- One study also found that parents were likely to skip family meals if they were unhappy at work.
Eating together as a family is not only good for bonding, but it can also help with discipline.
Parents who don’t come home to have dinner with their families could end up with more misbehaving children, according to one study.
The researchers spent time with more than 1,400 married couples with two-year-old children, calculating how many dinners a week the child ate with his mother and also with his father.
They visited the families again when each child was four or five years old and asked the parents about their behavior.
The study found that children who had dinner with their father less frequently when they were young grew older and behaved worse.
A study has found that children behaved worse if they had had dinner less frequently with their father when they were young, even if they ate with their mother every day.
That was the case even if the children ate dinner with their mother every day. Regardless of how often women had dinner with their children, their behavior was worse if their father had dinner with them less frequently.
Sehyun Ju of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, who led the study, said: “During family meals, children learn by watching adults share food, interact with each other, have conversations, and make eye contact.”
‘This is a unique daily experience that can help them learn how to communicate and behave.
“These results suggest that having the entire family around the table is important, because fathers bring important and unique qualities, as do mothers.”
The study, published in the Journal of Family Psychology, found that just one meal a week in which either the parent was missing from the table was linked to worsening child behavior.
When examining the reasons why fathers miss mealtimes, researchers found that fathers who were dissatisfied with their jobs and financial situation ate dinner with their family less frequently. This was regardless of whether they worked long hours, suggesting they lacked motivation.
According to the research, mothers who were unhappy at work were less likely to avoid eating with the family, while the opposite was true among fathers who were dissatisfied with their work.
However, mothers who were unhappy at work were less likely to avoid family dinners.
The study authors state: “Parents who are able to maintain family mealtime routines despite work-related stress may have better work-family boundaries and greater ability to regulate stress.” “.
Lead author Dr Karen Kramer said: “Dinner time for young children is usually around five or six p.m., but the expectation for parents to be home early in the day doesn’t align. with being an ideal worker”.
“There would be important policy initiatives to help provide a work environment and community support that facilitate family meals.”