Technology has changed the way we work and live, and many time-honoured traditions have fallen by the wayside as a result. Snail mail has been bypassed for the instant responses of email and texting. Posting messages on social media to be read on smart phones and tablets has replaced face-to-face conversations.
Smart Phones Not The First Villain
While this latter habit is relatively recent, it had its beginnings when television arrived in our homes. So powerful was its attraction that whole families began eating their meals in front of the box. Any attempt to talk over the program being aired was greeted with a collective “shush”.
Learning Small Talk Takes Practice
What we began to lose then, which has continued to this day, was practice at establishing a personal connection with others. As a result, we have a whole generation of young people who struggle to make small talk, to instigate a dialogue with someone interesting or just to tell the family what happened during their day.
Here at Craftbuilt Kitchens, we believe this is one of the reasons for much of the family discontent that pervades our society. It is also a waste of one of the most important rooms in the home. We design and build spectacular kitchens that are meant to be used and enjoyed as the centre of the home, not just admired from afar.
Family Dinners Once A Seat of Learning
Previously, the family dinner table was the place to air your views, tell funny stores, share dreams and aspirations, or just bemoan the cost of living. Children informed their parents that they needed new shoes, made the school choir or the football team and kicked their siblings under the table to get them into trouble.
The family dinner was where we learnt table manners and the right cutlery to use with each dish. We were taught to eat with our mouths closed and to ask permission if we wanted to leave the table. But we also learnt much more.
Problems Shared, History Uncovered
We learnt to share our experiences, even the difficult ones, and felt a burden lifted because it had been shared. We heard snippets of family history, giving us a sense of belonging and place. We discovered that we could have spirited debates and still be respectful.
New Family Dinners Need New Kitchens
Much has been lost since we stopped having regular family dinners. Busy people who are aware of this and re-instigated them have seen positive changes in family interaction. To make the occasion more exciting, some households have also decided to renovate their old, tired kitchens to make these gatherings more attractive to everyone.
We work with them to design their dream kitchens then work our magic to make it happen. Every family dinner we reinstate is another opportunity to build those important, lasting relationships.