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Just Doing My Best: Dinner Conversation

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Dinner Conversation

Do your children like to talk? Or do you have to drag information out of them? My children love to talk. I mean they really, really love talking. Honestly, I wouldn't change that about them even if I could. I understand some children do not open up much and even when asked about their day, they might shrug and give a one word answer. You will find the other extreme in our home. There is usually so much story-telling about the day that the info I need to hear, may never be shared. However, I can tell you which child in the class had two servings of french fries for lunch, despises cheeseburgers, and most of the words to the latest, most popular tween song.

One of the things I attempt when we are seated around the dinner table is to ask the children about their high and low points of the day. So far, they have been quite receptive to answering these questions. When I ask about the high point of their day, I think that it teaches them to keep things in perspective when times are tough and to look for the things that are worthy of our happiness and gratitude. When I ask about their low point, it often initiates conversations about problems that otherwise may not have been discovered as quickly as they were. This will be a time that I watch their expression and reaction to see if there may be an issue bothering them that they do not want to discuss at the table and I make a mental note to approach the issue at a more private time. Because the "highs and lows" are discussed routinely though, talking about the tough situations seems to be less intimidating.

Asking about the highs and lows of the day works for our family. Do you have a favorite way you touch base each day with your children? I have another dinner conversation idea to share with you next week, so if you are interested, you might want to save Just Doing My Best's home page as a favorite or subscribe to the RSS feed in the upper right corner.

You can find more Works for Me Wednesday tips at We Are THAT Family.

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I love dinner conversation with kids and I love fostering gratitude. Great post!
I don't have any kids, but I think I'm going to start asking my husband what the best part of his day was. He's had some stress at work lately, so maybe that'll help him out a little!
I have two girls - one who loves to talk and the other who needs a little more prodding to share what's going. I do think it's important to use dinner time to catch up on what's happened in each of our days - and thanks for reminding me of that! I also have one night a week where I spend a few minutes after lights out with each one individually talking about whatever they want to - school, friends, etc. I'm hoping that's something they will continue to enjoy as they get older.
Keeping them talking is always good, especially as they grow. I wish I had done that more. You remind me to keep an open forum for them, and to always make them comfortable to share.
Yes, so far I have one of four that I need to pull info out of. My oldest would not say poop if she had a mouthful.....great that she is a non attention non complaining young lady but hard on me because I often don't know what is going on. I like you idea.
Yup, I posted along the same lines...sing on by for my take. Getting kids to talk though, that's a tricky one.....
Yes, we do similar things. We will list 5 things we are grateful for or something the person to the right of them did that made them smile or something you love about the person to your left.

It builds love into our family.
Our take on it is 'Sad, Mad and Glad' for the day - helps with the big overseas move our family made this year. And you can add 'afraid' to the list, though it doesn't rhyme!!
I like the idea of the high point/low point question. I mostly just ask my son how his day was and what he did at school today. He is getting better at giving me more than one word answers.

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