Shared Meals Matter Blog

Sep 16th

What Every Tech Executive Parent Knows – Set Limits (p.s. even Steve Jobs’ kids were low-tech!)

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According to New York Times writer Nick Bilton, who  interviewed several well-known tech executives about their families’ tech habits, many tech execs put specific  limits on their kids’ screen time Bilton spoke with with prominent tech leaders including Steve Jobs (of Apple notoriety), Evan Williams (a founder of Twitter and Blogger) and Chris Anderson (formerly with Wired and now running 3D Robotics). As Bilton’s New York Times article explains, these tech execs knew that prolonged screen time could have many adverse effects including becoming addicted to these devices.

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Some of the boundaries that these wise executives cited were setting allowances — 30 minutes a day– or no devices at all during the week (except for homework), delaying their kids having their own smartphones until the age of 14 (according to this article, non-tech parents may give in to smartphones as early as 8 years old).  One executive made a distinction on approving the use of devices for “creating” vs. “consuming” (I agree with this!)

One common strategy all tech exec parents agreed upon was banning screens from the bedroom.

Are you considering setting limits for your kids devices? Do you wonder how your kids will use this extra time?

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If so, I have a few suggestions:

  • Keep books (soft/hardcover) in the house and consider book clubs and related activities
  • Start a home-based craft project such as letting your kids decorate your dining space (framing school or camp art projects or drawings, or using their favorite colors)
  • Start field day games in your yard or neighborhood
  • Use every day household items to explore music activities
  • Get your kids involved in your family’s shared-meal plan (invite them to plan menus, help pick out groceries, help with age-appropriate meal prep in the kitchen or make a music CD for background music during your meals together; and of course, keep your shared-meal time “tech free”!)

Do you think these tech gurus would ban tech devices from their dining tables, too?

As someone who is an advocate for a 1x daily shared meal, I was pleased to hear Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson report this:

 “Every evening Steve made a point of having dinner at the big long table in their kitchen, discussing books and history and a variety of things,” he said. “No one ever pulled out an iPad or computer.”

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Activities related to a daily shared-meal plan can help your kids develop some wonderful social and creative skills, to name just a couple of benefits. Would you like help creating a shared-meal plan that suits your family? If so,  click here to read about my book, and join The Shared-Meal Revolution!

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Sep 9th

Shared-meal rituals–not just for families–helping to keep couples out of divorce court

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Ever look up at the end of a long work week and realize you feel detached from your spouse or partner?

Post work-week blur do you wonder, “How’s he or she doing? What was his or her week like?”

Womanlaptop

You sigh, admitting to yourself that you have absolutely no idea.

Our workplace tasks seem to grow like weeds that keep popping up.
To be in command of the details of our work lives, we extend our workdays into our home…so we can try to keep the weeds from taking over.
We engage in rituals at home like obsessively checking emails on our smartphones, checking/leaving voice messages, signing into our laptops to finish Excel spreadsheets, doing Skype work conferences.
Meanwhile our spouse or partner is at home in another room doing the same thing.
Darn. Those pesky weeds are winning.
We’re missing connection with the people who matter most.

How can we tend to the garden of our relationships?

A recent Time.com article about the science of what makes marriages work reports that what keeps marriages going strong is…

...really knowing each other,
…being in contact with the details and facts of each other’s lives,
…and keeping updated on changes taking place in our spouse or partner’s lives, including their feelings.

Without this type of time together, experiencing each other, communicating, being….
We’ll lose touch.
We’ll become strangers.
We’ll grow apart.

To keep a marriage or relationship strong, we have to take the time to actively care for each other. 

To nourish the bond between us.

We need to find a way to connect.

Daily.

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My advice?

Create (or renew) a shared-meal ritual. Plan to share 1 meal a day with the people you love.

Turn off the devices and turn on your attention–giving and getting–the details about each other.

Give each other nourishment and sunshine your relationship needs via your meals together.

Celebrate your next anniversary with something you’ve created from your very own garden...with what else? A beautiful display of Forget-Me-Nots…

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If you’d like to keep your marriage (and all your relationships) strong, share a meal daily!  Click here to learn about my  book The Shared-Meal Revolution.

SIGN UP for my blog  (see the orange Subscribe to “Shared Meals Matter” button in the upper right corner) to get helpful information about sharing meals delivered free to your in-box once a week.

 

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Sep 4th

Home-cooked meals — a modern day burden? I object! {Please read my response!}

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There’s an article on Slate.com that argues we should stop “idealizing” home-cooked family dinners. This article poked fun at this tradition as being romanticized ‘from ’50s era sitcoms’ and argued that home-cooked family dinners have no place in our modern lifestyles.  The author (Amanda Marcotte) cites that “time pressures, tradeoffs to save money, and the burden of pleasing others” leaves mothers feeling stressed, and guilty, and that they can’t achieve the ideal of being a good mother.  The article also offered that problems like whiny, picky eaters around our tables takes all the fun, joy, and satisfaction out of the experience.

Well, that’s certainly a sour mouthful, isn’t it?

Here’s how I feel –

While I recognize that it is true we all have time pressures, and a cultural influence to do everything efficiently (just because technology tells us we can), and some of us have ‘selective’ tastes as to what we’ll eat, this ritual is no longer just about mothers having their plates overflowing with all the responsibilities of shopping, cooking, presenting, serving, and cleaning up after the meal.  That time is long gone!

I wrote my book, “The Shared-Meal Revolution“, to offer compelling information as to exactly why we should help people preserve this ritual.  We must have connection with another human being every day. The kind of connection that makes us feel alive. And, there are many areas of development such as physical, social, psychological, creative, academic, cultural/ethnic, and spiritual where we can benefit from the simple act of sharing a meal together.

I want to share with everyone what I learned through my research about sharing meals.  I have answers for these common obstacles.

This ritual is not just about mothers and families (although it’s especially important for children to have routines and structure in their lives, such as a shared-meal ritual).  Sharing a meal once a day is something valuable for each and every one of us, no matter if we are single, married, or have a family. What better activity is there to help us cope with our hyper-scheduled, uber-networked lifestyles?

Frontcover

Having a daily shared-meal experience is more relevant than ever.

So how do we help each other get a meal on the table once a day?

Give yourself permission to ask for help.

Develop a collaborative shared-meal plan.

 

Here’s how we start:

  • Gather family members, friends, people you want to share meals with.
  • Discuss your desire to create a shared-meal plan together.
  • Everyone chooses an aspect of the meal they would like to handle (plan the menu, shop for groceries, set/decorate the dining space, prepare food, cook, clean-up, etc.)
  • With everyone doing a little to pitch-in, it removes the burden from one person – it’s an equal opportunity activity!
  • Everyone’s involvement builds commitment to the experience.
  • Relax, smile, enjoy…and connect.
  • Repeat daily! (breakfast, lunch, dinner…whatever works for you!)

It’s OK to ask for help.

In fact, it’s healthy to do so.

***If you believe in the power of a daily shared-meal with people you love, join The Shared-Meal Revolution! Please visit my website  and check out my book for valuable information and resources to help you create your very own shared-meal plan. *** 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Aug 30th

Labor Day twist: Using a workplace “project plan” to keep you invested (and connected) at home!

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American workers are notorious for their hard work and dedication. This weekend we celebrate the national holiday of Labor Day – dedicated to celebrating the “economic achievements of American workers”, and to “pay tribute to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.” At our workplace, we show up with a smile, eager to be cooperative and partner with others, willingly share ideas, and spend oodles of time and energy discussing the company’s priorities. All of this effort is about taking care of the company’s well-being and gaining company equity.

What are our home priorities?  What about the well-being of our selves and our families? How do we build personal equity?

Oftentimes, after an exhausting work day our tendency is to collapse on the couch from exhaustion, grumble at our spouse or kids at the mere suggestion that we do anything that requires planting two feet on the ground or make conversation with someone. Family members individually microwave a pizza or grab a box of crackers and a jar of peanut butter for dinner, grab our smartphones or devices to “tap-tap-tap” and either sit in the same room in silence, or scatter like mice to our rooms to recover from the day.  There’s little of that “workplace” cooperation, partnership, and discussion about what priorities we have as a couple, or family.

Is this really how we want to spend our time at home?

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I’ve often wondered – how do we transfer the kind of civil, value-driven, cooperative behavior we have from the office to our personal lives?

What about our investment in My Personal Life, Inc.?

While I certainly appreciate that we have to work to pay our bills and take care of our families (few of us are born into riches), it can be damaging and demotivating to our development that we become so focused on the work aspect of our lives that we have nothing left in our personal reserves.  Why wait to go bankrupt?

We all have the natural inspiration to take care of ourselves and build a joyful and connected home life, but we need a little help in planning these personal goals.  And before you think I’m suggesting piling on more “to do”, trust that planning activities in your home will give you a giant kiss back saving you time, reducing aggravation and resentment, and best of all accomplishing something good for yourself and those you love.

Many of us use “project plans” at the office to work towards goals.

So why not use this type of project plan to help us at home?

Having studied and written about the benefits of ritual in the home, and specifically, a shared-meal ritual, I’m convinced that a shared-meal ritual is a practice we simply can’t afford to lose. It keeps us connected in a way that nothing else can. Sharing a meal once a day with someone offers many powerful benefits. **Read more about these benefits in my book, The Shared-Meal Revolution**

Using a commonly-used “project plan” model from the workplace, I created a Shared-Meal Project Plan template below [excerpt from “The Shared-Meal Revolution”.]

Begin by reading through the template below and ask yourself:

  • Which parts of this plan appeal to me?
  • Which elements make sense for my lifestyle?
  • Will such a plan help me to develop a shared-meal plan (or better organize my current routine)?

 

Then, modify this sample plan as needed to fit your needs. This plan can work for you if you have a family, a partner, or are single.  Use one or more of the elements — since it’s your plan, there are no rules!

Notebook

The Shared-Meal Revolution’s “Project Plan” template:

Vision statement: Describes the guiding image of your shared-meal plan’s success.
Example: Our vision is to develop opportunities for life balance, joy, and meaningful connection through sharing meals with family or friends.

Mission statement: Describes the objectives of your shared-meal plan.
Example: We will share one meal a day (weekday dinners, weekend breakfasts, Sunday brunch) with others (family, friends, neighbors).

Values: Describes the characteristics that underlie your vision.
Example: We represent the values of interpersonal connection, simplicity, and balance through sharing meals with others.

Short-term objective: Describes one or more immediate goals.
Example: (a) We will plan the meals in advance, each of us assuming a helpful role; (b) During the meals we will have a tech-free, distraction-free zone so we can be fully present with one another.

Long-term objective: Describes the goals which take longer to achieve, and are wider in scope than the short-term objective.
Example: (a) My family or dining partners will shop together and choose ingredients to keep our meals nutritious; (b) Once we have a ritual that feels natural and is working smoothly, we’ll invite others to join us (neighbors, friends).

Action plan: Describes a set of specific steps to help you achieve your shared-meal goals.
Example: (a) My dining partners will decide upon and commit to the frequency of our plan (e.g., we’ll share weeknight meals together, Saturday breakfast and Sunday brunch); (b) we’ll each agree to pitch in (e.g., one person will shop, another will cook, and another will set/clear the table, etc.); and (c) we’ll commit to a 3 month trial period.

Strategy evaluation: Describes how you will assess if your plan is on course.
Example: On Sunday of each week, we will do a “check-in” to discuss which parts of our plan are working, and which parts are not (e.g., Do you need to evaluate if too many extracurricular activities are getting in the way of your plan?)

Performance measurement: Describes how you will measure if your plan is working.
Example: Once a month, we will have a “roundtable” discussion to see if everyone is satisfied with their role in the plan.

Corrective action: Describes how you will change methods and performance to get back on course for fulfilling your goals.
Example: At our monthly meeting, we will discuss what roles will be shifted to keep everyone engaged; we’ll agree upon “next steps” (e.g., revising the time we are eating together).

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BONUS! You can use this type of “project plan” for organizing any aspect of your home life, in addition to your shared-meal plan!

How will you know if your project plan for sharing meals is working? You should feel three things: relaxed, in control, and enjoying the experience.

Best of all…you’ll be gaining equity in your personal life.

Why not end the labor of each work week feeling less like a work machine and more like a human being.

If you’d like to read more about how to keep connection with those you love through a daily shared meal, click here for information about my book “The Shared-Meal Revolution” and website. Let’s connect!  I’d love to hear how your “project plan” is working for you, and any new ideas you discover.  Write me with questions, comments or just to say Hi at carol@shared-meals.com.

 

 

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Aug 26th

Get Healthy Family Meals Back on Track and Save your Sanity with this FREE Back to School Survival Kit!

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Looking for ways to add more healthy foods into your family’s daily diet? With the new school year, many parents want to start fresh by encouraging healthy eating habits at home. Are you one of them?

Sign up for easy-to-follow weekly family meal plans from The Six O’Clock Scramble, complete with easy and healthy dinner recipes and a grocery list, and receive a free Back-to-School Survival kit. Eating healthy has never been this easy for the whole family!

Free with any Six O’Clock Scramble membership, the Back-to-School survival kit  includes:

  • Quick and Easy Breakfasts: A printable chart with dozens of healthy ideas for your Scramble to School (or Work)
  • 10 Healthy Smoothie Recipes: a Mini-eCookbook with10 delicious recipes – and a Build-Your-Own-Smoothie Chart so you (and your kids) can create your own favorites.
  • Healthy School Lunches & Snacks Chart: 50 Ideas in an easy Mix and Match chart that you can post on the fridge or family board.
  • The School Night Scramble: 10 Meals in 15 minutes or less: a Mini-eCookbook with top-rated complete family dinners that you can get on the table in a flash!

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Click here The Six O’Clock Scramble has a two week free trial so you can see for yourself how it gets your healthy family meals back on track and saves your sanity!

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Aug 19th

Sometimes it pays to play with your food

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I’m simply amazed at the wide range of cooking and baking artistry I see on the internet. I’m also darn lucky that some friends of mine can cook up a storm. We share meals and giggle with delight at just how darn innovative their cooking treasures are.

Have you seen this post on the internet?  It really showcases the creative vision of a Brazilian mother trying to introduce new types of food to her daughter. Click here to see what one mother did to help her child be attracted to a variety of food.  I just love these designs!  As the article says, the mother is a Dentist by trade, which might explain the fine detail in her work.

Frozen

When I was writing my book The Shared-Meal Revolution, I spent some time considering how many ways sharing meals helps us be creative.

Time involved in shared-meal activities can help you…

  • Develop your creative skills by changing one or two ingredients in a recipe to create something new (how about adding curry and coconut milk to a traditional chili?)
  • Look around at your dining space and think of ways you can represent the people who dine there (one of my favorite things to do when my kids were young was to hang pictures or display crafts they created)
  • Let your imagination run wild with creative storytelling building (one person starts a story, “Once upon a time there was a ____” and then the next person builds, “Who went to the ______, and so on. You could make it fun by using only one letter of the alphabet — alligator….army…etc.)
  • Build on your improvisational and problem-solving skills (lightly dressing a salad by shaking it up in a big sealed bag instead of tossing it in a bowl)
  • Experiment with design concepts when decorating your dining space (try dressing a table in monochromatic tones, all different shades of blue for example, for a dramatic look)

 

Tending to the every day details are what helps to make a shared-meal ritual fun. We may not have all (or any) of the skills of someone who is truly artistic, but I’m willing to bet that we all have something creative to offer some aspect of our shared-meal practice.  And when we share of our selves, it makes the experience that much more meaningful.  This idea reminds me of when of my favorite quotes:

“Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”  (Mother Theresa)

If you’d like to learn more about how to make the most of your shared-meal ritual, please visit my website for information and to read about my book.  Please write to me at carol@shared-meals.com any time with questions you may have about your shared-meal ritual, or just to share a story or a picture of some fabulous times around the table.

 

 

 

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Aug 12th

What are you waiting for?

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Like many, my heart is broken over the passing of Robin Williams.

There are no more words that can be said that haven’t already been said a gillion times over the last couple of days about his talent and passion.

As I’ve been struggling to get out of my ‘funk’ since this news arrived, I’ve been looking for a simple statement to sum up my feelings and to pay tribute to Mr. Williams.

Here it is:

passion

 

Let’s resist temptation to spend time on things we “should” be doing…

and instead do things that truly matter to us.

Things that make our skin feel tingly with excitement…

Things that showcase our personal talents…

Things that make us feel vibrant…

spending time with people we love…

and being the best version of ourselves.

What are you waiting for?  

 

If you’d like to learn more about why I feel Shared Meals Matter, please visit my website

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Jul 30th

Home cooking and shared meals: modern day survival strategy

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As I reported in my book, The Shared-Meal Revolution, studies have shown that a routine shared-meal practice (five or more meals in a week) has a positive impact on children’s eating patterns and diet quality (citing improvements like more fruit and vegetables and fewer soft drinks). Even better,  if you promote healthier eating in your kids when they’re young, these benefits tend to continue into adulthood.

Do you gain those benefits by simply eating inside your home? Well, no, as common sense shows us that to eat nutritiously, we’ll need to choose whole food, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and avoid highly refined, processed, and sugar-laden foods.  Overall, Americans have chronically unhealthy eating habits. We often focus on what is easily accessible versus what can bring our bodies long-term health.

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The food industry naturally plays a big role in supporting these unhealthy eating habits.  There are GMOs and processed food in abundance. As this video I found from Nutritionfacts.org aptly states, “The food industry is a business, not a parent; it doesn’t care what we eat as long as we are willing to pay for it.”

Eating at home is no longer something your mother or grandmother does for you while she shoos you out of the kitchen. For people of all ages, it’s a skill that takes a little bit of time to acquire (I’m still at a beginner level, but I’m learning every day), but it is also a lot of fun, it stimulates creativity, and you gain better control of healthy eating.  Cooking classes should be a required course in every school around the country as it’s a basic life skill (as stated in this video, “Home cooking these days has far more than sentimental value; it’s a survival skill.”)

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As this video also points out, cooking our own food (when choosing quality ingredients) can help us live healthier and longer.  We need to pay attention to the ingredients we’re using to get the healthy benefits, and we need to find ways to make healthier eating taste better too, to keep everyone in your shared-meal plan craving more. Sugar, fat, and salt are common ways the food industry makes our food appealing, but there are better ways.

Here are a few ways you can create healthier eating habits inside your home:

  • Develop a 1x a day shared-meal plan (or at least 5 meals a week—breakfast, lunch or dinner — whatever meal works best for you). Focus on a committed, collaborative plan from planning to shopping to cooking, and of course enjoying meals together. Click here.
  • Show leadership with the food choices you make; select foods you know are higher in nutritional value (such as berries and sweet potatoes) and taste good too. Aim for lots of color on your plate.
  • Research what’s in your food with sites such as Food Babe; become educated so you can “vote” for healthier food each time you make a food purchase
  • Get appealing recipes that focus on adding natural flavor from healthier eating websites such as the Food Network’s Healthy Eats
  • Give your kids a head start on cooking skills by inviting them into the kitchen to help you (kids of all ages can help with age appropriate tasks)
  • Take a cooking class with people in your shared-meal circle; this kind of adventure can motivate you to find new delicious recipes using healthier ingredients

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Remember, it is unrealistic (and boring, and emotionally unhealthy too) to try to achieve perfection when creating healthier eating habits.  I’m certainly not perfect when it comes to my food choices, but I have a mindfulness and that helps me to make healthy decisions most of the time.

Try to focus on one simple improvement, such as using whole grain bread or pasta instead of white/processed, and when you’re ready, move on to the next improvement you’d like to make.

Explore different foods together, such as finding a new recipe using jicama; doing this exploration with those in your shared-meal circle will help inspire you all collectively to make better choices.

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To learn more about developing a shared-meal plan, and the many benefits, including better physical/health, visit my website or find my book here: Amazon.

Let’s connect! Facebook, Twitter, Pinterestand Instagram

 

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Jul 8th

Does snacking get in the way of your shared meals?

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Have you noticed in a typical grocery store how full the snack aisles have become?

Whether it’s marshmallow crispy Oreos,  sour watermelon Peeps, rosemary and olive oil flavored Triscuits, or something healthier like a Kind granola bar, Americans seem to be having a major snack attack. And it’s wreaking havoc on shared meals in many homes.

In this Wall Street Journal article “Forget Dinner: It’s Always Snack Time in America”, a 2013 survey found that nearly half of Americans (48%) skipped meals at least three times a week.  The article offers that the trend towards heavy snacking is gaining momentum because of the rise in people living alone, hectic schedules of dual-career families, and managing the schedules of our kids’ activities.

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I add other pitfalls such as many people don’t take a lunch break while at work, so they mindlessly snack at their desk throughout the day. Then, they may not have an appetite for a meal when they get home. Many people work very long and hard days and are too tired to think about making a meal. Others like the lifestyle of being constantly wired so they need something portable they can eat/manage with one hand so they can be using their smartphone, TV remote control or computer mouse with the other.  Some people want something efficient so it doesn’t disrupt the speed at which they feel they must travel throughout the day.  Parents use snacks as a way to keep their kids occupied while they are busy taking care of other responsibilities.

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I’m not against the idea of snacking but I believe there needs to be some boundaries around the quality of snacks, and how frequently you are eating them. And as this article points out, it’s great that some of the snacks being produced are healthier, but that doesn’t solve the problem that we are at risk of losing a meaningful ritual if we choose snacks over meals together. Why would we want to let the habit of persistent casual snacking get in the way of a relaxing, joyful shared meal with people we love? There are so many reasons to preserve a shared-meal ritual.

Sharing at least one meal a day offers us the opportunity for rich socialization, healthier nutritional role modeling for our kids, and maintaining social connection with each other, to name only a few benefits.  Sharing meals with each other is an important human act–it’s one in which we accomplish so much more than just satisfying our hunger. Sharing meals with others offers a richness in experience that random snacking just doesn’t replace.  Sharing meals keeps us together versus isolated, and it keeps our lifestyles in balance, focused on nurturing relationships vs. (only) work or (only) things.

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Sometimes we get into bad habits because we get too busy to stop and think.  As the saying goes, “The best way to break a negative habit is to cultivate a positive one.”

Here are a few suggestions to keep positive eating habits in relation to snacks and sharing meals. I hope some of these are useful to you:

-Build a half hour into your schedule each morning to eat something at home (even if this means getting up at 6:45a instead of 7:15a ). Starting the day with an energizing, satisfying breakfast will set the tone for healthier eating, and less persistent snacking, throughout the day.
-Pack a light, healthy snack (such as a small handful of almonds, or a half cup of yogurt and blueberries) if you need a little something mid- morning or afternoon.
-Set a calendar reminder for a lunch break in advance. Set yourself up for success: if there’s no reminder, you may easily get caught up with work at the office (or at home) and skip it.
-If you live alone, invite a neighbor or a friend to share a meal with you regularly. Start with one specific night a week (how about Monday?)
-Get your kids involved in age-appropriate activities in the kitchen with you; incentivize them to hold off on unhealthy after-school casual snacking by teaching them how to prepare their favorite meal with you.
-Focus on the highest quality of food that you can and resist filling your diet (and your pantry) with food (or food products) that are portable for portable-sake.
-Get others involved in making meals with you. Let’s stop reaching for the convenient solution or thinking we need to take on all the responsibilities of preparing meals on our own.

Preserve your shared meals by working with your spouse, significant other, children, neighbors–anyone you want to share meals with–by creating your own shared-meal planAccount for who you want to share meals with, schedules and flexibility, and sharing in the responsibilities (from planning to shopping to cooking) to lighten the load for everyone.

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If you’d like to learn more about how to develop your own shared-meal plan, join The Shared-Meal Revolution and read about all the benefits in my book. If you’d like to read more from my blog “Shared Meals Matter”, click to subscribe. I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jun 15th

Bravo to fathers fighting for their rights to have dinner with their families

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There is some very exciting new conversation starting to happen regarding workplace flexibility.

Only this time the focus is on fathers.

It’s no surprise that this is getting more attention. Studies have been showing an increase in the amount of time fathers are spending with their children–tripling since 1965.  Changes in the workforce demographics showcased a need for this national dialogue such as the The White House Conference on Working Fathers which was held recently (June 9th) in Washington, D.C.  Fathers are fighting a stigma (just like working mothers have been in recent years) as they seek ways to use workplace flexibility to help them balance work and home life.

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The stigma concerns the perception that fathers who are looking for this flexibility (in everything from increased paternity leave and reduced work schedules to workplace parenting workshops) are not putting the company first.  Setting boundaries (such as leaving work at a reasonable time to make it home for dinner) might be perceived as a lack of commitment to their work goals or performance,  rather than what it really is — leadership, and a father’s commitment to loving his family.

According to a study by the Boston College Center for Work & Family, fathers are beginning to assert their needs and “see themselves as responsible for both the emotional and financial needs of their children.”  According to this Wall Street Journal article, employers (such as Ford and American Express) are starting to respond to this trend by offering workplace policies which promote flexibility.  But as Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute says here in Huffington Post, there’s a lot of work to be done, and eliminating this stigma needs to be a collaboration between business and what public policy demands.

Wise and progressive business leaders will pay attention to understanding the diverse needs of their employees by offering workplace flexibility.  This is because studies have shown (see this study, summary on page 2) that workforce flexibility makes for happier employees who are energized, engaged, less stressed, and show loyalty to their employers.

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In my book The Shared-Meal Revolution, I offer that “The idea of approaching a supervisor about work-life balance may seem intimidating, but if you don’t do it, who will?”  

The truth is to make work and family live peacefully coexist, and preserve family time in activities such as a daily shared-meal ritual, families have to work together.  No one can or should go it alone!

fathers-day-dinner

Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing fathers who are working towards the goal of being present and active in the well-being of their family.

Fathers-Day-Wishes

 

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If you’d like to read more about how to create a shared-meal ritual for your family, and join The Shared-Meal Revolution, please visit my website.

 

 

 

 

 

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