Research has shown that sharing regular meals with family while having beneficial conversation is essential to developing social skills and leads to less behavioral problems for adolescents. Meal time wrought with heavy discussion and negativity can have negative effects, not only emotionally, but physiologically as well (digestion problems).
Robin Fox, an anthropologist who teaches at Rutgers University in New Jersey, shares about the mysterious way that family dinner engraves our souls. “A meal is about civilizing children. It’s about teaching them to be a member of their culture.” Read more in Time Magazine
Therapy has its place in therapeutic environments. Therapy becomes too much when it is unbalanced, invading play time and meal time. Field staff can serve as role models and reinforce positive light conversation during meal time to optimize digestion and socialization for students.