This morning a blogging friend of mine sent me a link to a post she wrote that she thought I "might" find interesting. Was that an understatement.
Gal is Developmental Mommy and she writes interesting posts about child development and family dynamics. Her most recent post piqued my interest because it touches on something I consider sacred — the family meal.
The long and short of it is that there was a study done that suggests that family meals aren't necessarily beneficial. One of the professors from the study goes on to say "We find no relationship between family breakfasts or family dinners and any child outcomes — reading, math and science scores, or behavior problems”
I'm getting so sick of these "studies" that we are supposed to hold up as gospel truth because they are born out of academia. I'm about to sound like my mother here but these people have clearly had the common sense educated right out of them.
For thousands of years the family has been sitting down and breaking bread together daily. Thousands of years, people. Why now do we suddenly need to make a mockery of it?
Aside from the obvious — time spent together — eating meals together gives children a sense of routine and stability. It brings everyone together in a relaxed atmosphere where they laugh and sometimes even cry. It teaches good table manners and healthy eating. What other activity do you do daily that your entire family enjoys? Where else are you going to find this time? Probably not playing with your kids toys.
My instinct also tells me that spending time eating meals with my children is not only good for them, but for me.
So I'm going to file this study under useless and go think about what I'm making for dinner tonight.
How important is family meal time to you?
Baby it's cold outside?
How about baby it's so ridiculously freezing that exposed skin can freeze in a minute outside! Doesn't have quite the same ring to it, but you get what I'm putting down here. It's bloody cold. Which makes me pouty and a little bit resentful of everyone who lives in Hawaii. Or the Florida Keys. D'oh I really hate those people in the Keys right now!
This is our hellish forecast for this week. By the way, whoever said hell was hot, obviously didn't experience this kind of existence. The air is so cold that it hurts your chest when you breath in. Your little tiny nose hairs become little tiny nose icicles. And everything is crunchy. Brrrrrr.
Yesterday I wrote a post about my favourite beauty products for cold weather and how to keep your kids from becoming popsicles in this weather and after I was done, I thought "I'd rather be writing about how to get sand off your feet. Why do I live here again?"
I know there's something that I love about my home and native land, but I my brain is frozen and can't process the information. What was it again? Remind me.
Late last year a couple made news by giving out treat bags to their fellow passengers that contained candy and earplugs and a note. A note that apologized in advance for two 14 week old twins that would likely be crying on the flight and irritating the passengers around them. At first glance, this seems like a well-intentioned peace-offering. Something to help smooth the way for this young couple that is clearly stressing about a long flight with young children and judgey adults. And herein lies the problem for me.
Why should they care? What is wrong with our society today that young parents should have to worry about pouty adults? To me, it's a broader statement that we have a whole swath of people in our society who are incapable of behaving like adults and now those of that can need to molly coddle them too. Pshaw!
If children on a plane irritate you, then maybe you should consider staying home. Just a thought. Also, maybe it's up to those of us who can behave like adults to give a helping hand to young parents to relieve their stress. NOT the other way around.
And let's not forget that this also puts us on a slippery slope. Do parents of children with behavioural issues need to start buying coffee for the plane? Donuts for the person delayed getting to their seat by the person in a wheelchair? Group therapy for everyone should your child vomit mid-flight?
Preemptively apologizing for behaviour that is a) out of your control and b) totally natural, is ludicrous. It also creates expectations where there should be none.
I'm sure that the couple that did this are lovely people. I'm sure that they were only thinking of how they could alleviate some stress on themselves. I get that. I remember well the grumpy stares and judging looks. I know that it's hard to remain calm and cool in the face of people who feel it is their God-given right to roll their eyes and huff and puff and generally behave like jackasses. I really, really get that.
I do hope though that this does not turn into a trend. I hope that young parents everywhere keep their attention focused entirely where it should be — on their children. My girls, now 10 and 8, are wonderful travelers. They are patient, kind, quiet, and polite. They are this way because I remained focused on teaching them how to be the best travelers possible and not trying to appease those around me.
So, here's some advice from a mom who's been traveling with her children since they were a few months old. Please, I beg of you, please do not give two seconds thought to potential sucky babies that may be traveling on a plane with you. Maybe they should be bringing candy for you?