The return of the Family Dinner

It’s a long-lost staple of American life that has had people lamenting its demise for years. But now  “dinner time in the age of coronavirus” is bringing family members back to the table as they shelter-in-place and eat-in-place too.

That includes our own Currents News work family who shared a few moments of their sacred time with loved ones – whether they were making pancakes the old-fashioned way or talking about their day and sharing their successes and their concerns.

For one producer, dinner is a group project with all hands on deck – where the kitchen table is the place to argue politics and share a glass of wine, all in good fun.

At Christine Perschette’s dinner table, getting three rambunctious kids to play along during mealtime was quite the challenge – but she was able to get a few candid photos.

The Brooklyn Diocese’s Director of Marriage and Family Formation and Respect for Life Education, Christian Rada, says even if things get a bit chaotic, it’s the time together that counts.

“That’s where we talk about the importance of what it means to be a family unit and having the down time to talk about our struggles and our joys. It actually brings us even closer especially during these tough times,” said Rada.

Studies show that face to face communication helps build self-esteem, strengthen relationships, and even leads to better grades.

Christian and his wife Helen have even noticed a change with their two-year-old son.

“He wants to take a role. He helps his father set the table. He brings him the utensils and the placemats. It’s fascinating to see how much he’s grown as a result of mealtime,” said Helen.

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And while Zoom meals are still a necessity for many, more and more families are recapturing a beloved family tradition – all because of a very unwelcome virus. One that now has an unintended silver lining.

Bon appetit!


Wordpress (1)
  • Gabrielle 3 years

    Why do we have to go back to the US for our role modelling? The start of the article says that.When my daughter was 16 months she set the dining room table correctly for 4 adults and her. She had to stand on tippy toes and stretch high above her head to get the cutlery out of the drawer. She learnt to do that by watching me. The baby had been fed earlier in the kitchen. As the family grew we always ate together until the older ones had part time jobs and so work led to change.