In many countries, the tradition of families having meals together is disappearing. Why is this happening? What will be the effects of it on the family and society?
Having meals together with the other family members used to be considered as important. However, these days, many families seem to have giving up this habit.
The primary reason why families now are unable to eat dinner together is the changing situation of modern family. In the past, everything seems to be organized. People worked a 9-to-5 job and they arrived at home at about 5.30, preparing meals for about 90 minutes and dinner time will be ready at about 7pm. This is not how it is now. Most employees have been demanded to spend some extra time in the office in order to meet the company target. Traffic has increased heavily and this causes a significant delay in the way people commuting from their workplaces to their homes. Students have had extra homework to do, or they might want to release the stress by spending more times in front of video games. What seems to be a simple thing to do in the past, eating dinner together, now has been an almost impossible situation.
The effects of this situation are multi-layered. First, this simple situation means that parents need to find other time to communicate with their children about their situation. Husbands need to spend quality time with their wives. Mothers need to monitor their daughters. Second of all, parents usually put extra burden of studying into children through various extra courses to take. While this seems good, I believe that if the time children spent in extra courses are spent with the family; that will be a time better spent. Children, especially teenagers, need constant communication and supervision from their parents, otherwise they might misbehave. If the lack of communication in the family increases more and more, who knows what negative things might occur in the future.
In conclusion, I believe the diminishing habit of having dinner together, albeit not a totally accurate judgment, reflects the eroded communication in the family. The causes are worse time management and number of things to do, while the effects can be teenagers’ misbehavior.