Have you had a meal with your family recently? Did you walk away from it feeling satisfied and at peace with yourself and your loved ones? Sitting down to dinner with our families is a precious opportunity to strengthen family ties, build understanding, celebrate our achievements and support each other in times of need.
However, many family dinners end up being routine and sometimes, even tiresome. What can you do to make it the special time that it should be? What conversations make dinners meaningful?
Talk About Your Day Every Day
Nothing starts a conversation during dinner better than talking about the happenings for the day. It is a fairly easy topic to start off with and helps to encourage the rest of the family to participate. Avoid general topics from the office or school. While you can share happy news such as getting promoted or scoring A's in all your subjects, it's best to talk about what you observed and learnt from that day. A walk down the street may see you helping an old lady cross the road or perhaps you stopped for a few minutes to admire a street busker's performance. It's these little things in life that help to provide colour into the conversation and often leads to more topics.
Many youths think that discussing current affairs with their parents will only result in dull and boring conversations, or worse yet, conflicts in values and views. However, without knowing what is going on with the rest of the world, youths can grow into naive adults with little to no knowledge of how the world works, or a set of values and views which are out of sync with the families which they grow up in. Keep these topics youth-friendly and catered towards the interest of your child. Do not dwell on the recent stock market crash or discuss the latest football match when he has no interest in the sport. Find out what interests your child, such as the release of a new smart phone or the development of a new theme park before leading him into more mature topics.
Do not be afraid to delve into unconventional topics during family dinners. These topics help to capture everyone's immediate attention as well as keep a lighthearted mood and atmosphere. Raise questions such as “If you could have any superpower, which would you choose?” or “How can you tell someone you love them without using words?”. These topics are generic enough in nature, allowing every member of the family to participate as well as create a fun point of discussion. It also helps us to learn and understand our family better through their unique responses.
With the right topics, family dinners are not just about what's on the table! Conversations over our daily meals can help to strengthen relationships as well as create a better understanding of one another.
Family dinners are vital in building closer relationships within your family.
Find out what interests your child, and bring these topics up as a lead-in.
Do not be afraid to delve into unconventional topics, as these can raise interest and create fun points of discussion.