Many times when a conversation sounds like a lecture, a child can clam up. Word your questions to encourage conversation and avoid answers like “good”, “okay” and “fine.”
How do you get a conversation started? Start with “What was the best part of your day?” Listen to everyone’s response and follow up with questions after everyone is finished talking. Include yourself in this exercise. In my family, we each go around the table and share a “rose” and a “thorn.” It’s the best and worst of what happened on that particular day. Some days this can be a truly eye opening experience. Not only are you actively encouraging conversation and showing interest but you could also uncover potential or current problems.
Ask about current events. If you have a sports fan in the family, engage in a conversation on the most recent game, match or contest. Showing an interest in what your children like will help them open up on other issues.
It’s a heated campaign season and most of us have had a conversation or two about the men and women running for President of the United States. Ask your kids what they’d do if they were running for Commander in Chief. Their answers may surprise you and can be the launching pad for more meaningful discussions.
Ask what three people your child would invite to dinner and why. Once the guest list is announced, figure out what you’d serve the guests and how you think they’d all get along.
Plan your dinners together. Not only will you be creating conversation but you can include nutritional information to teach healthy eating habits and choices.
Dinner conversations can serve as a great time to bond, a way to learn something new and help develop a child’s language skills. Sit down, relax and show the ones you love what they mean to you.
What are some dinner conversation ideas you use?