Mom Confession: My Son Eats Dinner Alone in Front of the TV Every Night

Mom Moment 87

watching tvAs part of my campaign to secure the title of "NOT Mother of the Year," I have a bit of a confession to make. We don't do the whole sit and eat dinner at the table as a family thing -- like ever. Well, maybe on special occasions, but most evenings, it just doesn't happen.

I guess I'd better just go ahead and admit it. My 7-year-old eats dinner in front of the TV -- pretty much every night.

And yes, I'm fully aware that there are all sorts of studies saying that kids who sit down and eat dinner at the table as a family are more content, do better in school, don't grow up to be convicts, and all that good stuff.

But none of that is going to convince me that my son needs to move his meals from the family room to the kitchen.

(At least hear me out before you deem me the worst mom in America, m'kay?)

First of all, neither my husband nor I grew up eating dinner at the table when we were kids. Our families always ate on trays in front of the TV, so that's what we're used to. To be honest, every time I went over to a friend's house for dinner as a kid, I always found it strange when we sat at the table and ate with the rest of their family. And I still feel that way to this day. It's just such a hassle to set the table, put all the condiments on the table, then clear it and clean up afterwards. Something about it just seems so formal to me, and I know my husband agrees.

Second, most nights of the week, my husband isn't home 'til after 7 p.m., which is way too late for our son to eat dinner. I usually wind up feeding him around 6 p.m., and since I'm not eating with him at that point, he typically has his dinner while watching a show or reading a book instead of sitting at the table with me staring at him.

And you know what? My little guy doesn't mind one bit, and he actually prefers sitting in the family room to eat as opposed to being at the kitchen table. He's a perfectly well adjusted, content, normal child, so does it really matter where he eats his meals?

I don't think so. And if it comes back to haunt me in 20 years, so be it.

Do you eat dinner as a family at the table every night?


Image via Mary Fischer

dinner, family, food


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar Brook

Thank you for confessing this!!!!!!!!!!! I could have written this article exactly!!!! I feel less guilty now. My husband gets home at varying times but even if he's not late, my son is hungry long before our dinner is ready and I feed him before we eat and he eats in front of the TV every night. I'm glad I'm not the only one! And he is a good kid and hasn't shanked anyone (yet...). :-)

Jamie Wicker

My husband works 2nd shift, meaning he isn't hope till after midnight and is gone all day. I have a 2 and 4 year old and we all three eat dinner at the table every night, barring a very busy day or someone is sick. Even take out we eat there. It's better for them AND I don't like food getting everywhere in my living room and on my sofa. Even snacks are at the dinner table.

nonmember avatar MammaMel

I'm right there with you! We sit down once a week (Sunday afternoon)...other than that...not so much!

nonmember avatar Madeline

My family has always made it a point to eat together during dinner. It was away for everyone (who was home) to relax and enjoy each others company. Also, if I had ever had my feet on a table like that my Grandmother/ Father/ Aunt would have had my head. Etiquette and manners are a big deal in my family too.

Shana Lee

I know where you are coming from my husband and I grew up doing the same thing eating in the living room watching a show with our families and we do the same thing with our boys. Don't let anyone call you a bad mother as long as you all get your quality time in it doesn't matter where you all eat dinner. The only reason they say at the table is better is because of the family talking about what you all did for the day but honestly I don't think it matters when you do that just as long as you do.

fave82 fave82

Depressing! At least sit with him and chat while he eats for crying out loud! Its not about being at the actual table, or about dinner being at"formal". Its about spending a tiny amount of quality time together regularly. Sheesh.

Samantha Stevens Mothershead

We try to eat together every night. With a spouse in the military and two teenaged boys (and one who is not in our custody) it can be hard. I don't judge others eating habits-- I was not raised to eat at a dinner table and I think I turned out just fine.

jrphelps jrphelps

No harsh words from me!  I grew up eating in the living room.  I only sat at the dining room table...alone if I was in trouble!  My son eats dinner before 6 so it's something I throw together.  He is usually watching cartoons on the computer eating his dinner while I fix dinner for my husband & myself.  Then we sit in the living room to eat & my son usually has a couple of bites of whatever we are having.  My husband is getting ready to take a big exam today so he was still home when we woke up.  When I came downstairs, my son was in his booster chair, in the living room, eating breakfast & watching cartoons.  It's fine! 

ashjo85 ashjo85

We eat at the table together most nights. It's generally a super short affair though, bolting meals and rushing off to bathtime. But mostly, I don't want to clean spilled food off the living room floor and furniture.

1-10 of 87 comments 12345 Last