Believe it or not, on some days I can actually make it through without anything gross happening! I thought those would be good days to post on other children rearing topics. I know…I know…it’s much more fun to be grossed out so I hope you can bare with me. I think today’s topic can help out some other mommies so I thought it was worth posting.
For those of you that don’t know, I am a mother of five children. All girls ages 10, 8, 6, 3 and 1. While I would not have it any other way, having a larger than average family can be challenging, especially at dinner time. While the noise level is generally high most of the time it is more concentrated when we are all together in the dinning room for dinner. This can make for a very stressful dinner for my husband and I. It can be hard to enjoy your dinner and a nice conversation with the loud chatter in the background.
Ten years ago, while I was pregnant with my first child, a friend of my family passed away. I was given all her china. I thought it was too beautiful to use and until a few years ago it stayed stored in the boxes I brought it home in. I don’t host dinner parties so I thought, “why not use these beautiful plates for our dinners?” So that is what I started doing. When my husband can actually be home for dinner, we all get together and set the table with the beautiful plates. The kids love it and think it is so much fun.
So a couple of weeks ago I got this hair-brain idea that not only would I set the table with the beautiful plates and place mats and cloth napkins but that we would also eat by candlelight. My husband thought I was joking and the idea made him laugh. But I said, “why not, it will be fun.” So I light a candle, set it in the middle of the table and turned out the dining room light.
My girls thought it was just the coolest thing ever. To my surprise, the darkened room actually reduced the noise level that we normally experience at dinner time. I know some of you are thinking, “well duh!” and I agree with you. I was kicking myself and thinking “WHY have I not thought of this before!” It didn’t cut the noise out completely but it did lower the girls voices to a soft talking versus the loud talking voices that I imagine all kids use.
Tuesdays is my husband’s day off from work because he works on Saturdays. Usually he goes into work in the morning but comes home early. So we were able to have dinner together last night. The girls we are bit high strung after school and it continued until dinner time. They were very loud at the table and John was having a hard time dealing with the noise. All of a sudden he says to me, “do we have a candle?? I don’t think I’m in the mood to deal with the noise.” That’s the same person that thought I was crazy for introducing the candle at our last sit down!
I am thinking the candle will be best for those days when the kids just can not settle down on their own. Otherwise I think if I use the candle all the time they will become used to it and it will not have the same calming effect on them than if we just use it occasionally. The next time your kids are out of control at the dinner table, try a candlelight dinner, the effects may just surprise you.