Saturday, 1 June 2013

Magic Fix: Table Talks


"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." - Benjamin Franklin

Yes, I have been absent from writing for some time. Many reasons have factored but the biggest being that I haven't really done anything that is worth writing recently. So please forgive me, to those who have been waiting for my next Magic Fix. I hope that you find this post worth reading!

Lately, I have been getting really excited about our family meal times. Every dinner time, more often than not, we sit down together as a family to eat our evening meal. The children lay the table, we light some nice candles, make a healthy meal and we enjoy sharing it and spending time together around table. Many families do sit down together for meals, this is nothing new of course, we have been doing so for eons but only a few do it well. Many of my parents generation put propriety and table manners above all else. These days we may bring our days anxieties and problems to the table, family tensions are allowed to play out, name calling and arguments rampantly dominate the modern day family meal time that many have resorted to watching TV while they ate instead. Yet, dinner table conversations have become an incredibly pleasurable time of the day for our family because we have chosen to make it so.

If I consider the time that I previously spent with my children, before we began our dinner table conversations, much of it would be spent giving instructions, passingly enquiring as to their day, half heartedly listening to their enthusiastic chattering but now this has all changed! Meal times have become table talks, short interviews of our children to assess their preparedness and readiness towards receiving ideas, information, values that we may want to share with them. The children in turn also have a platform in which they have our undivided attention. It is an opportunity for the children to share with us their own ideas, their feelings and values, their inspirations and perhaps even plans for their future.

The Magic Fix #30

These table talks, in our household, have been a revelation and a huge success! As parents, we have had the pleasure of truly discovering our children. When the children are not distracted or busy trying to grab our attention with what they are achieving at school, in the sports field or their creative endeavours, they reveal to us at the table their true heart's desire! 

Through the enjoyment, relaxation and sharing a meal together, the children are animated, natural, relaxed without the fear of expectation or let down. In these moments, at the dinner table, we see each other much more clearly, without the mental noise, external labels and expectations that we place on each other. Recently, during such a table talk, I received the perfect segue from my ten year old daughter to talk about puberty and other matters of the kind! Although we didn't go into every aspect of the topic 'in depth', we were able to open the conversation up without the embarrassing and awkward closed door conversations in the bedroom which always feel a little unnatural at best.

I found this table talk between Willow Smith (daughter of Will Smith) and her mother very inspiring. I hope that you will enjoy it, as much as I did. Love you all and I hope you enjoy your meal times!

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