The family that dines together gets along fine together, reports The Week.
As Bruce Feiler writes in his book, The Secrets of Happy Families:
A recent wave of research shows that children who eat dinner with their families are less likely to drink, smoke, do drugs, get pregnant, commit suicide, and develop eating disorders. Additional research found that children who enjoy family meals have larger vocabularies, better manners, healthier diets, and higher self-esteem.
. . . a University of Michigan report . . . discovered that the amount of time children spent eating meals at home was the single biggest predictor of better academic achievement and fewer behavioral problems. Mealtime was more influential than time spent in school, studying, attending religious services, or playing sports.
Knowing family history predicts a child’s emotional well-being, according to an Emory study. Children who know the family stories — including “natural ups and downs” — are more confident and more convinced they can “control their world,” says Feiler.