My family consists of four very independent souls, each of whom has his or her own interests. Even though we are often home at the same time, we aren’t always in the same room or even involved in the same activities. I think that many of today’s families can probably identify with this phenomenon.
However, it’s very important, not only for adults, but especially for children, to connect with one’s family. Today less and less families are doing so—in fact, some people barely even know those with whom they should be most familiar. Families these days must be intentional in making and maintaining these connections. It’s all too easy to get involved in and distracted by our everyday lives, leaving our families in some distant and abstract place in the back of our minds.
I think we must take our families back. In my family, we sit down to dinner together, each and every night. We sit at our dining room table, usually freshly set by my oldest son, and usually topped off by a homemade dinner I’ve cooked. We still sit together on the rare occasions that we grab fast food. We practice our best table manners, and we talk to one another about our days. We try to keep the conversation positive, and we make a point of involving each of our kids in our discussions.
When we started family dinner time, I felt restricted and overwhelmed by it. After all, for all of my adult life, I’d been sitting on the couch or floor or standing at the kitchen counter to eat. I resisted the change, and argued with my husband about it. Thank goodness he stood strong, though, for today, I couldn’t do without it. And I know that we are doing something good for our boys, just by being together for an hour or two each day as a family.
Don’t get me wrong, that’s not the ONLY thing we do as a family, but it is something we do each and every day, regardless of the day, and it’s consistent. After all, you gotta eat. Why not do it with people you love?
So, I want to make a plea to all mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends, and families of all kinds. Bring your family back to the table! I promise, even if it feels awkward at first, you will find that it will bring them closer to your heart as well.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.