Table Set
Blog Posts,  Family

Is the Table Set?

Now that our children are older, we try to have our meals seated at the table. We don’t always get it right because our lives are so busy and sometimes our schedules won’t allow it, but we do our best.

Why do we strive to eat at the table? Read the following 5 reasons and let us know if you agree, or disagree, or if you would add anything?

1.Table Setting.

Teaching our children how to set a table creates an awareness of etiquette which I believe is a fundamental learning point. It gives our children a sense of pride in setting things ‘right’ and incorporates working as a team with their siblings (hopefully without breaking anything in the process). It also creates a conversation between us and our children about how we should behave when preparing for a meal, or for receiving guests.

2. Manners

When we are seated around the table it affords me the opportunity to see and teach manners that I feel my children should know. Eating with your mouth closed, Chew slowly and swallow before you speak. How to hold your cutlery. Ask to be excused, and to thank the person that made the meal.  Too many children today “forget” to say please and thank you…

3. Conversation 

Our days are so busy during the week that dinner is often the only time we get to sit down as a family and talk to each other about our days. It gives us the opportunity to listen carefully as our children babble away, and we are then able to pick up on how their day really went. Sometimes they say things to their siblings that they wouldn’t necessarily say to us. Or they might just open up because dinner is a “safe place”. The dinner table also allows our children to see that mom and dad can have a conversation about the day’s events. They can listen to what we speak about and ask questions. Altogether allowing for a great conversation to happen.

4. Responsibility

In today’s day and age too many children have everything done for them.. (Yes I said it) Giving children chores and responsibilities, expecting them to be ready for family times like dinner, etc makes then more conscientious. Now don’t get me wrong… I’m not advocating a drill-sergeant like slave-driving of our children, but I am saying that I want my children to become responsible and aware of what might reasonably be expected of them.

5. Gratitude

It is a sad indictment on parents all over the world that children tend to be blissfully unaware of just how blessed they are to have a full plate of food… Hunger is a real and desperate problem, food security is a global crisis. Not only in impoverished communities but maybe right next door. There is every possibility that even our neighbors are battling to put food on the table. Too many children go to bed hungry at night. Wastage is cannot an option. I don’t want to put fear into my children, but I do want them to know that their father works hard to provide for his family and being grateful for that creates awareness, and empathy, for those that do not have. Which, in turn, creates a conversation about communities that do not have and what we as families can do to aid them.

So those are my 5 reasons why we like to have dinner together as a family. Each family is different, I would love for you to add to this list. How do you and your family enjoy a family dinner?



  • blane1980

    These are all GREAT reasons. We especially do it for number 3. Our days seem so jam packed from morning until night. This gives us a little time to discuss things going on and time to be without devices and technology for the most part. More families need to make this a must. Great post.

  • Momma Jones

    We’ve tried so hard to get our little boy to sit at table with us, but ever since he’s graduated from the high chair, he just wants to play and eating is secondary. A couple of bites and then off he goes. (Unless it’s ice cream.) Even when he was still in the chair, as much food would get thrown as eaten. Sigh. Ah, well! We keep plugging away…

    • jaxbest4

      My 16 month old is exactly the same! The number of times I have had to clean up food thrown on the floor!!! Hopefully one day she will join us at the table and actually eat ?

  • Lydia C. Lee

    I think this is so important – it rarely happens in our house – and I mean like once a week. Someone is always off somewhere, and we have 2 or 3 sittings for dinner…but at least once on the weekend, I try to get the 5 of us together…Holidays are good for us that way. #StayClassyMama

  • Lisa Pomerantz

    We do this nightly, and are far from mastering all the reasons you have mentioned. But oh how we try! I wrote about this very topic last week! You can take a look here. I think this is so importantz, especially how communication in general is degenerating. TY for this post. You are one #stayclassymama

  • Sarah@teammomlife

    This is great I definitely agree with these. Although I admit we mostly eat in the living room as my boy is partial to eating at his small table and chairs. I keep telling myself oncell he is big enough to sit in a regular chair we will start doing this. These are all great lessons to teach our childre.. #stayclassymama

  • The Mum Project

    Love this! I was just talking to my friend about this the other day and how I saw a family at a restaurant all on their iPads or phones instead of talking to each other. How are those children ever going to learn to have table manners or even speak to other people in an amicable way? I love that you have made time for your family to do this. When my son is older I definitely want to make sure we have a sit down dinner. Thanks for the advice and sharing with #StayClassyMama!

  • Nicole - Tales from Mamaville

    I so love this post. It’s so important for children to learn basic table manners and etiquette, and so so so important to have conversations and family-time. This doesn’t happen often at ours, but we make it a point to do it as much as we can. Lovely post!

  • Jeannette

    Love this! I agree! We also do dinner at the table as often as possible. I found that it teaches my child to appreciate the taste of food. A friend only feeds her daughter in front of the TV in order to distract her. But the daughter does not know or understand what she is eating and never eats anything if the TV is not on. That makes visiting other people over dinner time difficult. The little girl also does not notice when she has had enough. She just keeps on eating and eating until everything is finished. Past the point of being full. #globalblogging

  • Jeannette

    I agree! Great post. Especially children eating in front of the TV also never learn how to identify when they have had enough to eat. This easily leads to obesity in kids and in adults. #globalblogging

  • Steph D

    I think this is great. We have already started seating Baby D at the table with us.He loves watching us eat while he eats, he just loves to be in the action for everthing. He loves when we eat out especially with big groups because he gets to socialise with lots of people. Thanks again for hosting #globalblogging xxx

  • Amy & Tots

    I would love to have a family meal around the table but there is no space in our house for a table, we have to eat at separate times due to working hours and my 20 month old cannot sit down to eat. He has to walk. I’m not too fussed though, as long as he eats. #GlobalBlogging

  • MomOfTwoLittleGirls

    I totally agree. Even if my husband and I don’t eat at the same time as the girls due to his work schedule, they always sit at the table together. But we all prefer to sit there together. It’s great family time, and gives us all 15 / 20 minutes to just BE together.

  • melissa abel

    I like the idea of your post, something so simple that we do routinely its good to re affirm why we are doing it. We don’t always sit up the table, sometimes my kids like to have a ‘picnic’ in the lounge, but we don’t mind occasionally. Its quite nice to have an uninterrupted chat with the other half before we are to tired!
    I absolutely agree with all your points, having the time to chat as a family is really great.

  • Jenny Walters

    This post is very apt for us at the moment!My children are just at the age where we are trying to teach them gently about all of these important life lessons.My son is very self centred and finding it hard to accept some of the responsibilities he finds boring!Already a teenager at 7!!!But we totally agree with your points so are battling through!Great post. #globalblogging

  • Su {Ethan & Evelyn}

    Great post! I also tells my kids to put their plate back in the kitchen once they finished and ask if they can leave the table. They are lucky that we have a dishwasher now-a-day – otherwise they will be doing the washing up too! lol! 🙂 #GlobalBlogging

  • Jo - Mother of Teenagers

    Jacqui you and I are on completely the same page with this! I am a complete stickler for making sure we all sit down as a family at the end of the day. It is not always possible for my husband to be there but the majority of times he is there. It is the time we chat, share concerns, offer opinions etc and I remain sure is one of the key reasons for the strength of our relationship with our teens. #globalblogging

  • Helena

    Ok I feel a confession coming on. Until someone pointed out that l’eft’ had the same amount of words as ‘fork’ I struggled to set the table. I think it’s great that you are teaching them to be thankful and appreciative. #GlobalBlogging

  • ohmummymia

    It’s really nice to have dinner together. I don’t like to eat alone good that my son will be able to eat with as soon as he will be 1year old:)

  • Lisa Pomerantz

    Thanking you again for this post at #globalblogging. I am actually going to read this to my children when they wake up, so they realize that we are not the only mama’s tormenting their kinder into using their opposable thumbs and saying thank you! M’wah Jacqui!

  • My Petit Canard

    This is such a great post,and a great list of reasons why to make an effort to sit at the dinner table as a family each evening. We sit at the dinner table every evening as a family for many of the same reasons, but also so that we have some internet/mobile/tv free time and properly connect and engage as a family without those distractions. Its the only time that I enforce it in our family and in our week, so much so that even our three year old knows and often reminds daddy that we dont have mobiles at the dinner table 🙂 Emily #GlobalBlogging

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