Egyptians are a lot of things; we’re friendly, funny, often called lazy but one thing all Egyptians or anybody that has lived in Egypt can agree on is that Egyptian culture has a lot of embedded family traditions. Whether it’s birthdays, holidays or simply on a random Friday, Egyptians prioritise family gatherings as the most significant unit in society. Besides indulging in amazing food, family gatherings help foster exceptional character traits as well as socio-emotional skills to your child.
Create healthy eating habits
Is your child a fussy eater? By watching close family eating different kinds of food at meal-time, this can highly encourage your child to explore different tastes and textures too. You are your child’s most important model and they learn from you. Sitting together over meal times allows your child to learn to eat what their family eats. Research shows that when the family sits over a healthy meal, children are more likely to eat their vegetables than if they are eating alone. If table manners are important to you, family meal-time is also a great chance to lead by example good table manners.
Positive impact on child’s values and self-esteem
Family meals provide a sense of security and togetherness. This helps foster children into healthy, well-rounded adults. When conversations that usually goes around during meal-time are focused on each member of the family this allows them to fulfill their constant need of feeling significance and belonging. A decrease in high-risk behavior is heavily correlated to the amount of time spent with family, especially over family meals. Conversations over family meals also allow children to learn and practices vital social and emotional skills of listening, taking turns and better expressing themselves.
Learn to respect family, specifically elders
Although respecting elders is common throughout the world, Egyptian culture normalizes visiting the elders of family regularly. Children exposed to their grandparents on a regular basis are taught early on to demonstrate compassion. The elderly often need assistance and gentle guidance and modeling such care towards children embeds core traits as kindness and empathy.
Here’s some tips to get the most benefits out of your family meal-time:
- Discuss your child’s day, events and feelings by expressing interest
- Encourage your child to contribute- don’t undervalue their ability to initiate a conversation.
- Turn off television, radio and keep mobile phones use to a minimal
- Have family lunches with your immediate 4-5 times a week
- Include healthy food on the table as much as possible to encourage a nutritious intake and healthy eating habits.