I READ with interest an article about family dinners this week.
The crux of the story was a study had shown eating a family meal together was beneficial for our kids.
It wasn't just to make sure your kids ate all their vegies.
It said children who ate with their family regularly had a strong sense of wellbeing, a better vocabulary and were less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.
It even said the research showed links to success at school.
I admit at feeling a bit of guilt as I was reading the article.
I was working a night shift and my meal time with my son had consisted of a quick dash home, whip up a quick meal and head on back to work.
It did make me grateful for the meal times I do get to spend with my son, not to mention with my partner and his kids too.
I recall dinner time growing up.
There was plenty to be glad about sharing the table with the whole family.
It meant an opportunity to offload a few excess peas, or a stalk of broccoli if you were daring enough, when a sibling wasn't looking.
It meant laughter and light-hearted times, and long-lasting memories.
It is not just dinner either.
Breakfast, lunch, morning tea or afternoon tea… even an ice-cream at the beach and enjoying a touch of sunshine together can bring about great conversations.
It is also a great way to boost friendships.
It is more and more common to meet friends out for coffee these days, especially those of us well past the 'party every weekend' scene.
I met up with an old school friend last week I hadn't seen for years.
Actually, more like decades, which would explain why we were both sitting in the same café for 10 minutes before we realised each other was there.
Still, while chatting over coffee all those years melted away and it was like we were back in school.
I left on such a high.
I can't help but think more time talking face-to-face has more than just benefits for our kids
There are many positive benefits for us parents too.
Like those times I still get to offload my peas.