Skip to main content

Meal Time Conversation Saver

We eat the vast majority of our meals at home around the dinner table.  When the kids were little, they would tell us about what had happened at school, John would talk about his time at work, and I'd pipe in about what I had done that day. 


Now most of the children have left the nest, youngest daughter is home-schooled, and John works from home.  We are together all the time.  Two parents, one teen.  Mealtime conversations were starting to brew into little, predictable storms.  I might as well have changed, "Time to eat!" to "Come resume the argument!"

I mentioned on more than one occasion that I needed to come up with a jar of topics for us to discuss during meals, but I never seemed to remember to do it.  One day, daughter set the table, and I noticed a new addition.  I never dreamed she would embrace my suggestion of meal time conversation ideas! 

Sitting on the table was a remnant from my childhood:  The Family Question Jar.  My mom must have purchased it when faced with a similar situation with my siblings and I (though I don't ever remember dinnertime being anything but nice).  I do remember not really liking to answer the questions, though.  Somehow, though, the jar made its way into my home, and my daughter remembered that it was in the game closet.  



The Family Question Jar has transformed our mealtimes.  Yesterday, we wondered about how we would spend a million dollars, where we would want to go on vacation, and what we want to do when we grow up.  Who knows what questions today will bring?  

How do you channel meal conversations into positive interactions?


 photo visiting2_zps6d4521f3.jpg

 photo ThankfulThought4_zps7d9599c2.jpg

Thanks for old-time solutions to current problems.  
 
 photo signature3_zps16be6bca.jpg


Pin It

Comments

  1. For the fourteen years we homeschooled I struggled with dinner time conversations. I had been with children ALL day and I knew exactly what they had done and I was tired. Mostly I just wanted peace and quiet. We never got into a good habit of conversing. I always felt guilty when a General Conference speaker talked about wonderful dinnertime conversations about the gospel and life. When I had to go to work and the children were in school (and the older ones working) we just sort of chatted with each other catching up on things. I love your idea of conversation starters. I'm going to make us a jar or stack of cards or something to help us along. I feel bad that my failing may have passed on our bad habits to the older ones, but I still have two at home to finish. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your daughter is very clever!

    ReplyDelete
  3. How clever!! When I was growing up it was mostly who could talk the loudest...
    Now, I mostly eat alone, sometimes joined by one of the cats. Very quiet meals therefore....
    Henk and I love to fantasize how to spend a big price like a million or more. We mostly do our best talking in the car...

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a great idea and a really fun thing to do with a grandchild, too! They can learn more about their grandparents and the grandparents can learn their interests, too!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Conversations are so much nicer when more than one person does the talking. :-) Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts; I'd love to hear from you!

Popular posts from this blog

Ten Things of Thankful: Dad's Influence Edition

Infant-me, sitting on the wood floor, looks up at my dad, who is sitting on a brown sofa and smiling down to me Here in the United States, it is Father's Day weekend. I did not realize until recently that Father's Day was not officially made a holiday until 1972. 1972! Now, while I realize that many people consider 1972 eons ago, I do not. I'm glad that fathers have a day of recognition now, because they surely deserve acknowledgement.  I thought for this week's Ten Things of Thankful post, I would list ten lessons I'm thankful my dad taught me. My dad is a teacher. Not only did he impart his knowledge to countless junior high aged kids throughout his career, he taught--and still teaches--my siblings and me. He is not a preachy teacher; he's a humble man whose lessons I feel like I learned through osmosis. When he would get home from work, we'd all sit down as a family for supper. Often, our phone would ring, and on the other end of the line would be a paren

Ten Things of Thankful: Summer Strawberries and Procrastinated Projects

A brilliantly-colored dark pink and purple fuchsia blossom You would think that by the time a person reaches my age, she would not be surprised by the passing of time, yet I find myself nearly constantly amazed that a certain amount of time has passed--whether that be a week, month, year, or couple of decades. Earlier this year, I planted a garden. Yesterday I harvested my first strawberry. Earlier this year, I also planted fuchsia starts, and now the flowers are blooming. How is that possible? (And why am I surprised?) Sometime around the turn of the century (and it still seems strange to use that phrase about the year 2000), we bought a circa 1935 dresser. It needed some TLC, but had a cool curvy front. This past week, I finally got around to applying some Restor-A-Finish and Feed-N-Wax, and now the dresser still looks old, but not dilapidated. I still need to apply some hide glue to some loose pieces, but I'm counting progress as a win. For as long as I can remember, I've be

Ten Things of Thankful: From Sunrise to Moonset

Cars and trucks on a highway travel toward the rising sun                                    John and I made a quick, task-oriented trip to California last week. We wore our masks and stayed at an acceptable social distance from others (which is hard for grandchildren to understand, but we mostly succeeded.) We're now home, and at the "I need a vacation to recover from my 'vacation' " stage, which makes sitting down to compose a TToT post a bit of a challenge. However, I know that I will feel better by the end of this post, so bear with me if you will.  1. I'm thankful that we had no problems with traffic going there or coming home. We left our hotel at about quarter to four on Friday morning. The early start, fewer families traveling this year, or, most likely, a combination of the two, made for an easy drive.  2. I'm thankful for books to help pass the time. We haven't actually finished yet (as I was reading aloud, and my voice can only last for so l