3 Ways to Connect with Your Family at Meal Times

Inside: 3 quick tips to connect with your family during a meal time. Even if you can't get together and connect during the week, the weekend is a great time to try this too!

It’s been a typical busy Wednesday after school. You’ve been helping with homework, driving your kids to dance and karate, and then taking a few minutes to make a quick Target run.

You’re finally all sitting down for dinner, but sometimes it’s hard to connect and chat. “How was school today?” gets you a one word answer. That’s not helpful. So what are some ways you can connect with each other during dinner?

Roses and Thorns

To get an idea of how your child’s day went, ask them in a different way. You can ask if they want to share their roses and thorns of the day. Roses = good things that happened and Thorns = things that didn’t go well. Be sure to share your own roses and thorns as well.

Looking for more ideas of ways to ask about their day? Read this!

I like this video from Family Share with some other ideas for questions you can ask:

Play some games

I know it may initially seem like a meal time isn’t a great time to play a game, but you totally can play games that only require using your mind. Some good games to try:

* 20 Questions

* Would You Rather?

* Begin with the end letter game

One person begins by saying any word they want. The next person says a word that begins with the last letter of that word. Then the next person says another word that begins with the last letter of that word. For example, one round with 4 people could be  

Person 1 - Dog

Person 2  - Gigantic

Person 3 - Crane

Person 4  - Earth

* Guess the number I’m thinking about

This game can be modified to be made easier (I’m thinking of a number between 1 and 20) or more complex (I’m thinking of a number between 1 and 1000).

* Alphabet game

Starting with A, we go through the alphabet and list anything we can think of. A - Alligator, B - Burger, C - Car, D - Dinosaur. Keep going until you get to Z.

Use a question box

Place a box in the middle of the table, and fill it with a few different questions. What a great way to learn more about each other, connect and even be silly. Some ideas of questions you can use:

  • What is your favorite cookie?

  • If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

  • If you could only watch one hour of TV this week, what would you watch?

  • Tell about a dream you had.

  • Who do you wish you could meet?

  • What do you like to do on a rainy day?

  • Describe your perfect vacation.

  • In 5 years, I hope to…

  • What is your favorite book and why do you like it?

  • If you could design your own house, what would it be like?

These activities don’t have to only be during weekday dinner time. It could be whenever you have your whole family sitting down together - maybe that’s Sunday brunch or or Saturday morning breakfast. Do what works for you and your family!

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