Family Togetherness at Mealtime: Myth or Reality? During the Industrial Revolution and the creation of what is commonly known as the middle class, the custom of children eating their supper early and going to bed so parents could enjoy adult quiet time developed. This was at a time when families had nannies and governesses to care for the children’s special needs. With the downsizing of many families, the object was to eat together as a family unit sharing the day’s activities, but even then, the motto was for children to be seen and not heard. At the dinner table, children were respectfully granted a few minutes to become part of the discussions, but they had to primarily listen, observe and learn. It was not until after the advent of…show more content… First, the family unit requires an underlying accord, parents have the skills enabling their children to interact in socially acceptable framework, and children as well as parents need to be willing to put aside electronic devices. Conversation is a learned art, and with texting, abbreviated discussions, monosyllabic responses, dinnertime learning can be an asset.
Researchers however, have indicated inconclusive results for the overall paradigm of family meal frequency (FMF) that does not support the entire premise of FMF and family unity. Some studies have been conducted acknowledging the positive effect of FMF on diet, child obesity, eating disorders, and general nutrition. But other studies reveal that families may also participate in other activities involving their children who encourage unity, positive socialization, higher overall scores in school, as well as increase in developmental skills. Miller, Waldfogel, and Han suggest that the amount of limitations in previous research, results toward FMF and positive academic and socialization cannot necessarily be attributed to FMF (2104). They do suggest that the results of some of these studies were immediately taken up by the media, placed before government policy makers who tried to create an awareness in the public of the efficacy of FMF and high achievement of children. Thus, when Kingsolver discusses her childhood on a farm or in rural Kentucky, eating together with family as if this is