Dinnertime craziness – sound familiar to anyone? To me wayyyyy too familiar. I always imagined dinnertime to be the most peaceful time with my family. In my fantasy I’d cook the most delicious meal and extremely healthy of course 😉  We would have such a lovely time taking our seats at a table lit with candles. Well let’s say this is still my goal and I do know that it will happen soon enough but for the moment it’s only a once a week kind of thing …..okay, how about a month!

Kids love to test limits and push boundaries. They always try figuring out just how much they can get away with. They have some off days just as we adults do. I try to remember the difference is that we are able to express ourselves and take steps to ensure we feel better. Unfortunately, they lack the ability to do that yet so they go a wee bit crazy instead. Although believe me, I would love  to behave like them. Scream and chuck my spoon across the table or throw food at my boyfriend’s face. It would actually be funny and quite refreshing from time to time. Evenings are a busy time in a families’ home. What I have found useful in creating a more relaxing moment during family time is having the television turned off. I know for many people this is challenging but have found and later read studies on the topic that prove my point. There might be some drama the moment they realize the TV is off limits but I find my boys less irritated and cranky when the TV is not on at night. It’s also much easier for them to fall asleep. I light candles (obviously where they cannot reach them) and believe they set a relaxing atmosphere along with some soft music. I also think hugs are the most powerful. In the long-run loads of hugs throughout the day and strokes across their back or chin relaxes them a lot. Laugh with them, tell silly jokes and stories. Bend down to reach their level when you are speaking with them, give them your time and put your cell phone away. I know this advice is all quite obvious and most parents do practice these things. But for myself, I found that when life takes you on a busy ride we are tempted to forget the very simple things. I felt the need to share little routines that really worked when my older son was exploring his power towards me and his dad. I also believe that good manners are essential to learn at a young age. I will keep on trying to teach them that dinnertime is an important moment for us to sit down together and enjoy a good meal.

love, JM

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