The meal at the end of the day is a great time for families to re-connect and make family memories that last. Relaxing around the table, visiting and enjoying a delicious meal is something the generations before us enjoyed and spent an enormous amount of time doing so. Families today have many conflicting schedules and tasks to be completed that many are unable to connect at the end of the day and have those nightly sit-down meals. So on those nights when everyone is at the dinner table, take advantage of the togetherness while teaching kids the art of how to have a conversation.
The perfect opportunity to improve social skills
The art of conversation is where everyone gets to chime in and share their story. In addition, it is the perfect opportunity for children to improve their social skills, practice how to speak in turn and focus on the person that is talking, and even expand their vocabulary. The skill sets of conversation are often taught in school curriculum and can be a great life lesson for parents to reinforce at home at the dinner table. As parents, we all agree that our children are the light of our lives, but dinner conversations should be about more than just the happenings in our children’s daily experiences. Kids can learn so much listening to parents sharing the fun and challenging events of their work day, and in return kids can share the fun and challenging events of their school day.
It’s important that kids learns how conversations can be fun.
Asking the questions can be as easy as going around the table and everyone gets to ask someone a question. Another idea is to have each member of the family put ten questions in a container that will be used as the dinner table each night, or even purchase some fun conversation starter games geared toward kids. As the weeks go by, you will see the conversations gets longer and more and more fun and quirky. But no need to purposefully keep the conversation light and humorous at all times.
Every discussion can be positive.
Sometimes the conversation can get serious (about a child’s struggles with classwork or a friendship, or a parent changing jobs), and sometimes sad (about the illness or loss of a loved one). More important than the nourishing, delicious meal that is served is the conversation that goes round and round the dinner table night after night. After all, this is just what the dinner table was created for, and what the generations before us knew how to do so well; that having a great meal along with great conversation is the foundation for developing strong family relationships and friendships.
Here are a few quirky questions tonight to keep the conversation fun and non-stop :
- · What was the funniest thing that happened at school/work today?
- · What Superhero would you want to be?
- · If you got to change your first name what would it be and why?
- · Make a sound that represents a Jungle Animal.
- · What was the neatest act of kindness you saw today?
- · What was the most interesting thing you learned in school today?
- · If you could be any color crayon, what would it be?
- · If you had to eat one food the rest of your life, what would it be and why?