“I think the family unit is the most important thing in Australia today,” said Family Week Patron, Mrs Mary Wagner. “And as time goes on it’s getting more important because so many of our young ones are displaced and suffer because they don’t have family support.”
Mary said she believed the most important thing a family could do was to share their meals together.
“When you spend quality time together around the table, you get a sense of any problems or that your children aren’t happy. It creates a great bond with your children that stays with them for life,” she said.
Extensive research has found there is a marked improvement in child vocabulary, academic achievements and behaviour when families eat together at the dinner table. It has also been found to be better for your family’s physical health, emotional relationships and financial budget.
Many of the events this year run by community organisations, schools, and churches highlighted the ‘Come to the Table Together’ theme by organising activities that encouraged families to spend time together eating around tables.
Local cafes along Margaret Street got on board by allowing special Family Week tables to be placed on the walk ways outside their premises.
The tables not only encouraged families to sit down and spend time together, but they also became works of art as they were painted on by artists and then added to by families as they sat around them to enjoy their food and drinks.
The Family Week committee have been promoting the ‘Come to the Table Together’ theme all year through their TV commercials, in the hope that it becomes part of regular family life.
For more information on the research behind the theme visit www.familyweek.com.au.