How full is your bucket?

May 3rd, 2013 by Live Well Omaha Kids

By Kay Grant, Healthy Families Coordinator

Back in the 1940’s and 50’s, sitting at the dinner table used to be a June Cleaver/Donna Reed type of daily ritual.  But, times have changed.  Americans are ooutdoor_familydinnern the go, go, go.  While we’ve gained a lot of headway with modern conveniences such as cell phones, microwaves, and computers, we’ve lost a little of our personal connections with our families, and that has consequences not only on our health, but with how we relate to each other as well.

Did you know, that families who eat together are:

  • more likely to develop deeper, more meaningful social relationships
  • more likely to have higher than average performance in school (and work!)
  • more likely to make healthy choices regarding nutrition
  • less likely to have teens become sexually active at an early age

And dining as a family doesn’t have to mean pulling out the “good china and silverware” and folding fancy napkins (I’m a big fan of paper plates- dishes that do themselves! How’s that for a modern convenience!?).  Family dining just means that the family has input on what is prepared, how it’s prepared, and enjoys what is prepared together as a family.  And, now that you’ve prepared the meal, and sat down to the dinner table…. (GASP!) what do you talk about?

Here’s an idea. Gallup has developed a pretty neat idea of “How full is your bucket?”  The concept being everyone has a bucket that is filled with the positive things that people say to them, good things that happen to them, or when you do something nice for someone else; and it’s emptied by negative comments or things that don’t go your way.  In Healthy Families, we’ve taken this idea a step further, to use actual buckets (the small tin novelty kind- they’re $1 at places like Target and the Dollar Stores!) so that families can jot down ideas during the day such as, words of motivation, an inspiring quote you want to share, something that may be bothering you, ideas of places to go on vacation, and the list can go on and on.  You can even include things you saw on your social media accounts!  This bucket can be the centerpiece of the dining table, and when everyone sits down to eat, you can pull out as many topics of discussion as you want.  A “never-ending” supply of things to talk about!

As you encourage our children to try new things as they grow, if you aren’t already dining as a family, we encourage you to try it.  It just may become a family ritual, and you’ll be surprised by how it can enrich your life.

Take the family dining pledge here

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