4 Reasons Why You Don’t Have Family Dinners (and What You Can Do Instead)

Dinner time helps keep the family together. If you do not cater for a family dinner time, then you miss something that can help strengthen family bonding. Here are some common excuses that people make for not having a family dinner time at home. Check out if yours is included here and learn what you should do instead.
family sitting together at dinner time

You love your family and want to be happy together. One activity that can help nurture love and strengthen bonds in the family is family dinner time. This is one time of the day when you can regroup, share, support, and create moments of happiness. Here’s why family dinners are important and the common excuses for not having it in your family. Learn what you can do instead to make time for quality dinner time in your family. ~ Ed.


Time passes you by. Most people don’t even realize until that certain something hits them.

Your child has now lost his first tooth or is now getting his driver’s license. At every big moment of their lives, we think back on so much.

Not just our children, but ourselves and our spouse. Time is ticking, and we are so “on the go” that we forget to slow down sometimes.

This is why we all say, “Where did the time go?”

However, with everyone’s busy and separate lives, there is one time of the day that everyone can get together to connect and be a part of life.

When, you ask? DINNER TIME!

That is the best time to connect because it’s at the end of the day, you have stories to tell and experiences to share.


Why Family Dinners Are Important

Children in this generation definitely need this in their life because they do have so much more pressure than any other generation. The pressure of having to be this or do that, look this way to feel accepted, hate yourself if you don’t. That self-esteem and confidence start from home.

Kids can be so brutal. Bullies have always existed, yes you’re right. But we are in a new age where the bullying is coming from technology.

Back then, it was done at school, and you were able to go to your home, your comfort zone. There is no comfort zone anymore; that was taken away with technology. It is constantly with them; the pressure is constantly with them.

Children need this dinner time around their family, the right way.

Who am I kidding? Adults need this too! That is, being surrounded by your family, feeling liberated and comforted.

The first time all day, you can remove that mask and be yourself around people you love and that love you just as much. If dinner time can make you feel this way, then imagine what it could do for your child!

4 Common Excuses for Not Having Family Dinner Time and What You Need to Do Instead

There are no excuses for not making dinner a priority. You either want to make the best time out of the time you have with your family or let it pass you by.

I’m tired and stressed out!

Realistically speaking, the time has changed, the world has changed.

We live in a society now where both parents have to work to make ends meet! A few years ago, that wasn’t the case. It was the era where the man provided, while the woman would take care of the children and keep up with the house. When daddy got off of work, dinner was on the table.

Obviously that’s not the time we’re living in. Some of us don’t want to go back to those times because for some, living in their greatest potential is not being a home keeper.

But even if a woman wanted to work, it should be extra, a bonus, instead of help trying to make ends meet. We live in a time where mom and dad are both working, full-time jobs, long hours just to keep up. Because of this, both parents are tired and stressed. Being tired and going through those dreadful motions, make life pass you by.

We lose sight. All the stress factors in our lives like bills, jobs, groceries and house chores really interfere with our primary focus, our family.


So picking up something fast, while watching TV, can sound relaxing and fun. Not to mention something that everyone can agree on.

But this is yet another sacrifice parents should be willing to take – use that time and togetherness to connect and communicate with your growing children.

TV is in our dinner routine

This is probably every family in America. You sit around a table, together, eating and dozed off in the television programming. There is no communication, and if there is, it’s a short and simple answer.

It shouldn’t be this way. Life already throws distractions; TV shouldn’t be another one.

Try this out for at least one week. You will realize how awkward it is to actually talk and give you undivided attention to someone. You’re not going to be “listening” while watching TV. This changes the whole atmosphere, the energy, the mood and the connection.

But my teenagers won’t put their phone down!

Kids and their phones these days; I can say that for a lot of adults now too.

For the parents, I have one question for you, who is in control? You are doing this for their good. They will pout at first; they may not even cooperate for being so upset you just took their life away. So what! They can use an hour break away from this device, anyways.

You’re not killing them, only making them better. Make it a rule there should be no phones during dinner time.

We are always on the go!

Some great friends of ours are parents to three growing boys – a senior in high school, a middle schooler and one in elementary. Talk about busy!

She rarely comes to any birthday parties because of how busy they are during the weekends with the games and events. All three boys are in at least one or two extracurricular activities. That’s great!

But it’s a lot, for the parents. Their schedule is so hectic that one parent has to go with one child, while the other goes with the other two children. Whoa!

I couldn’t imagine how it is during the weekdays, after school and work hours. Where does dinner even fit into the schedule? I get it. I understand it is hard to juggle everything on your plates.

However, there should be something you guys commit to as a family. Once a week? Three times a week?

How about this – make it a commitment to have breakfast on Saturday or Sunday and talk about the main highlights or bad things that happened throughout the week.

A great way for everyone to join this family gathering is by making a list, pinned to the fridge door, and having them write a topic they want to discuss at the end of the week, so there is no forgetting.

Isn’t that genius?

Wrapping Up

Dinner time is about making the time and effort to slow down the time the best way you possibly can.

By doing that, you have to make spending time with your family a priority. This family time is an essential time where you can build a strong foundation for your children.

A time where all the members of your family are in one place – a place of security, non-judgment zone with undivided attention.

Family dinners are not just another time to eat. It’s a time to build memories, share experiences, and listen to your family’s issues and problems, giving advice and support. It’s about the memories, the connection and love from the conversations at the dinner table.

Dinner time can make or break a family. Do you agree?

Over to you

What are your thoughts about famliy dinners? How is it in your family? Share in the comments.


Disclaimer: Though the views expressed are of the author’s own, this article has been checked for its authenticity of information and resource links provided for a better and deeper understanding of the subject matter. However, you're suggested to make your diligent research and consult subject experts to decide what is best for you. If you spot any factual errors, spelling, or grammatical mistakes in the article, please report at [email protected]. Thanks.

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  1. Stephanie,

    I loved your post. It is such a good reminder for our family to spend that quality time together. When I was little, my parents would have most main meals (like dinner) at the table, and occasionally lunch would be in front of the TV. Fast forward 20 years, I can see now the wisdom that my parents had in that dinner time together. We laugh, talk, share jokes, and just enjoy spending time with each other with our 4 children around the dinner table. It has been a great way to teach manners, conversation skills, and just be a “family”.

    I hope that the impact that dinner time has made on me, will be reflected in our family for generations to come! ~ Johanna

    1. Johanna, your are right! Meeting at the dinner table instills so much foundation, most don’t even realize it. Like you, I grew eating at the dinner table. No phones, TV, games, headphones. We were able to talk and share our daily encounters and receive advice from our parents. I’m not a judge mental parent AT ALL, however I do believe that is what many families are lacking in this society. Technology has taken over. Thank you for reading Johanna!

  2. Hi Stephanie,

    Great meeting you here on AHANow.
    Family dinners always played an important role when I was growing up. Now I still feel the same way. Whenever dinner is served, phones are not allowed at the table. It is time to unplug all devices because nothing is more important than family. Giving this message to younger people by taking this action can instill a positive and productive roll for them.


    1. You’re right Donna. Family time was such an important and well needed time, especially for the children growing up. Fast forward to present time, it seems like less and less families are prioritizing this precious time. It’s definitely more than just eating dinner.

      Thanks for reading Donna!

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