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Top 10 Tips for Implementing Family Dinners…Below are 5 to get you Started

Dr. Leigh Weisz and Dr. Lisa Gordon Presented this content at a middle school.

What is the one thing you can do tonight to increase your child’s academic achievement and improve family relationships?

 Would you believe me if I told you that family mealtime is actually the single best predictor of academic achievement scores?


Here are the first 5 Tips to get you started:

1) You need not have family dinner EVERY night in order to attain these positive outcomes.  The literature varies but they recommend having these meals together between 3 and 5 times a week.  This can be a weekend breakfast together and 2 or 3 family dinners a week.

2) You may need to give your kids snacks to tie them over til you eat a later dinner OR you may need to require that your kids pick 2 activities instead of 4 to be involved in to make room for more family mealtime.

3) You can even have a “Movie Night” once a month where you’re eating pizza and watching a movie together.  Don’t get hung up on thinking you have to slave away in the kitchen all day in order to have a “family dinner.”

4) You might consider having your kids all have a job in creating the family meal, rather than having to be chef and waitress all at once!  SO what does this look like? Well, you can include your children in making the grocery list, shopping, preparing foods, setting the table, filling the water, helping to cook, and finally cleaning up.  Depending on their age, you’ll find them an age-appropriate job.

5)  You can change a simple routine to a ritual by giving it meaning in your family—so if you light the candles on Friday night for Shabbat or say grace before the meal, that can become a family ritual.  It also doesn’t have to be anything religious—You might ask your kids to tell you what they are grateful for, which then engenders gratitude and appreciation for what we have.

**See other post on TIPS #5-10 on Implementing Family Dinners


Dr. Leigh Weisz


Specializing in Therapy and Testing for Children

For more information go to  http://www.drleighweisz.com