When was the last time you had dinner and a conversation with your family? The reason I bring this up is that now that my children are older and things are busier I haven’t quite put the importance on this as I once did. Anyone with me here? It is the meal we often skip because we work late, the kids have sporting events or we get tired from daily activities. But, skipping dinner with the family is detrimental to the family dynamic.
Family dinners are more than just a meal. It is about the only time that families have to share time through the week. Whether you sit down to the dinner table or enjoy a meal on tray tables and a movie in the family room, the important thing is that you are together.
Dinner Conversation with Family Reduce….
There are some interesting facts surrounding family dinner time. For instance, teens that spend dinner time eating with their family are less likely to get involved in drugs, alcohol or other illicit activity. This is a point many parents will find interesting. Out of all of the things you do to try to keep your kids away from bad influences, the one thing that is the greatest influence is still the event that we skip routinely.
Why is dinner so important? For one thing, it is a time to share thoughts and feelings. All day, kids are influenced by teachers, friends and the outside world. At the dinner table, they get a chance to connect with their parents on tough issues like schoolwork, peer pressure, friendships and other things. They can each share and help one another with helpful suggestions. Parents can even talk about work or family finances over a meal.
The main point is that conversation is taking place. The average parent talks to their child less than 40 minutes a week. It takes a second to say “Hi” when you come in at night, but that isn’t effective communication. When dinner is shared by the family, you spend at least 45 minutes to an hour talking about everything and anything that may be on your mind. Even if you are watching a television program, engaging questions can arise from topics addressed in the program.
Young children learn how to communicate with their siblings and parents. They are the center of attention with questions about their day and it makes them feel happy. You know that kids always want to be in the limelight when they are a certain age and this helps them learn to share the spot with others.
Girls and Family Dinner
For teenage girls, body image is everything. Learning to prepare and eat healthy meals with their families is a sign that eating right will keep their bodies in shape and not avoiding food. Teen girls are less likely to become the victim of an eating disorder but develop a healthy view of food and their bodies when they eat dinner with their families.
There are many benefits to eating dinner with the family. It is a time for meaningful communication that leads to stronger self-images that resist the urge of drugs, alcohol and other destructive behaviors in your kids and teens.
Fun with the Family at Dinner
My daughter once got dinner conversation cards with an American Girl Doll Cookbook. They were fun and now I’ve found the perfect resource for you start up some dinner conversations of your own. Get this now and make a plan to enjoy family dinner conversations during the Christmas holiday as well! If you don’t want to wait until the new year. Here are fifty conversation starters to get you going.
1. What was the best part of your day?
2. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
3. If you could be a famous person for a week, who would you be and why?
4. If you could have any superpower, which would you choose?
5. If you had one wish (and you can’t wish for more wishes), what would you wish for and why?
6. If you could eat just one food everyday for a month and nothing else, what would it be?
7. What is your biggest fear?
8. What is one way you helped another person today?
9. If you could trade places with your parents for a day, what would you do differently?
10. If you could have one dream come true, what would it be?
11. If you could pick your own name, what would it be?
12. If you could be animal, what would you be and why?
13. Which character in a book best describes you and why?
14. If you could see your future, where will you be in ten years?
15. If you could be a famous person for a week, who would you be and why?
16. If you could have any pet, what would you choose and why?
17. What is your favorite childhood memory?
18. What three words would you use to describe yourself?
19. What are the qualities that make you a good friend?
20. What is the nicest thing a friend has ever done for you?
21. What is your favorite movie and why?
22. What is your favorite family tradition?
23. What is your favorite sport to play?
24. If you could play any instrument, what would it be and why?
25. What is your favorite holiday and why?
26. What is one thing you are grateful for today?
27. What is your favorite book and why?
28. What has been the happiest day of your life so far and why?
29. What do you want to be when you grow up and why?
30. Where would you like to go on our next family vacation?
31. What is one thing you could have done better today?
32. Who is one person in your life you are thankful for and why?
33. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever eaten?
34. What is your earliest memory?
35. What is your most embarrassing moment?
36. What is your least favorite chore?
37. If you could only eat three foods the rest of your life, what would they be?
38. If you could have dinner with anyone (past or present), who would it be and why?
39. If you could stay up all night, what would you do?
40. What is the most beautiful place you have ever seen?
41. What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
42. Who is your best friend and why?
43. If you had to live in another country, which one would you choose?
44. What is your greatest talent or ability?
45. What two items would you grab if your house was on fire?
46. If you could travel back in time, where would you go?
47. What is something you want to learn how to do and why?
48. What would you do if you were a king or a queen?
49. If you were invisible for a day, what would you want to observe?
50. If you had the attention of the world for just 10 seconds, what would you say?