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Take it to the Table – Using the Kitchen Table to Connect With Your Kids

August 13th, 2014     By Boys Town Contributor, Mother of six-year-old daughter and four-year-old son

At The Table, Connecting with Kids, Mealtime

Dinnertime is one of my favorite times at home. I grew up in a house where we always had dinner as a family and that tradition has carried in to my family today. It has become a place where we can hear about everyone’s day, talk about upcoming events and even teach table manners. It has become a place to teach my kids how to communicate with others, how to be patient and listen. It allows me, as the parent, to hear about what is going on in the lives of my children.

To get the conversation going at our house we ask, “what was your favorite part of today”, this helps avoid the one word response of “fine” to the generic question of how was your day?

Here are some other ideas to take to the table and reconnect with your kids.

  • At the beginning of each month write 30 conversation starters on small pieces of paper and put them in a box in the middle of the kitchen table. Have someone draw a piece at the beginning of each meal and start the conversation. Starters could include things like (Tell everyone about your new favorite song and why you like it. Have everyone name a super-power they’d like to have and why. Tell everyone something that happened today that was unusual.)
  • Have everyone talk about their high and low for the day (or best and worst part of the day)
  • Talk about your day but add a creative twist – before you start your story pick a letter that is off limits.  Words beginning with that letter may not be used in your description.
  • Mystery centerpiece. Each family member takes turns picking an object to place in the middle of the table prior to dinner. Cover the item with a cloth and then during dinner everyone can make guesses on what it is. You could even turn it into a game of 20-questions.

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