NorthPointe Insurance Blog
It's that time of year when you are putting a log on the fire to stay nice and toasty warm. Along with the warm fire, you also want to ensure it's properly taken care of before using and maintain it throughout the year. Here are some tips for safety & maintenance:
Thankfully, embarking on a goal to spend more family dinnertimes together doesn’t have to be difficult. You do not need to fix a six-course meal each night. You don’t even need to cook that great to provide delicious, inexpensive meals that everyone loves. Let’s investigate this.
First, no one is perfect so you’re not going to be either. Life happens. School events happen. But, in this case, this will make eating out an event that is a lot better than going through the drive-through and shoving it down. When your child has an event try to plan a nice family dinner at a decent place. Even a nice place with big servings isn’t that expensive if you share. If you’re sitting down at a table for the dinner and conversing, it’s almost as good as home.
Switch to Breakfast Together When Necessary
One way to mitigate issues with dinnertime is if you see that your after-school schedule is a nightmare is to wake the kids up a little early and enjoy a nice sit-down breakfast at the table instead of dinnertime that night. You can make things like overnight breakfast casserole so that all you do is pop it into the oven when you get up, everyone gets ready, then it’ll be hot and ready. Toss everything in the dishwasher on your way out. Don’t forget to let the kids help. Even a first grader can put their dishes in the dishwasher.
Create A Plan
One reason drives to the fast food restaurant happen is lack of planning. You really do need to look at the calendar to figure out what your work schedule is like, what each child needs to do after school, and of course what your spouse is doing too. Either spouse can be involved in cooking and preparing dinner and so can older children. Just watch Master Chef Junior if you don’t think kids are capable. Look at your family calendar and be realistic about what you’re preparing for dinner and when.
Feed Your Freezer
A fabulous way to cut down on time and to save money is to cook in bulk. You don’t even have to set aside a special day. You can feed your freezer as you go. So tonight, if you’re preparing lasagna cook two and freeze one. Many casseroles are freezer friendly and they’re always awesome since you can cook them in one dish saving time on cleanup.
Get Your Kids (and Spouse) to Help
It’s been mentioned but you really aren’t alone in this. You have your family. Even if you’re a single mom you can work with other single moms to help prepare dinners, eat together, and combine the work. But most of the time married mothers are the ones doing all the cooking even today. Stop that. Take turns, do it together, teach the children how to cook and clean too. It’s a life skill everyone needs to develop.
Most families today are much busier than they used to be. Did you know that even in the 90’s children usually only spent an average of 90 minutes on after-school activities a week? Today, it seems like they’re doing everything. But, there are many more reasons not to over-schedule kids than there are to over-schedule them.
Some parents think that keeping kids super busy keeps them out of trouble. While that may be true, (there is no evidence for or against it) it also causes stress and keeps them from figuring out what they really want to do with their lives. It also doesn’t help them get into a better college or perform better at anything because there is no time to concentrate on anything. It’s hard to excel at one thing if you are doing too many things.
The truth is, spending too much time in many activities isn’t good for anyone at all. It’s bad for your child, it’s bad for you, it’s bad for your bank account and it doesn’t serve any real purpose other than to be busy. Focus on activities that really mean something to your child. For example, if your child really wants to be a famous singer, taking voice lessons, and instrument lessons and even dance lessons make sense if they’re serious. But it doesn’t make sense after a certain time if they aren’t that interested. It only drains everyone.
Family Dinner Improves Communication Skills
How do people learn to communicate? They learn from their family of origin by observing and copying. But what if parents never spend enough time with their kids? How do they learn to communicate? That’s right, from other people who may also have no idea how to communicate well.
Studies show that families who eat together have children who communicate better with all ages of individuals. The main reason is that at any one dinner table there are different ages with different communication levels. Therefore, an older child will learn to be patient with a younger child and listen. And a younger child learns that it’s okay to speak up and to wait their turn. This is all great information.
You can also help the process by making plans before dinner about the conversation and give tips on how to handle it.
Families Who Eat Together Stay Together