Dear Families in the Middle,
November seems to have arrived early this year - given the days upon days of beautiful weather we've enjoyed through the summer and early autumn! For our family, November is a time to rekindle an attitude of gratitude in our hearts. Now nearly empty-nesters, our conversations with our children are less frequent, opportunities to play games together are a treat, and family meals are a treasured and anticipated event. If my children were to read this post, they might ask themselves...what's different?
Like many families, our lives are intensely scheduled and "down time" practically non-existent. One of the healthy habits I tried to renew every autumn was family meals. We didn't always succeed, and I was usually better about breakfast than supper. If you're struggling like we did, here's a few suggestions:
* Schedule family meals ahead of time and post those dates on a shared family calendar
* Turn off the gadgets and devices - make the dinner table an internet "cold spot"
* Think of mealtime as the Family News Hour and take turns sharing your news, the best part of the day, or something for which you are grateful
* Include everyone in meal planning and preparation; it's a family meal - not a family restaurant.
* Practice listening to each other, asking questions, and not interrupting.
Reflecting on fostering my own attitude of gratitude, I am thankful for...
Kindness from others - kind words, supportive actions, and encouragement
Hard-working, dedicated, and caring co-workers in-the-middle of challenges and changes
Family - those who love us despite our flaws, foibles, and limitations