5 Ways to Encourage Dinner Table Conversation With Kids:
– Know your child’s schedule so you can ask about specifics.
Asking your children about their day is a great conversation starter. If you know their schedule, you can ask them specifics and draw them out from behind their cell phone or tablet to engage with the family. Knowing their schedule like the back of your hand shows your kid how truly invested you are in their learnings and interactions.
– Ask them about their rose, bud & thorn of the day.
A mindful way to reflect, this creative approach helps your child to analyze their day and categorize their experiences, which helps you to understand their changing perspectives. Ask for their rose, bud, and thorn of the day – Something positive that happened, a challenge they experienced or something they can use more support with, and a new idea that has blossomed or something they are looking forward to.
– Put funny/silly/inquisitive questions in a jar and take turns asking them.
Questions like “If your stuffed animals could talk, what would they say?” or, “If you had to give everyone in the family new names, what would they be?”, or “If you could do anything right now, what would you do?”. You’ll see their wheels start to turn and their creative spark. Plus, finding random tangents that your kids are excited to discuss can sometimes lead to the best conversation.
– Take an interest in their favorite things and ask them about them.
Whether it’s a new book, a TV show, or even music, understanding what your child enjoys, and understanding how they interact and perceive these different topics and mediums is great for their self-esteem.
– Tell funny stories from your childhood.
Kids love when parents are able to actively listen and relate to them on a similar level. Whether their experience was positive or negative, share a similar experience from your childhood, which communicates to your child that you are listening and that they are not alone.