The Shakespares – keeping tradition alive at the table
LONGVILLE PARK, Clarendon:
More and more, the modern family is finding it hard to sit down at the table and enjoy their meal together.
For Roydell and Andrea Shakespare, dining is a practice they insist on keeping up. The parents of two young children - Danielle and Taje - they ensure that at least that aspect of their family life stays intact.
Roydell, who is sometimes away from the home due to his job obligations, looks forward to those precious moments when he eats with his family around the table.
"I think, as a family, when you dine together, it shows a sense of unity and togetherness. It also enforces discipline," he told Family & Religion.
For the head of the household, it's also a way to teach his children to "dance a yard, before they can dance abroad."
He said he ensures that they eat in a formal setting so when the time comes to eat at a function, they will not feel out of place.
Andrea, his wife, keeps up the family time with the children even when her husband is on the job.
For her, it's a carryover from what her parents taught her.
"Growing up, there wasn't a time when we didn't have meals around the table as a family .... so it was natural for me to do the same thing," she said.
For her, it is also a way of catching up on what's going on in her children's lives. "It's at the dinner table I ask them about their day and find out if there is anything bugging them. It's a good way of catching up on the day's events," Andrea told Family & Religion.
Andrea is imploring more families to resume the practice as, she says, it is one that will bring them closer together.
"You would be surprised at how a simple meal together can bond you as a family. Realistically, sometimes that's the only real 'down time' you can have too."
With the challenge of making two ends meet, many parents go to work, come home late, have the kids to deal with, so it's always a life on the go.
"If that's the only time you can carve out for yourselves - do it - it is worth the effort," are Roydell's words of wisdom.