Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Supper Time

The other day I saw a commercial on TV advertising a sitcom. The commercial showed a husband and wife eating supper on the sofa watching television and the TV goes out, and they look at each other in horror. It really was funny, but kind of sad if you think about it too long. There is nothing better than supper at the table. Even when my children were in high chairs I would pull their chair to the table to make them feel part of the family. Once they were toddlers and could sit in a chair or booster seat, we trained them to sit at the dinner table with the family. Even if dinner was a little late some nights, we would have a little snack and wait for out daddy to get home so we could eat together at the table. Children are not born with table manners and patience to sit at the table, it has to be taught. It is not hard to train, it just takes a little time. I can't tell you how many times I've been to a restaurant and seen a daddy take a toddler out to play on the sidewalk while the mom eats dinner. Then the mom goes out with the child while the daddy comes in and woofs his dinner in 5 minutes flat. (And they paid for that?) Training your children at home to sit at the table makes dinner out a delight not a race! Teach them to sit and enjoy company and conversation. They don't have to sit for hours, just enough time for everyone to finish their meal in a reasonable amount of time. Once they've learned to sit at home then take them out to dinner. I always carried a bag of paper and crayons with me so if they finished quickly they could color but still be a part of the conversation. (We gave more pictures to waiters and cashiers than you can imagine.) Supper at the table is also a valuable time for Eddie. It is the time when he gets caught up on everyone's day. Even when they were young he would hear them talk about books they'd read or friends they played with that day. With a big family, my biggest obstacle was teaching everybody not to talk  at once. We had to teach our children to listen and to ask questions and to be interested in other conversations. Obviously the supper table is an amazing teaching opportunity for everybody!  Last night we sat for awhile around the table laughing and talking about the day. It just reminded me how much I enjoy supper time. Schedules change as children get older, but they still have to eat. Turn off the TV! Make supper time a priority! Make it fun. Use that time to learn about your children and share things about yourself. Not every night will be meaningful conversation, but it will be memorable! Lastly, once everyone is seated, allow your husband to lead and open the meal with a prayer of thanksgiving. Remind your children that everything we have is from God Almighty, and that they are blessed to be sitting at the table with family and good food. Men, don't ask your wife or children to pray. Step up and set the example of a humble and thankful heart for your family to imitate. Mamas, if you are single, pray with your children and allow them to see Jesus in you. If you live alone and eat by yourself, stop before you eat and thank God for being your Father and provider. I am so thankful for supper time. Whether I am with friends or family, there is nothing finer than supper around the table! Enjoy supper tonight!                                           Love love love Ruthie

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