For the past 2 weeks The Husband and I have been conducting our own experiment on our children to see what effect eating all meals at the table has on them. I can honestly say both The Husband and I have been surprised at the results.
The girls eating habits have completely changed. I was shocked to realise that at meal times the girls are actually eating less than they were before, they are telling me they are hungry less and eating less snacks. I've also been fascinated by the change in their behaviour, I've found myself telling them off less, they are less irritable and fighting less they are also sleeping better at night. They aren't by any means perfect, they are 2 and 3 after all, but their behaviour has definitely improved in the last 2 weeks.
Meal times have become a thing to look forward to in our house, a time where we can sit and chat. Breakfast is an opportunity for The Husband to see, and chat to, the girls before he rushes off to work, rather than barely getting a goodbye out of them as they watch Bob the Builder or Q Pootle 5.
There have been days over the last 2 weeks where for ease (and the sake of my sanity) I've put them in front of the TV for lunch or breakfast and on these days I see the old habits creeping back in, the constant whining for food, the irritability and constant arguing. It's at the end of these days, when I realise what I've done, that I strengthen my resolve not to just put them in front of the TV for an easy life and 5 minutes peace, but to remember to sit together and eat at the table.
We honestly didn't expect a dining table to make this much of a difference in our children's lives!