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  • The Modern Dinner Table

    Each year, across the world the definition of family is ever changing and growing. Our family systems typically build up the core of our experiences that help shape us into the adults we become. Experience is how we learn, it’s how we grow and understand what we want out of our daily lives. All of these experiences within our family system impact all of our mental health and shape the thoughts that either stick with us or stick to us. 

    The dinner table has changed over the last few decades. The traditional thought of ‘gathering around the dinner table’ was an image of a family sitting down together every night to break bread as dusk was setting in to discuss the events of that day. In our present day, all of our dinner tables look different and the past norms of being able to sit down all together at the same time every night have simply faded to something of the past. Although we as a society have changed and developed over time, the idea of family check-in’s is still a very much needed daily staple. 

    It’s important to recognize the value of investing in your family members’ lives and mental well being. When I say invest, I mean to actively listen and discuss the day each person has experienced and how that may impact them today, tomorrow or everyday moving forward. These familial check-in’s are vital to the cohesiveness each family member feels within that system-it provides the arena to feel heard, valued and cared for. 

    When it comes to mental health, we often forget to get back to the basics which can be open communication, active listening and taking the time to simply be together. These are the core tenants of fostering healthy and strong relationships within the family system. So you might be asking yourself, how can I check in with my family?

    Here are 4 tips to increase the quality of your family time:

    Actively listen; put those phones out of sight, make strong eye contact and simply listen to other person as they are speaking 

    Schedule time; life is busy-we all wish there were 10 days in a week. Schedule time to be together to intentionally check in

    Reminders; even if you both can’t seem to find a spare hour this week to be together-send a reminder text, note or gesture that you’re thinking of them and looking forward to the next time you can check-in

    Interest; everyone is their own person and we can all learn from each other- show interest in different family members’ hobbies or likes, create new memories together and enjoy new experiences 

    To learn more about seeking therapy for your child or getting started with a therapist please visit