In the past year, most families have spent more time together than they’ve ever experienced before. But all the forced togetherness isn’t necessarily helping you bond with your family. In fact, feeling like you’re on top of each other day after day might be having the opposite effect — you might physically be together more, but feel like engaging with each other less. There’s something to that old adage “Absence makes the heart grow fonder….”
Whether in lockdown or in more “normal” times, it’s always the quality that matters, not the quantity of time you spend together. One of the reasons family dinner can be so powerful is because it provides the daily opportunity for a relatively quick hit of togetherness. The average family spends 20 minutes or less eating together on a typical night, but that brief period of time can forge stronger family bonds. Here are some great ways to bond with your family in under 20 minutes:
The best family bonding opportunities often happen at the least planned times, so there’s no need to push for connection. In just 20 minutes or less, your family dinner table can become the perfect place to help everyone feel closer to each other — and if family bonding doesn’t happen the way you hope it will tonight, there are still plenty of other family dinners in the future!
Meet the Lehmans! This military special operations family is juggling their own family dinners while trying to help other families like theirs come together at the table.
Real Family Dinner Projects: The Lehman Family
The Lehman kids love spaghetti, so why not try our classic spaghetti with meat sauce recipe this winter?
The Try Not to Laugh Challenge is a great way to take the pressure off at family dinner and just enjoy each other’s company.
Set the table for family bonding — literally! — with these printable family interview placemats.
2023 The Family Dinner Project