Table Talk

We know we’re supposed to…
We know it would help…
We know we’d enjoy it…  
Then why don’t we do it?

Perhaps it’s because, although we know what to do, we often don’t know how to do it. Here are some practical suggestions on how to develop closeness among family members.

Schedule Family Nights
Start with one night per month and perhaps work up to bimonthly and even weekly nights that are dedicated to family closeness. Schedule an evening when all the family can be together, and then protect the evening from conflicts and distractions. Don’t turn on the television, watch a movie, or anything else that would minimize conversation. Devote an entire evening to family activities such as:

Have Dinner Together
Instead of eating out, cook at home. Take turns choosing the menu and cooking. Teach the children to cook. Let everyone have their specialty dish they prepare. Occasionally, decorate for special occasions and highlight birthdays and holidays.

Talk Together
During dinner, involve everyone
in both fun and vulnerable types of conversation. Begin by having
everyone respond to fun questions such as, “What would you do if you won a million dollars?”or “What would be your perfect vacation? ”
Then perhaps progress to questions like: “What would you like to be doing in five years?” or “When do you feel most loved?”

Try These Conversation Starters for Future Table Talks
  • How do you think the belly button got its name?
  • How do you know when you’re grown up?
  • If you were a food, what would you be?
  • What’s your earliest childhood memory?
  • Which way does the toilet paper roll go? Over or under?
  • What is your grandfather or grandmother’s middle name?
  • How many teeth do you have in your mouth?
  • Describe your perfect day. 
    • Where would you be?
    • Who would be with you?
    • What would you be doing?
  • Does your family seem too busy? What should change?
  • What’s the best or worst thing about being your age?
  • Would you describe your family as close? 
    • Rank your closeness from 1 – 5 (1 being not very close, 5 being very close).
  •  What do you think should change?

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