Robert Peters Dallas Texas

The Importance of Making Time for a Family Dinner

The Importance of Making Time for a Family Dinner

No matter what kind of family you have, it’s important to make time for family dinners. Whether that means inviting a neighbor, grandparents, or it’s just a single parent and their child or children, it’s important for a family to find time to sit down during the day and share a meal. There have been studies that show family dinners can often lead to stronger familial relationships, higher confidence for children, and better performance in school. There are many reasons why a family should find time to have dinner together, no matter what their family looks like. Here are just a few of the reasons a family dinner is so important.

Makes families closer

One of the most important reasons families should find time to eat dinner together is how it can bring them closer. Families who take the time to sit down together and talk about their days learn more about one another and can relate to each other better. These benefits are even more apparent when multiple generations eat together; having family meals that include grandparents lead to great memories being shared and created that family members will always treasure. Too often, an entire day goes by without family members relaying what they did that day to each other.

Helps kids in school

Sitting down together at dinner gives parents and children the chance to discuss school. If a child is struggling in a certain subject or in school in general, a family dinner provides the opportunity for them to open up to their parent or for the parent to learn about what’s happening at school. It can help kids academically and behaviorally, but it can also help if the student is being bullied or has some other issue. Parents have the opportunity to talk to students about important issues and make sure they’re succeeding in whatever they’re doing.

Leads to healthier families

While meals on the go are much more convenient for busy families, taking the time to cook a fresh meal together and slowly enjoy dinner leads to healthier families. Eating food quickly often leads to overeating and buying pre-made food can be incredibly unhealthy. Family dinners give children a chance to learn about healthy eating choices while spending quality time with their family.

Generates more responsibility

When children know that their parents will ask them how they’re doing in school, at their job, or on some other responsibility, it often motivates them to work harder and do well. Family dinners are often a time for children of all ages to learn responsibilities in the home, whether it’s setting the table, helping to cook the meal, or washing dishes afterwards. Assigning a specific dinnertime chore teaches children responsibility and also lets them do their part in preparing the family dinner. Older children can even cook the meal themselves and learn valuable life skills.

Reduces stress in families

Finally, regular family dinners helps to reduce stress in families. When children and other family members have someone to talk to each day, they have a chance to discuss any problems they may be facing or concerns they have. It’s also a great time to take a break from technology and just relax, enjoying food and time with family.

How to Actually Get People Engaged in Town Hall Meetings

How to Actually Get People Engaged in Town Hall Meetings

Any community experiences the problem that lack of engagement causes. It’s vital that community members are engaged in the decisions and activities of a community because it directly affects them. Those in charge of making decisions for a community and running town hall meetings often run into the issue of residents not showing up to meetings, but then being incredibly unhappy with new changes, even though civic leaders gave them ample opportunities to provide feedback during public meetings. So, how are community leaders to fix this lack of engagement? Here are some tangible suggestions for encouraging community members to actually get involved in town hall meetings and provide their feedback.

Plan the event well

A big issue with many town hall meetings is that they aren’t well-planned. Instead of throwing together a few talking points knowing few people will attend, make the effort and plan a quality meeting. Create slides or a presentation you can use, even if there’s a dozen people in attendance. Practice your talking points and anticipate any questions that may arise. Also consider offering refreshments at the event; more people will come if they know there’s food.

Encourage communication

Community members often criticize community leaders for not adequately communicating with them. Provide people with various opportunities to talk to leaders, whether it’s through specific public hours at the office, online resources, or an open floor at the town hall meeting. Make sure community members know they’re encouraged to offer their opinions and be open to feedback, even if it’s harsh or negative.

Publicize the event

One of the reasons more people do not attend town hall meetings is simply because they do not realize they’re happening. Make the effort to actually publicize the event; post on the neighborhood website, share on the community Facebook page, and post flyers around town. You can even send a flyer to each home in the mail. Making the meeting as public as possible encourages more people to attend.

Offer participation opportunities

Far too few people are afraid to take leadership roles in their communities; this attitude needs to change. Highlight ways community members can help out. Offer volunteer opportunities or ask for help on certain projects. Make it clear you want community members to participate in decisions and discusses. Even encourage more people to run for public office, especially if they want to see change in the community.

Send out other forms of feedback

It’s vitally important to remember that there are lots of community members who simply cannot make the town hall meeting. Maybe they’re confined to their homes because of a medical issue or lack transportation to the meeting. Some people may work various shifts that make it impossible for them to attend a single meeting. Others may have too many responsibilities in the evening to take time to attend meetings. Make sure you provide surveys, in the mail or online, that allow all community members to offer feedback.

Visit These 6 Incredible Cities in Texas

Visit These 6 Incredible Cities in Texas

Texas is a vast state with many incredible places to visit and experience. If you’re looking for great national parks to wander through or a bustling city, you can find all of that here and more. There are beautiful deserts and quaint small towns. You’ll find great food, people, and architecture. No matter what you like to do, you can find something in Texas that piques your interest. Here are the best cities to visit in Texas. In these cities, you’ll find Texan culture showcased and get a real feel for the state. It’s also possible to take plenty of day trips from the cities and visit towns or areas around them.

San Antonio

If you enjoy history, San Antonio is a great city for you to visit. Many people come here to see The Alamo and other historic sites. Known as the biggest tourist city in Texas, there’s a reason so many people visit San Antonio all year long. If history isn’t where your interests lay, there are still great restaurants to try and you can spend time strolling along the city’s Riverwalk.

Corpus Christi

San Antonio is incredible, but if you’re someone who wants to go where there are less tourists, than Corpus Christi might be the city for you in Texas. Much smaller than the other cities, Corpus Christi is considered a “beach town” and has a wonderful shoreline. It’s common for sea turtles to nest here, so you might even see a fascinating wonder of nature.

Austin

Austin is the capital of Texas and located in the center of the state. While here, make sure you visit the Capitol building and Governor’s Mansion. There’s a thriving music and sports scene, as well as several lakes a short drive from the city. There’s a little bit of everything in Austin, which makes it one of the best cities to visit in Texas.

Galveston

If you’re looking for another beach experience, Galveston is a great place to go. Located on an island in the Gulf Coast of Texas, you’ll be treated to blue water and great weather. You can visit the Moody Gardens, a large amusement park near the city, or spend time walking down the Historic Wharf.

Houston

Houston is the city to head to if you like barbecue. It’s the largest city in Texas, so it lacks some of the secluded feel of a few of the other cities on this list, but it still makes for a wonderful trip. There are plenty of museums to go to, such as the Downtown Aquarium or Johnson Space Center. Make sure you check out the delicious restaurants as well.

Dallas

Finally, make sure you take time to visit Dallas. In my opinion, a fantastic place to live, Dallas is located in the Prairie and Lakes area of the state, so if you want to travel outside of the city, there are a lot of options to choose from. In the city, there’s an observation deck at the Reunion Tower and also a vibrant nightlife scene, with delicious food and music.

About Robert Peters

I’ve spent almost twenty years leading and teaching at schools throughout Texas and currently serve as assistant superintendent of the Manor Independent School District. In addition to Manor ISD, I serve on the board of directors of the Community Advancement Network and the executive board of United Way for Greater Austin, where I help young people reach their full potential through Project Graduation. I’m a native Texan, lifetime member of Omega Psi Phi, and recent graduate of the Cooperative Superintendency Program (doctor of education) at the University of Texas at Austin.

I’m a proud husband (Michelle) and father (Katelyn and Matthew) as well. I have served on a number of committees that promote excellence and have attended multiple leadership conferences like the Harvard Leadership Conference that encourage progressive change.