- Paperback: 1 pages
- Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE GROUP; 1 edition (15 December 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1586421131
- ISBN-13: 978-1586421137
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.5 x 21.6 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 295 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 533,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Surprising Power Family Meals^Surprising Power Family Meals Paperback – 15 Dec 2006
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"There's a lot more to family dinners than meets the eye. They have 'the power of ritual, ' giving parents and kids the chance to connect, adding a sense of security to the daily routine. They're an opportunity for parents to teach about family history and traditions, so that they give kids a sense of identity. Even dysfunctional families seem to work just a little bit better when they make the time to eat dinner together. The point is, family meals aren't just about food. As Weinstein puts it, 'Supper is about nourishment of all kinds.' That includes physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual nourishment." -- CBN.com
"Weinstein does not look through rose-colored glasses. She acknowledges that single-parent households, dual-income families, extracurricular activities and peer pressure promote skipped meals and dashboard dining. She offers strategies for bringing back this simple but highly effective communion." -- The Plain Dealer
"Children who grow up with a strong sense of family are likely to become solid, healthy adults. Sitting down together for supper - or any other occasion - is essential to family, and its importance cannot be overestimated." -- Washington Post
"Having regular family meals can eliminate teen eating disorders; improve children's grades; reduce the incidence of drug abuse, teen pregnancy and smoking; and even expand toddlers' vocabularly.... Weinstein's case studies are stimulating, and her writing style is persuasive enough to convince readers to make a point of enjoying an evening meal with their families." -- Publishers Weekly
"Thoughtful, meticulously researched...Weinstein offers small steps families can take to reinstitute this basic tradition." -- Newsday
"Weinstein researched the benefits of the family supper and concluded that the practice cements relationships. The immediate goal is for your family to walk away from the table feeling pleasure.... The family dinner is bonding and opens the lines of communication." -- Dallas Morning News
From the Inside Flap
"The Surprising Power of Family Meals is the first book to take a complete look at a ritual so common it flies beneath our radar screens. Virtually universal a generation ago, family supper has undergone a striking transformation. No longer honored by society as a time of day that must be set aside, some families see it as little more than a quaint relic. But others are beginning to recognize it as a lifeline - a way to connect with their loved ones on a regular basis and to get more enjoyment out of family life.
"The Surprising Power of Family Meals presents stories, studies, and arguments from the fields of psychology, education, nutrition, family therapy, anthropology, sociology, linguistics, and religion. It provides examples of families and communities around North America responding creatively to the pressures of a 24/7 world to incorporate memories of their own childhood meals and to share strategies for taking what is best from our past and transforming it to meet current needs.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Dinners all together sitting down (no tv or phones etc) and all talking and all listening. This builds culture and is the most important moments of the day.
Read this to convince yourself and get enthusiastic. Or to show a spouse or extended family member - how important it is in a respectful way using clear data and information they can read and decide that they like.
The author points out that over recent decades we have developed a greater tendency to be increasingly busy. We try to squeeze good things into every hour of our children's day, for example: piano lessons, soccer practice, karate, play dates, in addition to the normal things like school and homework. Over the last thirty years the amount of discretionary time children have has dropped from 40% to 25%. In addition to this, more families have both parents working, and there are more divorced families. These and other factors lead to fewer and fewer families eating together.
Some of the benefits of family meals made sense and almost seemed obvious. Many studies have found that "The more often children eat with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use illegal drugs." (page 215) If children have strong connections to their siblings and parents they have less need for artificial ways to make themselves feel better. Along the same lines, often during a meal discussion of the extended family comes up, this helps children to feel greater connectedness. They learn about ways that other family members gotten through hard times, and when they have stress they are much more likely to last without falling apart.
One surprising benefit was that children who ate regularly with their families had a much less incident of eating disorders. One of the causes of eating disorders is children don't learn to self regulate. If they don't see good behavior modeled they won't learn to listen to their body and only eat when they are hungry. So families that are always on the run, eating food from MacDonalds between activities, or even those at home who eat separately in front of a TV, the children grow up being out of balance with how they eat.
Another surprising benefit was that children learn how to read faster when they have regular meals with their family. The research indicates that children learn vocabulary while talking with their family, so they only have to figure out what word the letters are forming. Children who have a smaller vocabulary have to both learn what word the letters are forming and what the word means.
There were many more benefits the author found that come from regular family meals. At the start of the book the author says that in many ways regular family meals is almost like a magic bullet in that it solves a number of problems.
As a side note, I liked the feel of this book. The paper was a nice grade of paper, and the book was well bound.
There are many good things we can do in life. Some things are vital. After reading this book I am more convinced that having regular family meals is vital. If you read this book you'll probably come to a similar conclusion.