I’m one of those folks who passionately promotes the family dinner table. It seems a lost art these days. The other day, my daughter came home from an event where her teachers had several kids over for dinner. This event begged the question, “What do you do for dinner each night?”
Sophie was the only kid who ate with her family every night.
Other times, friends of my kids would say things like, “I really wish we could have dinner as a family.” Or “I get my own dinner.” Or “We never eat dinner together.” They say this with a wistfulness, a longing.
I understand our crazy culture of do-do-do, go-go-go. I am fully entrenched in it. But the rewards of making dinner a priority have far outweighed anything we’d like to accomplish outside the family circle.
I don’t do everything right as a parent (great understatement!). But one thing we’ve done well is sharing a meal together every night. It grounds us. Centers us. Brings us together. I pray I’ve instilled that same desire with my kids, so that when they grow up and have their own families, they’ll be just as counter-cultural and dare to eat dinner together every night.
I developed the conversation starters in 150 Quick Questions to Get Your Kids Talking while we were driving home from vacation. I grew tired of the game high/low around our table where we all shared the high of our day and our low. This had become monotonous. So I came up with 150 conversation starters to jumpstart our family of five’s chatty interaction around our table. The result? It worked! We learned so much more about each other in those 150 days.
Consider this from my book You Can Raise Confident Kids: “The more we value conversation and discourse, the more we cultivate discussion in our home, the better equipped our children will be. Some have called this developing our child’s ‘emotional intelligence,’ helping them to be able to interact in any situation. As we engage our children, we nurture this type of intelligence, where children learn instinctively how to think about the world and how to interact with the people in it.”
Parents like you are to be applauded for seeking to bring the family back together for fostering conversation, for deepening the emotional intelligence of your kids. Enjoy these conversation starters that will get you talking.
If you could live in any time period, which period would you choose? Why?
If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world this summer, where would you go? Why?
What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
What do you think your parents were like when they were your age?
Who is the funniest person you know? Why is he/she funny?