Six. That’s how many times the grownups in our house got up during dinner last night (yes, we counted). First someone needed another fork. Then we realized we didn’t have a drink for Kid #1. Then someone wanted a different salad dressing. Then we had to retrieve Kid #2, whose trip to the bathroom turned into a 10-minute vacation from the dinner table. Then the phone rang. And so on.
We’re always hearing about the benefits of family dinners, and we’re always telling our kids to sit down at the table, but are the adults in the family really walking the walk? (Sitting the sit?)
It’s one thing if something unexpected happens: Your little one spills milk, and you all simultaneously jump up to get towels. But it’s another thing if you’re constantly getting up to provide your kids with alternate foods, or if you’re jumping up to answer the phone or check your email one more time.
If you see yourself in this picture, try a little experiment for the rest of the week: Have the kids help set the table and get dinner ready. Make sure that everyone has what they need. Unplug your electronics. Sit down. Eat and enjoy your food. And don’t get up until everyone has had a chance to tell the group something good that happened to them during the day.
See, that feels better already, doesn’t it?