You pick the kids up from school, come home, get dinner ready and everyone sits down together at the table to eat.
You pick the kids up from school, take one to dance lessons, work on homework with another, then stop to eat at Chik-Fil-A before your meeting at church.
Sitting down together at the dinner table has almost become a thing of the past. Families are pulled in so many different directions between work, school and extra-curricular activities, that it is much harder to find that time to have everyone together a the same time . . . even for meals.
Don’t despair! Research shows that while family dinnertime is great, it is NOT the act of having dinner together every day that is so crucial, but rather finding an uninterrupted (that means no electronics and no TV) way to check in with each other and have a conversation together. That could be at the family dinner table, at Chik-Fil-A., or while taking a walk around the neighborhood together before bedtime. The important thing is to ensure you make time to connect in a meaningful way on a regular basis.
One easy way to connect with your family is to find out about their day. That doesn’t sound very difficult, but if your kids are like most, the usual response from a question like “How was your day?” is nothing more than a one-word answer that reveals little.
Listed below are 5 simple questions that your family could answer each and every evening - questions that delve a bit deeper than "How was your day?"
5 Daily Questions for Families
1. What was the hardest thing you did today?
2. What is something kind you did for someone today?
3. Who made you smile or laugh today?
4. What was the very best part of your day?
5. What do you look forward to tomorrow?
P. S. That's my family in the picture, having dinner together (with grandparents visiting) shortly before I was born.
It's important to learn how to have conversations with other people where it's not debating, but discussing.
Using these questions can serve as a way to stay connected to each other as a family in this busy age. They can also serve as a way to prevent small problems for getting bigger and a way to celebrate the joys we experience. Remember that this isn't about offering judgment for your child's answers - it is to give them a chance to express themselves without fear of getting into trouble and for them to hear of your struggles and dreams, as well.
If you are interested in adding a bit of more fun to your conversations and delving deeper, click here to download our Dot To Dot conversation starters. You can use them at family gatherings, put them in a jar and draw one out each morning, or set one on each person's plate before the meal begins.
Until next time,