One of my client's was the only female in the household with a husband and several young boys and she didn't feel supported by all the male energy around her. In a purposeful (seemed casual) way, I asked her where the family sat for dinner. (Mind you, there was a gorgeous, large wood dining table right next to the kitchen in an open floor plan.)
Her response: They sit around the kitchen counter, and well, she usually stands because all of the stools are taken and she doesn't mind. Sometimes, she drags in a stool from her husband's office/pool table room. (Yes, I don't make this up).
Although it's hard for us to see the impact of our behavior and living patterns, it is usually pretty obvious that there are issues with this situation.
First, sitting at a counter should be reserved for quick, on-the-go meals. The counter for dining symbolizes "fast food;" not the best symbolism for daily family dinners.
Second, the fact that she stands most of the time or drags a stool in from another room shows that she is putting herself in a lower rank in the family. No wonder she doesn't feel supported!
My suggestion: move the daily dinner routine into the dining room – only four feet away from the kitchen and place yourself at the head of the table opposite your spouse. This symbolizes equal footing in the marriage, supporting the children equally.
I am certainly no exception. When I first studied Feng Shui, I had a consultation with one of my teachers. My kitchen table was round – which is great for unity, equality and conversation – so there was no problem there. However, we had built-in bench seating on one side of the table and chairs on the opposite side of the table. The chairs were definitely more comfortable than the benches where our children sat. This symbolized a disadvantage for the children.
She suggested that we simply move the table away from the wall and place all four chairs around the table as was designed. I hesitated doing this because I thought that my husband and children would be annoyed, but I did it nonetheless. That evening, everyone sat around the table and said that they liked it much better!
I listened into a Feng Shui master speak a few weeks ago and she brought the subject up of family seating at meals. She talked about the "power" that the each seat conveys. We know that the seat at the head of the table represents the "power position," which was typically reserved for the male head of household (not so much anymore). This is because this position is more in command of the room.
Sometimes, a child will be in this position, which would convey too much power to that child, inappropriate to their place in the family. Sometimes children, or a parent are in a position of subordination (in a seat were there is no one across from them).
Where does your family sit?
Photo credit: familymealideas.com