Family is important, very important. It is what glues us together, despite the ups and downs.
A few days ago, Tala asked me if she can eat her dinner out in the living room and I refused right away. Then I caught myself telling this phrase to her, “The family that eats and prays together, stays together.” Whether she understood it or not, I know that we are one step closer to what I would like to achieve in our family setting.
Growing up, I love our Sunday lunch at Nanay and Daddy’s house. After the Sunday mass, we would congregate in the long dining table with food that has been in the open fire as early as 4:00 in the morning! Nanay would prepare our usual Sunday meal, which would either be nilagang baka or baboy – and sometimes, if I would request, she would go and buy me my favorite: oysters! It was always fun eating with the family during Sundays and seeing our Uncles, Aunties, cousins, even neighbors socialize and dine in with us!
Research says that families who eat together at least 5-6 times a week have children who are successful in all areas of their lives throughout their school years and beyond. They also have children who complete homework on a regular basis, who are more successful in school, have higher self-esteem and have a better sense of family relationships. Later on in their lives, these children will also have lower rates of smoking, drinking or being associated with drug use or peer pressure.
There are also other benefits of eating together as a family aside from “staying together” and the above-mentioned examples. Some of these include:
- Connection with each other
- Learning Table Manners
- Eating more healthy food.
- Saving Money
The other part too is about praying together. I know I feel the power of prayers when we say our grace as a family whenever we eat. There is the solemnity and the sudden flow of blessings coming from the Heavens. It’s as if these forms of energy are what keeps the family tighter and have better bonding as family members.
I know it is such a luxury among working families to gather everybody back to the table. In fact, a lot of modern families do not even have a dining table, or if they do the dining table is filled with papers, knick-knacks, etc. that would eventually prevent the family members from sitting down and enjoying the meal. However, if we want to raise good children and keep the family together, taking the time to sit down to eat meals is a better gift than any other expensive presents .
Just a thought: What good does an expensive watch or jewelry do if you do not even get to sit down and eat with your family?