My youngest child finished school last year. She commences university this week, studying Fine Arts. We were incredibly proud of her, and her brother’s Year 12 results and grateful to the School and teachers for what they did for them both. While Year 12 results are important, what was more important was that they both received an offer for their first choice of further study. They are both following their passions; passions that were ignited and inspired by their teachers and the opportunities they had while studying at school.
As our family grows older and the reality of one of them leaving home draws closer, we still enjoy mealtime together, sharing or debriefing about the day, discussing the latest news, politics, or just talking about frivolous things. Typically the meal ends with an argument as to whose turn it is to pack away and wash up!
Never underestimate the value of eating together as a family. My wife and I have intrinsically known this as we have brought up our children, probably because our parents taught us its value. The television is turned off, we give thanks and we eat together. However, I was surprised to read of a 15 year study conducted by Harvard’s Graduate School of Education which showed that family mealtime conversations played a bigger role in children’s language acquisition than having stories read to them. Other studies have shown a positive correlation between shared family mealtimes and performance at School. Don’t stop reading to your children, but don’t underestimate the significant value of sharing a meal together and having good conversation.