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7 Things to Ask Your Kids at Dinner Beyond "How Was Your Day?" - Table Talk

7 Things to Ask Your Kids at Dinner Beyond "How Was Your Day?" - Table Talk
From The Kitchn - September 18, 2017

You have taken to heart the importance of the family dinner. You meal planned, you carved out the time to cook, you got everyone to the table at the same time. You are feeling pretty goodand you should. The Family Dinner: You did it!

But why is getting information out of your kids so hard? You are interested, you are available, but there's not a whole lot of repartee going on. Here are a few tips to spark that conversation and get the kids really talking about what's happening in their world. Any of these questions should keep your kid from asking the worst question of all: "May I please be excused?"

Just be prepared to give your own answers!

7 Questions to Ask Your Kids at the Dinner Table

1."How's that Batik pig pillow coming along?"

"How was your day?" is too broad, and will likely generate a "Fine" or an "Okay."Yes or no questions will usually get you a yes or a no.Be as specific as possible to get a better response.Instead of "Did you have art today?" (answer: "Uh huh") ask about a particular art project.Then you might get something along the lines of, "Good, it was cool how the wax kept the dye from coloring the whole piece of fabric."And you are off.

2. "If you could teach a class at school, on anything in the world, what would it be?"

This will hopefully yield some pretty funny conversation. Plus, you can swing it back around to some of the classes that they are taking, and what they do and do not like about them.

3. "What was the hardest thing about your day?"

Jenna Helwig, food editor at Parents Magazine, knows her way around a family dinner table personally and professionally.She offers this thoughtful idea: "One of my favorite conversation starters is for everyone to share something that was challenging for them that day. I think it's important for kids to hear that even grown-ups have challenges in their day and to hear how they found a way to work through it, or maybe even offer advice. Hearing a kid's perspective on solving a grown-up problem is almost always adorable and sometimes even helpful! And then, of course, the adults can hear from their kids what was challenging about their day."

4. "Would you rather ... "

You can get pretty silly with these!Would you rather have live baby shrimp or foot-long hot dogs as fingers?Would you rather give up pizza or ice cream for the rest of the year?Or get serious.Either way, one or two questions going around the table may make for a whole meal's worth of conversation!

5. "What would you like to do"

6. "Can you name the ingredients in this dish?"

7. "How 'bout those Yankees?"

2 Questions to Avoid at the Dinner Table

1. "Did you get picked for the play?"

2. "Did you finish your history project?"

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