No matter how many times a week you have family dinner, make it a point to make the most of those moments.
One of the ways to do that is to start by banning cell phones, and then to spark good conversation with some questions that will hopefully loosen everyone up and get them talking. Or if your family has no problem talking, questions will provide some fun conversations for you and your kids.
Some of the best conversations we’ve had as a family have been around the dinner table as we all answered a question that was posed. You could even take turns letting family members come up with the question.
These questions are a start, and hopefully you can begin thinking up some of your own.
- What made you laugh today?
- What would you do tomorrow if someone gave you a million dollars today?
- If you had today to do over, what would you do differently?
- If you had to live on a desert island for three months and were only allowed to bring three things, what would they be?
- What two things do you think that you are very good at?
- What does a perfect day look like to you?
- What did you do to help someone else today?
- What do you think makes our family special?
- What makes a great friend?
- What would you do if you were president?
- If you could trade places with your parents for a day, what would you do differently?
- If you could see your future, where would you be in 10 years?
- What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
- What is your favorite family tradition?
- What is your earliest memory?
- If you could travel back or forward in time, where would you go?
- If you were invisible for a day, where would you want to be?
- If you could make one rule that everyone in the world had to follow, what would that rule be?
- What do you think your first job will be?
- If you could choose any way to spend a family night at home, what would the family be doing?
The point of these questions is to get your family talking, and listening to each other. This does not have to be a teaching moment or a family meeting where issues must be discussed. This should be fun and thought-provoking, with absolutely no agenda other than getting your family to talk and connect with each other.
Limit one question per meal and remember that this is not the time for you to critique your child’s answers, or correct what you may think is a “bad answer.”
What if 2021 were to be the year that you really became intentional about your family dinner conversations? It’s okay to start with one a week, just take that first step and start!
As your family gets into the habit, I’m pretty sure you will start to see some great conversations happen. And be patient, if they don’t. Some nights will produce great talks, and some nights won’t. It’s okay. Every dinner doesn’t have to be a home run.