Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Family Dinner and Mealtime Tips (For Car Rides, Too)!

Family Dinner Tips:
Keep the conversation positive and inviting. For topics, there's always the standby of asking about everyone's day, but you can also talk about what's in the news or plan future family activities over dinner.

Try these Mealtime Conversation Starters:
1. What one special talent would you like to have?
2. If snow fell in a flavor, what would you want it to be?
3. What is your favorite holiday, and why?
4. Which household chores do you like to do?

Mealtime Tips:
1. Don't feel guilty if family dinners are not a daily event. Start with what's possible at the
moment, naturally transitioning toward eating together several times per week.
2. Family discussions need not begin and end while seated at the dinner table. Family
members, including even young children, may begin communicating while helping to
prepare the meal and setting the table. Mealtime conversations may continue as the
family clears the table and does the dishes.
3. The family dinner should be a relaxing, pleasurable occasion. Unpleasant topics,
negative criticism, and passing judgment are not appropriate dinner conversation.
4. Always involve your kids in the dinner discourse. Their participation will not only make
them feel more valued; it will also expose them to new language and ideas. The art of
conversation and learning how to take turns speaking are important social skills for
everyday life.
5. Specific questions to children (for example, "How many nibbles did you get on your line
when you and Dad went fishing Saturday?") are more likely to trigger conversation than
general questions. ("How was your day today?")
6. Laughter is the best dinnertime music.
7. Family dinners don't always have to be evening events. They also can be weekday or
weekend breakfasts or lunches. What's most important is communicating the importance
and desirability of these family meals.
8. Change the family dinner location sometimes. How about an afternoon picnic, dinner
under the stars, or Saturday breakfast in your child's room?
9. Turn off the TV and radio. Unplug the phone or put on the answering machine. Don't let
interruptions spoil this special time.

What Should We Talk About?
• Ask everyone to share their favorite part or biggest challenge of the day.
• Plan the next day’s dinner together.
• Share your own childhood memories.
• Discuss an activity the family can do together.
• Talk with your children about a book they are reading or a movie they have seen.
• Eating dinner together every night is an opportunity to open the doors of communication.
This will help you find out more about your children’s likes, dislikes, and daily life. Having
this information can help you direct your children toward positive activities and behavior,
reducing the likelihood that they will get involved with alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs.

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Thanks for commenting. I am honored that you have come over to spend a little time at the Nacreous Kingdom. Your comments will be posted after I get the pleasure of getting the first read. So tune back in soon...Peace!