Germans and Americans Talk: Part 3, Chapter 10 Angela Bohne in English: Family Meals.
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I grew up eating dinner as a family and i think that the family’s that just go there separate ways are less connected. I feel that i can talk with my family about anything because we had that connection growing up, whereas if that connection is not there then the kids will not be as willing to share information that should be important to family matters.
I think i grew up with the best of both worlds. My family ate at the dinner table when we were young. Excpet for my father, he usually ate in front of the TV. I have an extremely big and extremely close family! I think it’s because we have always been brought up as a village. My grandmother always said it takes a village to raise a child. We have always had this family pride. Where you know no matter what we will always be there for eachother! Now, as far as German Families i know from my trip over there that family dinners are mandatory. I stayed with my former exchange student and her family when i visited. The first night we ate a big grand dinner in the formal dinning room with wine, four courses, and desert, and more wine. Anna used to tell me when she lived here that every night no matter your plans you had to be home to eat dinner with the family. They just knew not to make plans. Here she saw us eating together yes, but my mom also had “fin for yourself night” where she didnt care what you ate or when you ate it as long as she didnt have to cook it or clean it up! hahahaa I think it was nice though becuase it did teach us how to well fin for ourselves…..
Well, growing up my family always used to eat together. But, as we got older and got jobs, went to school, ect… we stopped that practice except for Sunday nights. Before I got married, my family had a “fend for yourself” law instilled, so our dinners usually consisted off Taco Bell and Sonic. Now that I am married we eat together, but it is not necessarily a home cooked meal.
When I have children I want to have the family dinners. I think it makes a family closer and a more connected unit. When my family did have dinner together I loved it. I hope that my future family will have dinners together as well.
I did not stay with a family when I was in Germany so I was unaware of the fact that dinner was that important. I grew up in a family that worked different shifts. I remember having to be really quiet all of the time so I would not wake someone up. Saturday night is free for all but Sunday is still family dinner night. The funny thing is that Sunday night dinner is served around 9pm most of the time to meet everyones schedule.
Oh goodness, I can’t stand my family enough to be so “involved” with them. I know that there are a lot of people who think this is the best way to do this, but my brother is usually out with friends when the dinner bell rings, and my Dad isn’t very connected with supper at all. I usually spend supper with my Mom in front of the TV watching the Rangers.
Still, when we go back home out in west Texas, we always eat all of our meals together. My Mom grew up like that in town. My Dad was always working on the farm so he got used to just grabbing whatever he could find. Maybe that’s where the difference is…
My family must be German, because since I was little and my mom and her mom were little we have always had family meals. You would talk about your day and then other family member would. I remember my mom talking about her day with me and I didn’t understand I word of it cause I was seven and she was talking about helicopters and their yokes, but I was so happy that we all were together. My parents got divorce when I was 13 but we still had family dinners, with my mom, sister and me. I couldn’t imagine not having family dinner, that would be odd to me. It still is not living at home, sometimes I just go over to my parents house to have dinner, or I will call my mother around dinner time and tell her about my day. The Germans have this one right for me, I think it is very important in raising your kids to have family time because it show that they care and want to hear how you are doing.
As children, my family spent all sorts of time together:taking meals, seeing movies, going on trips, and such. Everyone has irregular work hours in my family, so eating meals together only happens occasionally, but they are nice when they happen.
Eventually though, as you get older (and the keys to the car) friends take a higher precedence. I feel like its a natural progression to start branching out and spending less time at home, what with the jobs and social obligations that coe with age.
With my family, when I was home we would always eat together. Now granted it would sometimes be in front of the TV, but if we were home, we were eating together. It was just understood that way. Now if I was invited over to eat at a friends house it was OK as well. But we also did talk about our day, it wasn’t always over dinner, but we did talk. But once I got older and had girlfriends and jobs, I ate at home less and less. And now that I’m living on my own I very rarely eat with my parents. But if I ever am home, I definitely do.
I think the idea of family needs to be awakened in our American culture, and I love the classic attitude of family they seem to have. I would suggest they need to become more with the times, and learn to expand the family communication structure or they will suffer. but it is refreshing in a country that eats in front of the TV to know this is not the norm in the rest of the world.
It seems like I always eat with my parents whenever I am at home. Rarely is it with a TV on, generally it is always in the dining room. It seems like too often in these days people do not spend enough time with their families…I mean how hard is it to spend one meal together? This is coming from someone still living with his parents though, so…
I dont see that much differences with Americans and Germans when it comes to eating together and getting involved with everyone in the family. Growing up I always eat with my grandpa, grandma and my parents on a daily basis and we usually talk a lot over meals about how we spent our day and our thoughts on a particular subject. My grandpa loved making political commentary over dinner, while the TV was on.
I have a really intimate relationship with my family, and I love sharing how everything’s going on, who I’m seeing and how I really feel about something. I love it this way:) Even though I am now on my own, I still try to have some family get-together and get a grasp of how everyone’s doing. I think having close family bond can shape optimistic world view for kids.
Maybe it’s just the southern way in which i was raised but when my sister and i were younger we would all sit down and have dinner with no tv. My sister and i helped my parents make dinner and clean up. We talked about school and friends and everything. As we got older and were more involved with friends, sports and school activites i’ll admit many dinners were on the fly but now that we’re older we all get together on Sundays and have a family dinner and talk about our week. I really like that about my family and I hope to keep that tradition going. I think it’s sad to see people, when they gat home, go there seperate ways with their fast food and not talk to each other.
When I and my three siblings were younger, our family always ate dinner together. And even though that’s gotten more difficult over the years–what with jobs and college, we still have at least one meal together every week. Honestly, it seems strange to me for families not to do that, haha.
I agree with what the lady said in the interview. I blieve that most American families do not discuss things with each other like I believe they should. I used my family would have done that when I was growing up. It would have made life a bit easy to understand and to deal with if I heard the reasons for things and why people to talk things out.
I would agree that American families don’t really sit down to meals together that often, and it’s usually a special occasion when they do. The way I see it, there are just certain things you don’t want to talk about with your parents or even your siblings. In my experience, when I have a meal at home with friends, we sit around the table and talk. When I have a meal at home with my family, the food is prepared, and we eat it at our leisure, not around the table usually. In fact there have been times when the food was prepared, and each individual member of the family ate hours apart. It’s just a different dynamic, parents hold a different station than friends, and so the conversation would be different.
I think it is very prevalent that other families around the world are much closer than families in the United States are. This applies true to my family in Korea; whereas, family reunions with family here in the states are kind of awkward. (Awkward; defined as: meeting new people; family members that have never existed in the entirety of my life, and checking out and finding out that ‘HotGirl’ is actually my third cousin).
Besides that side point, although the modern world lives a very fast pace life, other cultures still give respect to the family a whole lot more than us in the United States.
My family never ate dinner seperatly. If someone cooked it was for the whole family and we would share the meal. If someone went out to get food we still ate together. Once I became more involved with football and working I would eat away from the house but never alone in the hosue. We are a close family. I even got lucky with great roommates who also had close families. We all ate dinner togehter tonight just like we would have with our own blood. Its nice that way. I think this is something the Germans are getting right and something we are missing.
I found this interesting because when I was young, we had dinner as a family almost everyday and we all discussed what was going on in our lives. It was very much like that of the german families described. But, around the time I started going to high school, things changed. We slowly had less and less time for family stuff. Its kinda sad to think about now but we really grew apart over those years. But everyones schedules are different and sometimes you cant avoid it
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