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.