The Mom Challenge: Week 1



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One in five families eat together only occasionally or never. That’s 20% of families! I hear it all the time - it’s so important to sit down and eat with your kids. But why? If you would have asked me 15 minutes ago, before I was researching for this article, I would have said “You should eat dinner with your kids because that way you can talk to them, learn about their days, teach them how to communicate and be a good normal mom.” But holy cow! There are SO many benefits.

10 reasons you should eat dinner with your kids

1. You and your child will talk more. And what’s better than learning about your pre-schooler’s newest favorite color?

2. You get to teach your child how to effectively communicate. Which is SOOOOO important. Because you don’t want them to get older, get married and then end up at counseling to learn how to effectively get the point across to their spouse that they want them to do the dishes. Just saying.

3. You can learn about potential problems your child is having at school.

4. And while your talking about school - you get to find out all about school projects, tests and books. And statistics show that kid’s that eat dinner with their parents (and kid’s with nosy parents in general - ok not totally sure about that part) get better grades.

5. And when those projects, book reports and good grades start rolling in you get an hour each night to tell your kids how much they rock. To tell them how their basketball game was amazing. How fabulous they did in their school play. Pretty much you get an hour to make your kid’s feel good about themselves.

6. Your children are out feeling good about themselves, all super confident. Do you know what that means? Eating dinner together translates into kids being less likely to try alcohol, cigarettes and drugs.

7. Hooray! Drug free is the way to be! But that’s not the only benefit that you and your kids are going to get from family dinners. Studies show that when families dine together we eat more fruits and veggies.

8. And you guessed it, eating more fruits and veggies means less than a chance for overweight kids.

9. Overweight and obese children (and adults for that matter) are at a higher risk for becoming depressed or having other emotional problems.

10. And after eating dinner together, learning all about how Suzy’s BFF’s new backpack is THE coolest thing ever and how Johnny’s friend in preschool ate paste - again - you, MOM, feel awesome about yourself for having such awesome kids. And then your awesome kids will help you clear the table which makes for a less stressful, happier home.

All from taking the time to eat dinner together.

Amazing right?

So the challenge this week is to eat dinner with your kids. Pick a few nights and make no excuses. Shift around your schedule (what could be more important than making your kids feel like drug free rock stars!?) work around practises, set the DVR, whatever it is. Make time this week to eat dinner with your kids.

Dinners, like everything else, get better with practise. Make sure to turn off the phones, turn off the tv and talk to each other! Listen to each other, ask questions.

Need help with getting conversations started? How about playing Would You Rather or Apples to Apples? We keep a deck of cards around and it’s such a fun way not only to start conversations but to learn things that you otherwise wouldn’t get the chance to learn - and to laugh! (If you don’t have the game or want to buy the game - make your own set of cards!  Try googling Would you rather for kids or apples to apples for some great suggestions!)

Challenge set. Week 1. Eat dinner with your kids. At least 3 times this week. Eat with them. Talk. Eat. Laugh.
If there are any takers - click over on the left hand side where it says Blog Frog visit my community.  It’s free to sign up and I would love to have a live chat with all you moms out there!  We can discuss how this week’s challenge went, tips on getting our kids to try new foods, conversation starters and more.  Hopefully we get a few ladies who are interesteed — I would love to meet everyone!

25 Responses to The Mom Challenge: Week 1

  1. A couple nights ago at dinner I found out my three year old will eat about anything if we pretend we are monsters and the meatballs are eyeballs, the roasted potatoes are noses, and the green beans are fingers. We then delight in telling each other not to eat gross monster food and then act like monsters while devouring. Pretty cool. :) Thanks for putting Mom’s up to the challenge!

  2. Miriam says:

    Do you have a list of everything in the Mom challenge? We eat dinner together every night we love it, I want to skip to the next challenge.

  3. christymg says:

    My husband actually started shutting the tv off during dinner awhile ago, so I have to credit him for making this happen. We usually eat together most nights, so check one down 51 left to go lol!

  4. Jenni Call says:

    I love challenges like this. And this is a CHALLENGE for me! So it’s a great place to start. Thank you for the encouragement. I can’t wait to see where this will lead…..

  5. JaneyK says:

    We received a Valentine’s card from my 4 year old son this past year, and I quote “I love my mommy and daddy because they have dinner with me.” I knew I was doing the family dinner for me, but until I saw that I didn’t realize how much it meant to my kids too! So glad to be able to check this one off the list ;-)

  6. Mum says:

    I have just joined in on this challenge. Thanks for hosting :)

    http://amumonamission12.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/week-1-mom-challenge.html

  7. I am just joining in and am going back to the beginning. My family and I already do this except on occasions when my husband works late or one of my kids has a ballgame- but we still do it just in an altered way on those days. When I was growing up I often ate alone in my bedroom. I loved it at the time, but I refuse to do that with my own kids. I am amazed at how many families don’t do this!

  8. @Anonymous- I think what you describe counts as a family dinner. A lot of people have working spouses and can’t include everyone all the time. I think as long as you are eating with your children and having conversations with them rather than them eating in front of a tv or in their rooms or somewhere independtly regularly then you are doing what you can with what you’ve got.

  9. Rachel says:

    We have been terrible at doing this! I was a working mom and we only had one toddler so we just ate in the living room together. Recently I have had another baby and quit my job. I cook almost every night now and I’ve started to realize we need to eat together AT the table. We now eat at the table a few times a week but the TV is usually still on in the living room and because it hasn’t been a habit my now almost 4 year old takes a bite and runs away. I love this challenge! The TV is going off and I may have to glue my little one to her chair. :)

  10. Ruth says:

    Yay! We already do this one….onto the next :)

  11. Lysa says:

    My family eats at the table together but I often do not. I’m usually busy serving and whatever else so rarely sit through a whole meal. Sitting through an entire meal will be my challenge.

  12. Mel says:

    We made a point when we had kids that we would eat dinner together every night. And we have kept to that for 15 1/2 years now. Even if we have an activity one evening, we make it work to eat together.

    Blessings,
    Mel
    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

  13. Patricia says:

    When we eat in front of the tv-which is sadly our normal now-we say we are eating like Americans.
    Thanks for the challenge!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Love this! I have 3 daughters ages 13, 11, & 9 we always make a conscience effort to set the table and sit as a family whenever possible. Our routine is to say three things we did that day and a feeling we had. Ive often heard the story driving then from school but then my husband is able to be aware. I also love hearing what he shares as often times were racing out to activity so we don’t have that time to connect right away.

  15. Thank you so much Amanda. I found you on pinterest today and we are starting this tomorrow. I have put this on my blog so I might be more accountable. I can’t wait to see the results. I hope and pray there will be a change in me, my kids, my husband, our home. I hope there is more peace!
    bradandtrish.blogspot.com

  16. Anonymous says:

    I will be starting this challenge with my little ones next week as they’ll be spending the majority of this week with their father because of holiday visitation. We normally eat together but I’ve noticed in the last few months that my 5.5 y/o is running around while eating.And that’s an all around bad thing especially since his 3 y/o sister is his shadow. I cannot wait to see the next challenge!!

  17. Erika:) says:

    As soon as I return home I will be starting this challenge. I’m a young single parent that works and goes to school, so eating with my 3 year old daughter isn’t always possible, but there will definitely be more effort put into it!.. Challenge Accepted!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, so much for posting this challenge! I’ve needed something like this to help kick start my intentional parenting again.

  19. Holly says:

    Growing up my family never ate together even on holidays. I think it is so important and my family eats at the dinner table every night except on those special occasions when we order pizza and watch a movie but that’s usually only once every couple of months. Life is so crazy that sometimes we forget to sit back and relax and enjoy our family and what better way to do that then at the dinner table.

  20. KrazzieKay says:

    Us mom’s over at “Single Mom’s Anonymous” are starting your challenge and very happy about it! Thank you for this!!!

    http://singlemomsanonymous.blogspot.com

  21. Gretty Love says:

    hooray!
    so what if you already eat together, find a way to add something special in if you already do! but what a great way to rally mamas and have some fun! great idea! I’m in!!

  22. Gretty Love says:

    Love this idea to make things fun and engaged!
    if you are lucky enough to get to eat every night together excellent for you but please dont try and make those of us that dont have that luxury feel like we are any less engaged or such, just be grateful that you get the opportunity to do such a fantastic thing, not everyone has this as something they can fit into busy schedules. This is meant to be a fun way to get closer to your kids, not a way for others to point out flaws in others!
    Hope everyone has a blast!
    I’m in!!! Challenge accepted! :)

  23. Anonymous says:

    I think its great that so many of you already eat together as a family, but do all the comments have to be so negative, condesending, and belittling to those who dont/cant have dinner together as a family? Many people are unable to because of scheduling conflicts or logistics. I think ts pretty rude to assume that just becuase you do something means that its not a “challenge” to others. Also it doesn’t have to dinner, any meal together works if it can be done leisurely and not be rushing to school, practice, work, etc. If breakfast is the meal that everybody can attend, then that should be the family meal. though evrybody may have to get up a bit earlier so that there is enough time to talk and not be rushing to catch the bus :)

  24. Anonymous says:

    How do I find week 2, week 3, so on?

  25. Wow.. Im pretty sure everyone has gotten the point from both sides by now!! Im in!! So excited, and I already have dinner with my family every night, but now seeing eaveryone’s comments Im excited about adding new fresh conversation to the table!!! Thank you!!

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