Make the Most of Dinner Time with These Fun Questions

Remember the days of the “family dinner”?

If you’re my age, you may remember the traditional supper time. Adults make food. Kids set the table. Then we all sat down together and shared stories from the day — no phones, no TVs, no video games.

It’s just not realistic anymore.

At my house, one of us is usually picking up food on the way home. We throw it onto plates in the kitchen, before we head into the living room to watch TV.

Oftentimes, one of the kids is wolfing down his dinner before he has to run back out the door to practice. Sometimes, my husband misses dinner because he’s working overtime.

I’m here to tell you that’s OK! Don’t feel guilty about not sitting down to dinner together every night.

We just want to help you take full advantage of those times you do sit down together — whether it’s in the kitchen, during TV commercial breaks or around the Thanksgiving dinner table.

One trick we’ve learned in my house: Make a tradition of asking simple questions to keep the family bonding fun!

For the Toddlers

At this age, it’s really important your child knows his or her parents are invested in their life. Be sure to keep them engaged during the meal.

Even if you’re literally eating fast food cheeseburgers on the couch, ask them questions, any question:

  • What did you do today?
  • What makes you happy?
  • What does mommy do for work?
  • Who’s your best friend?
  • What’s your favorite movie?
  • What do you think about when you wake up?
  • What do you want to be when you grow up?
  • What’s your favorite food?

It doesn’t matter what you ask them, so long as you ask them.

Opening this line of communication is critical. It helps us set down our devices and turn off the TVs and spend more time talking with each other.

For Adolescents

If you’re looking for conversation starters with adolescents or teens who are less than forthcoming, avoid questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” That doesn’t spark conversation!

Instead, ask about specific hobbies, projects or tests — or even questions that get you all daydreaming about the future:

  • What was the best part of soccer practice today?
  • What did you learn today?
  • If you could go to any concert of any artist, living or dead, who would you pick?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
  • What would be your perfect job?

The point is, dinner’s not how it used to be — and that’s OK.

With the right approach and questions to ask, you can take full advantage of the time when your family is together — even if just during commercials!

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