This little tradition had been a staple in my life since I was six years old. My mother adopted this from a good friend while we lived in New Mexico. Since then, I can probably count on 1 hand how many times my family has not sang around the table before we ate dinner. When I started my own family I have always counted on carrying on this little tradition. It did take some convincing for my husband. Waiting for food after a long day his not is forte, however, even now he is convinced. Now, even my grouchy days when I would just as much like to skip the whole singing escapade, he will come through and carry on the tradition.
We are all familiar with the research that has been done with having consistent family dinners. Why not add a little something more to spice up the time and add even more benefits.
Reasons Why We Sing Before Dinner
- Strengthens family unity – singing a song together always boosts the spirit of togetherness. Now I do understand there will be nights that nobody wants to sing. Those nights, I pick a short song. This keeps the consistency without causing too much contention.
- Creates a routine – We say a blessing on the food before we eat.This song has always signaled to my young ones to fold their arms and become reverent immediately afterwards. Children love routines and the predictability that comes from them.
- Builds self-control – I am all about finding different ways for my children to practice self-control. Even I could use the practice. Sitting in front of the table, waiting for food, concentrating on something else, helps them develop patience. Some days it is harder than others.
- Learn new songs – I like to switch up my dinner time songs monthly. After the month, the song we have been singing has been ingrained in EVERYONE’S mind. We learn new songs quickly by practicing them before dinner. Usually within a week my 3 year old has learned the song. If we need to learn a scripture quickly as well, I throw it in the before dinner routine.
- Involves older family members – This includes spouses, dads, and older siblings that are involved in school and activities. These family members are busy and some days dinner is the only time that we can possibly see them. Getting them involved in learning and singing songs will help your littles engage even more. When my children’s dad sings, it makes the song way more cool.
This is one of my favorite family traditions. I have seen so many benefits from childhood and my in my children’s lives as we consistently sing before we eat as a family. For any family looking for an easy, yet very beneficial tradition to strengthen unity. I cannot recommend singing before dinner enough.
Does your family have any singing traditions?