I don’t normally watch “THE BLOCK” on channel 9Now, but their promotional advertisement that announced the latest controversy of a living/dining room reveal without a dining table certainly grabbed my attention.
See the story here: https://9now.nine.com.au/the-block
Luxurious as it may seem to have a whole room dedicated to the lounge, don’t throw away your dining tables just yet, there is a whole lot more meaning to the dining table than just a convenient place to fold laundry!
To be fair, the comment shared by Jimmy “It's the way of the future, people aren't sitting down to dining tables" is closer to the truth than I care to admit, in fact YouGov research in 2017 revealed that 1 in 2 Aussie households were eating dinner in front of the TV and a third were eating breakfast there too! The research also revealed that the trend was generational. Younger age groups were twice as likely to eat dinner away from the table as older generations, so the trend was growing.
Based on this research, increased technology available in households, additional means to watch or stream television and more programs to watch from the likes of NETFLIX, and of course no data to the contrary, I can only assume, like Jimmy, that this trend has continued to grow.
If this is true and Australian’s are moving away from eating at the dining table, why am I so adamant that your house needs to have one? What is the point, if I have just highlighted that the next generation aren’t going to use them anyway?
My want for every home to have a dining table has nothing to do with the physical piece of furniture, it is all about the magic that happens at the table! Did you know that every single time you eat at the dinner table magic happens. The magic I refer to, is more commonly called conversation.
While most of us know that eating together is important, you may be surprised to know that the conversation at the dinner table is where the real magic happens. My issue with TV dinners or dinners on the lounge is that conversation suddenly disappears when the TV or screen goes on, and often doesn’t return. This is particularly evident with kids, watching screens and eating equals zero attention span available for anything else.
However, dinner conversation is vitally important for your child’s social and emotional health. Regular engaging dinner conversation is proven to support self-esteem and resilience, as well as reduce rates of depression in children*. If that isn’t enough for you to put the dinner table back, sit down family dinners are also shown to reduce risky social behaviours in teens such as substance abuse and teen pregnancy to name just a few more benefits that occur at this magical dinner table.
Even mums who eat regularly at the dinner table with their children are shown to be less stressed** – yes it can even reduce your stress levels. Surely that alone is worth a quick trip to IKEA for some tables and chairs Jimmy and Tam?
*The Family Dinner Project
**2008 Brighton Young University Study - IBM