Speech/Language Tip of the Month

Bring Back Family Mealtime

In 2000, researchers at the University of Illinois found that children ages 7 to 11 who did well on school achievement tests were the ones who ate meals and snacks with their families. In a 1994 Louis and Harris and Associates survey of 2,000 survey of high school seniors, those who ate dinner with their families four or more times per week scored better on tests than those who had family dinners three or fewer time per week. Studies also found that preschoolers whose families eat together have better language skills because they hear more spoken language and get more time to process adult conversations.

With soccer practice, gymnastics, homework, and parents working long hours, it can be difficult to schedule regular family meals. Start with small steps. Designate one night per week as family dinner night. Be sure that the meal is free from distractions; no television, no cell phones(adults included) and no video games are allowed at the dinner table.