Having a Sunday dinner with your entire family can be a truly fulfilling and powerful experience. It’s a perfect time to spend some quality time with your family and connect with each member on a deeper level.
However, Sunday family dinners can also be the perfect time to discuss any issues you or other members may have, especially if you’re too busy during the week to gather your entire family for any serious conversation. Your kids go to school, do their homework afterward, and hang out with friends, while you and your spouse are swamped with work, grocery shopping, and any other activity you have on your daily agenda.
But is solving your family problems during Sunday dinner actually a smart decision? Let’s look at the pros and cons.
Pro #1: Everyone Is Present
One of the good things about discussing problems during family dinners is the fact that all of your family members are actually present. You may not have the time for problem-solving during the week. Come Sunday evening, you have a perfect opportunity to sit down with your family and talk about any particular issue you may have.
It’s a great time to discuss your kids’ grades and behavior in school, their table manners, or perhaps their lack of helping around the house. It’s a great time to set any ground rules, but not by making demands and telling your kids to do this or that, but by advising them and explaining why what you’re saying is important.
But remember that the key to effective problem-solving is to let everyone have a say. Every member of your family should take a turn and share their thoughts and ideas so that you can come up with the best solutions together.
Pro #2: There Are No Distractions
If you try and solve any problem while your kids are playing, watching TV, using their cell phones, or spending time on their computer, you won’t get them to actually hear what you’re saying. They may agree with you automatically only to stop you from getting further into a conversation that would probably annoy them, only to continue following their own rules.
This is why discussing problems during a Sunday family dinner is a better choice, that is, if you set the “no electronic devices during dinnertime” rule. With no digital distractions during family dinner, your kids will simply have to listen to everything that you have to say.
When they’re not glued to a screen, they’ll be able to stop and actually think about the addressed problems, so that they too can contribute to successfully solving them.
Pro #3: You Have a Chance to Improve Family Communication
Improving family communication may be the most essential benefit to solving your family problems during Sunday dinner. Effective communication is vital for strengthening your bond as a family and getting to know one another better.
If you eat your meals in silence or discuss only trivial matters, you’ll find that it’s quite difficult to learn more about your family, especially if you have very little time to do so any other day of the week.
Therefore, use this precious time when you’re all sitting down together to improve your mutual communication. Talk about anything and everything, including all your problems, and encourage everyone to speak their mind freely and honestly, without the fear that they would be reproached for their opinions.
That way, all your conversations will eventually become much more positive, and you’ll soon drive all the problems away, because everyone will learn to openly and effectively communicate their thoughts and ideas, feeling much more stress-free and satisfied.
Con #1: You May Not Enjoy Your Meals
One bad side to discussing your problems during family dinnertime is that it may negatively affect your appetite. You may not enjoy the food that you worked hard to prepare, and your kids may even storm out without finishing their meals.
If you don’t allow your kids to leave the table until the conversation is finished, they still may not want to continue eating, which definitely isn’t a good thing, because you want your kids to be healthy.
All of this is certainly not something you want to happen, so it may be a good idea to leave your family problems for some other time.
Con #2: Everyone Might Get Stressed
Just like you may not be able to actually enjoy dinner if you bring up any problems your family may have, you may also make yourself and everyone else stressed, which would also take a toll on your appetite.
Stress can not only lead to health problems, but it can also negatively affect your relationship with your entire family. It can make room for heated arguments, which would lead to more problems than you started with.
You can de-stress your dinner table with effective and positive communication, but that still doesn’t mean that talking about problems during dinner would leave everyone in a good mood.
Con #3: You Might Ruin Family Dinner
Raising problematic topics during Sunday family dinner might simply ruin the special time you spend with your whole family. Family dinnertime simply may not be the time to discuss stressful issues. Your dinner table should be a safe place where you spend a nice time with your family, not a place reserved for arguing and setting rules.
If you wait to raise certain issues until Sunday evening, when your family gathers to share a nice home-cooked meal and connect with one another better, your family dinners may become downright unpleasant. No one would be looking forward to eating together, which would cause a lack of harmony and a lot more problems you certainly don’t want to have.
So, what’s the verdict? Should you solve your family problems during Sunday dinner? It may seem like the cons outweigh the pros, but you can absolutely make it work if you always communicate openly and create a harmonious atmosphere where everyone’s opinions and ideas are valued. What do you think?