I spend a fair amount of time poking fun at our family’s dinnertime chaos on social media. It can get pretty ridiculous.
And to be honest, we don’t really do anything to stop it.
I’m sure there are some families that wouldn’t stand for the chaos. That would stop some of the behaviors at their very first indication, and refuse to tolerate the shenanigans that go on in our home.
But we don’t, and there’s a reason.
They amuse us. They’re part of our kids’ personalities. It’s part of what dinnertime has become in our house.
If kids can’t feel free to be silly in their own home, surrounded by their family, then where CAN they be silly? We go in different directions all day long, and the time we sit around the table is one of the few times we’re all together and focused on one another.
And if our kids want to be silly with us during that time, we’re totally okay with that.
If they get disrespectful, we’ll address that. If they’re blatantly disobedient, we’ll address that. If they’re unkind to one another, we’ll address that. If they get out of control at someone else’s house, or while others are guests in our home, we’ll address that.
But silliness when surrounded by the people you’re closest to? No way. Go crazy, kids.
Dinnertime doesn’t have to be perfect and formal. Some families manage it very differently and use it as a training ground for manners and respect, and I totally get that.
But we’ll teach those things in other ways. Because for us, dinner is about connection and ridiculousness.
And lots and lots of laughter.