In a challenging world, a family provides children and adults with the feeling of safety and belonging. With the development of technology, various devices give us opportunities to be closer to other people even if we are distant from one another, whereas the family meal brings us closer to our relatives. Family dinners have always served as the satisfaction of our social and emotional needs, and offered time and place to teach us the value of caring for others.

My family has always had a very good tradition of having family dinners which were organized every Sunday and, in fact, still are. I think this is an excellent tradition, as it is a good time to share the interests, discuss important things, give advices, display table manners, meal etiquette, exchange social skills, and just spend time in a family circle. The atmosphere of our family dinners has always been relaxed, loving, and caring. All of us have been waiting for the time our family gathers together and has a cheerful discussion which is followed by a tasty meal.  

I also remember our family dinners of the past, when we gathered not only with our parents, but grandparents, as well. Discussion while having a great meal was always fun, and often interspersed with children’s giggling which added charm to it. My mother and grandmother planned well-balanced meals and cooked it with great love and affection. My dad and granddad provided fresh fruit from the garden. Our family cares about eating healthy and we do our best to follow this tradition. When I became responsible for my meals myself, I became more interested in nutrition and started to read a lot about natural foods which benefit health. I took an active part in cooking the dinner and tried to help my parent as much as I could. I think that this experience has been very influential in forming a strong sense of cohesion within my family.

Even nowadays, after a family meal and conversation with the family I have the feeling of belonging, affection, warmth, security and broadened experience. Such communication gives a good opportunity for the family to make plans, learn from one another, share news, and give extra attention to the younger or elder members. With the help of family dinners in my family we carry on family traditions from generation to generation. Being a child, I have always been taught the values of the family, cultural and ethnic heritage, family background and many other things which are related to the life of my family. I never have the feeling that I am alone, as I am sure that there are people who love and care about me, no matter where I am and what kind of problems I have.

Family dinners provide the feeling of family identity and unity. Such dinners taught me to appreciate our friendly family, to be ready to help any time, to feel strong family bonds and gave me the feeling of love and belonging. Family dinners give us the basis for valuing family relationships and allow us to solve the problems together, as a lot is discussed and advised, everyone can express his/her opinion and be heard. I am convinced that the function of a family is to nurture the growth and development of each of its members. In a busy modern time, people lack time to visit their families due to tough schedule. However, if a person knows that there is such a tradition, everything is put aside in order not to miss the participation in a family dinner. Thus, the family dinner is strongly correlated with the development of strong relationships and social cohesion among family members.

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