With so many families living hectic lives, on conflicting schedules, it's difficult to find the time to sit down and have meaningful conversation. Coming together as a family at the end of the day allows families to discuss the day's events, catch up on each other's lives, bring up possible issues with school and work and enjoy the company of family members. Family dinner conversations can give family members a great deal of insight into relationships, personalities and general family dynamics.
Compile Some Conversation StartersMost conversation among family members comes naturally. But there are times when you might need a bit of prompting. Creating conversation starters helps dialogue begin and continue smoothly.
Designate a weekend to create, as a family, a conversation starter box. Purchase an index card file box and index cards. Give each family member a few cards and have them write down some conversation topic ideas. Young children can draw pictures or have adults help with spelling and writing. Decorate the outside of the box with stickers, rhinestone, glitter, etc.
Conversation Starter Subject IdeasIt's always interesting to know how other people see you. A good way to do this is through reverse role play. Pick a family member and switch roles. Moms and dads will gain insight into how their children view them and the same will be true for the children. Just be sure to refrain from excessive teasing. You're going for an atmosphere of good-natured ribbing and fun.
Some other fun conversation starters to choose might be:
- What famous athlete would you like to be?
- If you could change one rule at school, work or home, what would it be?
- If you could be any age, what age would you be?
Taking Turns Can Be FunTo avoid the problem of everyone trying to talk at the same time, members should take turns. A fun way to do this is by using a hat, talking stick or other unique item that shows whose turn it is. To make it more interesting, decorate the hat or talking stick together. For example, you can use pins, patches or fish hooks for hats. And decorate sticks with feathers, leather cord and bells.
Some Additional TipsCreating the right atmosphere at dinner time is important and will be conducive to family conversation. Turning off cell phones, televisions and other electronic equipment eliminates distractions and allows family members to concentrate on conversation.