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The Dining Table as the
Center of Family Connection

When we think about the importance of coming together for meals with family and friends, to share traditions and celebrate life at large, there is something more significant at hand—not only a distinctive quality of family life that is integral in helping to promote family bonds—but also the psychological significance of the dining table.

NOV 30, 2021, 11:08 5PM

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The dining table as the center of family connection and belonging.

Conviviality at the Table

Sharing and knowing how to share is a precious virtuea quintessential human experience—the sharing of food has always been part of the human story, and the association of food with love will continue. The attitude of sharing life’s goods and being happy to be able to do so also is a plan of action to achieve healthy eating, especially around the holidays. It’s one of the best things we can do for our health. 

People coming together for the sharing of meals generate a positive experience. From creating memories and celebrating important milestone to telling stories and where we carry on traditions with family and friends, the dining table is an integral part in helping to strengthen family conviviality. We are drawn to conviviality merely by our need for safety, companionship and comfort. 

Strong Family Connections Don’t Always
Happen Naturally 

Spending time together is one of the greatest gifts families can give to one another. Family mealtimes are precious moments and opportunities to be together, to disconnect from everything and connect with those we love. In today’s fast-paced world as we rush from one task to another, eating becomes just another chore. According to the Family Dinner Project at Massachusetts General Hospital, about half of American families rarely have family meals, Alas! After years as a vital part of strong, stable family life, the family meal, unfortunately, is declining—dinner takes place in more informal spaces—from the likes of casual kitchen counters, or on the couch watching television, in front of a smart phone, or on the go. 

Dining Table Rituals: A Big Challenge

The fact is, our time is marked by so much closure. The dinner table is less and less the center of family life. Eating a microwave ready meal or finger food in front of the TV isn’t ideal for bringing families closer together. A meal shared together intimately in close proximity to loved ones gives different generations that quiet time necessary to not only discuss the happenings of the day but also allow younger members of the family to share in memory making moments that will last a lifetime. We know it’s tough to find the time—but we have to find a way to recover family conviviality—the declining of family meal as a social event is correlated to important moral, health and social issues. 

Maintaining Family Cohesion Emotionally
and Psychologically 

In our quickly changing living environments, reasons for family conviviality have never been more relevant than it is today. The realities and challenges of the Coronavirus is a defining moment in the history of the dining room. In general, the home has evolved beyond being the place where we live to the place where we work, exercise, and much more. As many families adjust to stay-at-home orders from the Coronavirus, this shift has initiated changes to reinvent spaces. A defining moment has been transpiring as there are opportunities to once again cultivate a place to reconnect with each other, build family values, healthy eating habits, and promote family bonds by sharing in memory making moments that will last a lifetime. 

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