So we all know that eating together at dinner time is great for children. But that means actually cooking something (ok, my husband does the shopping and cooking, he respectfully wants me to point out, so I can't use not cooking as an excuse!), finding a way for your two year old to actually sit down for dinner, or figuring out what your four year old eats so she can actually eat dinner. Then there's the making sure all family members are off their smart phones. We sat down for dinner together every night growing up, but that's a hard feat in this day and age, you know?
The other day I found my young family all together at the dinner table. After five, "please sit downs," three, "please eat three bites of broccoli," and then finishing my dinner with no one at the table, I remembered a fun conversation starter our Miami cousins use to talk about the day.
They began asking three questions when their daughter was two years old and their son was four. Surprisingly she dominated the dinner conversation and no one got the chance to speak! Little diva! Then they had twins and they started the process again, even with the twins in high chairs. They got a chance to babble and everyone had a fair chance to be heard. When their only child cousin comes to visit, she started dominating the conversation, but learned how to share time with her four cousins! Its a great way to encourage sharing about their day, especially as school starts in Duval County this week.
If you're busy with sports, do a lightning round. If you want to change it up, change a question around or let the kids pick a question. It is so interesting to hear what the kids say! Usually it is not what you think so it is nice to see their different perspective. Here are the three questions you should ask at dinner:
1. What was the happiest part of your day?
2. What was the saddest part of your day?
3. What was the funniest part of your day?
Change it up with, "If you had one super power, what would it be and why?" Or, "What are you most looking forward to tomorrow?"
We're going to consistently try these three questions at least three times per night this year. I'm hoping one day we will have great dinner conversation. Then later when they visit other homes they can learn to have great talks with other families, when we have visitors they can contribute to conversation, that it will help with speech class in school and group presentations further along in their careers. But right now, we'll stick with, "My saddest part of the day was when you made us leave the jump arena!"
What questions do you ask at dinner time? Please share below!
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