids watch TV, I get much needed downtime to check my own phone without the kids usurping it to take photos, ask Siri to tell them jokes, or chastising me for my lack of visually impressive games. Or at least that’s what I thought, until recently.

The illusion of the phone as downtime is a dangerous one for introverts because the assumption is that it really is just you and your phone. The reality is there are a lot of voices entering the scene: emails from work, the black hole of Internet searches, a scroll through political posts on social media, memes, celebrity news, pictures of life events… I hadn’t realized just how much noise I was letting into my head until my daughter became very irritated with my lack of engagement while watching one of her shows, The Legend of Korra. ( I’ll be honest though, I didn’t give it much of a chance past the first episode, featuring a love triangle and Amon, the diabolical anti-bending villain.)

It was a Saturday evening, and all three of us—me, my toddler son, and my daughter—were under the blanket on the sofa. I was off to the side, uploading vitally important photos to Instagram while the kids watched their show. Suddenly, Kavya burst out laughing, and so did Shaiyar even though I don’t think he fully understood the joke. Kavya elbowed me in the ribs and said, “Wasn’t that so funny?” When she realized I’d missed the moment, her face fell. A few moments later:

 

Read more: http://www.quietrev.com/how-to-make-screen-time-bonding-time/