What do you talk about at dinner with your kids?
Do you have dinner together as a family?
Hey y’all, Tiffany here.
We didn’t use to. Many times, Phillip would come home from work and I would head to the couch to blog whilehe fed the kids. With my Crohn’s disease and gastroparesis, eating is kind of painful, so I usually just don’t.
However, the last few months I have been feeling the urge to have dinner with my family. I miss the fun family dinners I had as a kid, and I know that if I want to have them when my kids are older, I need to build the habit now.
So I started staying out at the table with my family, but it got a little boring watching everyone eat while I twiddled my thumbs. Sure, the kids would tell Daddy about their day, but then conversation would just die down.
I have to be honest – this stage of parenting (with the kids ages 5 and 2) is not something I am naturally good at. I mean, there’s a reason why I taught middle school instead of elementary school!!
I tried looking up ideas on conversation starters with kids (gotta love Pinterest!), but I just couldn’t find much beyond the typical, “What was your favorite part of the day?” questions.
Until one day, I found the answer.
It’s a game called 52 Essential Conversations, and y’all, it is incredible.
It was developed by my new friend, Jenny, who is a Harvard researcher and mom of three.
This deck of cards has more than just a conversation starter on each card. It opens the doorway to understanding your child’s thinking and allows you to discuss deep morals and principles without it feeling like a lecture.
I now actually look forward to dinner time! I love getting into my kids’ heads and hearing how they view the world. Many times we have to simplify the questions because of their ages, but that means we can ask them again and again as they grow older!
It also helps my kids eat better – they are focused on the questions and discussion, so they don’t have time to be bored and say they’re full because they want to play.
Our dinners are full of laughter, discussion, and contemplation. It’s exactly what I was looking for when I was searching for ideas on Pinterest, and even more!
Here are some of my favorite conversation starters we’ve had:
Describe a time you got really mad. Role play what you said or did.
Imagine that you time traveled back a year and saw your younger self. What advice would you give yourself?
Finish the sentence: “Once upon a time….” Next person adds a sentence to the story. Repeat until everyone adds at least five sentences each.
Describe a time when you made a decision or did something on your own. How did it feel?
What does it mean to be in control of your life? A pet’s? How do you convince someone to trust you with this responsibility?
What are some things that you have or do that some of your friends don’t? How did you get them? What is the difference between luck and privilege?
Because these questions are actually on a full deck of cards, you can use them to enhance your card games! Play War with your child, but with an extra twist!
What’s even more, our conversations outside of the dinner table have improved as well, even though we’re not using the prompts! Whether in the car or at the store, we’re talking to each other more, about more important things. I’m more patient with my kids’ questions (even “why?”), and my kids ask more thoughtful questions about the world around them.
And we have good news for you! Because these games are so amazing, and we want to share them with you, we have a coupon code for you!
Use the code 15shopcart on Jenny’s website HERE and get $5 off your price (only valid through 9/15/18)
Trust us, these are amazing, and will make a tremendous difference in your conversations with your children!