Always on the go? Dinner in front of the TV? Reboot and gather your family around the table.

Does your family gather once a week to enjoy a Sunday dinner together? Perhaps the most ‘family time’ you have together is preparing lunches first thing on a weekday morning while the kids are eating their cereal. If so, it may be time to start hanging out with just the family more often. For many of us, quality time together is so minimal because we’re busy. However, spending time together doesn’t mean that you need to carve out a whole day every week for family fun.

Research shows that families who eat together benefit in more ways than one. Sitting down to eat together boosts communication, strengthens relationships, and allows us to focus on what we’re eating.

To get your family back at the dining room table every night, here are a few easy steps to get started!

Give them a choice. Let family members take turns choosing what’s for supper. Allowing them a small dose of control will enable them to fall enthusiastic about the dinner and instills a desire to take part.

Assign roles. The kitchen isn’t just for the chef to do all the jobs. Assign everyone a role, from toddler to teen keep them involved. Whether it’s laying the table, lighting the candles, or cleaning up, the prep work and clean up is time spent together.

Plan ahead. It’s easy to microwave a meal and sit down in front of the TV after a long, hard day. No matter how tempting it is, it’s best that you don’t do this every night. Plan ahead and prepare recipes that take half an hour or less, so that you and your family aren’t cranky with grumbling tummies for long.

Keep it upbeat. Background music, fun conversation, and verbal games add ambiance and mood of family dinner time. Remember that this is not the time or place for scolding about bad grades and messy rooms.

The team at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley hope that you make dinner time quality family time! Through our clubs, we aim to aid your children in developmental stages, all the while having safe and healthy fun! Call us to learn about our programs and summer camps to get your child involved.