Gathering ‘round the table for an evening meal is something so many families do each day. While there are some families who aren’t able to get together regularly, for those who can, it’s a wonderful way to connect. We spend most of the time enjoying the food, but this family time is perfect for talking with your kids.
Dinner table discussions allow for parents to tune in to their children’s emotions by talking about how their day went and how it made them feel. Sometimes the chats will be lighthearted and silly, but there will be evenings when the topics are tense. No matter the vibe, it’s always important for parents to create this safe space for their kids to open up, no matter the issue.
It’s A New World
Today’s world brings many challenges for children. From the prevalence of bullying to being overwhelmed with what they hear on the news, being a kid isn’t what it used to be. Sure, there’s plenty of fun and freedom, but the darker days exist as well. Parents can use the familiar dinner table platform as a place where families can feel at ease about discussing daily events, hopes and dreams, or just joke around.
If you find that your child isn’t opening up much, dinnertime makes the discussion flow more smoothly. There’s less pressure, so there’s little awkwardness, leading to frank conversations about all sorts of situations. Maybe your child had a spat with a friend that day at camp or school. Talking it over will give them a chance to heal. Perhaps your child is worried about the school year to come. Your advice and encouragement will make a difference in how they deal with their fears and forge forward. If all is well, it’s a great time to comment on the tasty food, what’s on the agenda for tomorrow, and the latest movies they’d like to see. Every dinner table discussion will be different; that’s what makes them something to look forward to.
You may not be initiating dinner table discussions right now, but giving it a try takes little effort. Just start talking and the rest of the family will cooperatively chime in. The more comfortable you get with easing into potentially unsettling topics, the concept will be a piece of cake. Before long, your family will become closer, thanks to this bonding experience while you eat.
Do you and your family partake in dinner table discussions? Is anything off-limits? What are some topics you’ve discussed that have made an impact on your children? We’d love to hear about it, so please share in the comments section.
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By: Melissa A. Kay