I am a big believer in the power of family dinner–I remember waiting for my dad to get home and sitting down as a family to dinner most nights growing up. It’s a time to come together after a busy day apart. Let the children help chop, stir, and set the table. Try making it special by adding candles or flowers. It may seem painful when they are little and want to run around or when it is “easier” to just do it yourself. Nonetheless, your efforts will stick with them, I promise.
As dinner winds down, talk about something special or funny from each family member’s day. Maybe let the kids show some artwork from school. It’s just about pausing in this busy world to really hear what the people you love most have to say. My girls are 5 1/2 and 9, and my son is 3 1/2 and we have started enjoying a chapter from a book each night at dinner, though brother often wanders off. The girls are having fun with it, though.
My daughter Olivia came home from Waldorf school when she was 3 1/2 and wanted to recite an unintelligible rhyme that sounded quite mysterious. I asked her teacher for the words, and we used the blessing as a family off and on for several years. We’ve used it at lunch time at school for the last 3 years!
(While matching up fingers on each hand) (Thumbs) Oaka (Index) Poaka (Middle) Ribbika (Ring) Soaka (Pinkies) Oaka (All Fingers) Poaka, Cloak
(Sing, with hands in lap)
Earth who gives to us this food Sun who makes it ripe and good Dearest Earth and dearest sun We will remember what you have done. Hmmm, Hmmm, Hmmm.