The Importance Of Traditional Family Dinner

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In 1989 Ronald Reagan said that “all great change in America begins at the dinner table,” yet by 2016, sitting down at the dinner table to eat a meal with every member of the family is a foreign concept to some. Although some people are fortunate enough to have this time to gather and bond with their family, it seems that in America this is far from the norm these days. A family dinner is defined as a time of sharing a meal and conversation with all members of the immediate (or any extended) family present. Although a common practice decades ago in America, in the twenty-first century this ideal of using a family meal as a time to bond with one’s family is outdated. The fact that family meals are beginning to become obsolete reveals much about …show more content…
In the late eighteenth century, when industrialization changed the scheme of working at home, men began having more productive jobs while women were left protecting the home. Since women did not have many rights at the time, it was rare for them to work outside of the home. This left them time during the day to be responsible for tasks such as cleaning and cooking; now many would consider it sexist to associate women with these tasks. During this industrialization time, family rituals also became important, such as a regular daily routine of family life (“Around the…”). During the wars, this family mealtime was used as war propaganda, showing families eating together as a sign of stability and strength. These rituals and ideals all come together to form the idealized version of a “family dinner” – every member of the family sitting down together to eat something home-cooked. Family dinner has been used as a time to relax and bond with every member of the family. It cannot be ignored that these times are crucial for the development of children to be raised in a stable and loving household (“Around the…”). But now, technology and fast-food plague the interest of using family dinners as a time to bond in …show more content…
This past summer I traveled to an impoverished community in Sibal, Chiapas, Mexico on a mission trip with my church. What I saw in Mexico was drastically different from the customs in America. For starters, technology is not nearly as prevalent in developing countries as it is in America. Furthermore, the Mexican people I was surrounded with took great pride in their distinct and wonderful cooking. Unfortunately, there were not many opportunities for work in Sibal besides farming, which is considered a man’s job, due to the distinct gender roles in Mexican culture. The women were left to cook, clean, and tend to the children as the men would work hard hours in the hot sun providing in any way they could for their family. In Mexico, it is rather common to live with members of one’s extended family and eat with multiple family members and friends. They also take time for a “siesta” everyday which consists of people leaving school and work to head home to eat a huge meal and bond with family and friends for a few hours. Siestas are important in Mexican culture because they allow for people to take a break in the stressful day to enjoy the company of one’s companions. Every day after a few hours of work, we would all take a break to eat, sit, and enjoy each other’s company. The men would line up chairs along the wall to observe their progress that day while the women would gather in a circle to laugh and smile about the current events in their

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