How many times a week do you sit together as a family for dinner?
We all know that family dinners are one of the most beneficial ways to maintain an open and communicative relationship with our children. Right? Did you also know that they have a major impact on the choices your kids make outside of your home.
According to a survey by Columbia University, teenagers who have a family dinner five times or more a week are 42 percent less likely to drink, 59 percent less likely to smoke cigarettes and 66 percent less likely to try marijuana. The survey also found teens were 40 percent more likely to get A’s and B’s. (If only it would increase their desire to do homework.)
I realize that for most of us, life is busy and we can’t sit down every night for dinner. These questions are also fabulous in the car. Table Talk/Car Convo. Call it whatever you want. The point is simply to talk to your kids and to get them to talk to you.
But? Getting your kids to talk can be harder than flying an airplane with one wing, a broken engine and no gas.
There are ways to get them to do it, but it takes a little creativity and some trickery. “Yes” or “no” questions will get you “yes” or “no” answers.
You: “Did anything interesting happen at school today?”
Awesome. Just like that the conversation is over. Below are questions that will inspire your kids to talk. One for each day of the week. Enjoy getting to know your kids better.
This week’s questions:
1. What is the one place in our home that you feel the most relaxed?
2. What is your favorite commercial?
3. If you could fix one worldwide problem when you grow up, what would it be? (I asked Colton this question last night. He responded with, “a plate.” When I asked him to explain he said, “Because if a plate gets broken, you can just glue it back together.” Of course.)
4. If you could make any animal the size of a kitten and keep it as a pet, which animal would it be and why?
5. Which vegetable or fruit do you think would best describe your personality? (Be careful with the teens and their toilet humor on this one.)
6. If you could have an internet show like iCarly, would you do it? What kind of skits would you do?
7. If you could hire someone to paint your room with any scene, person or image, what would you choose?
8. Would you rather go on a vacation to the beach or the mountains? What would you do on your vacation?
9. If you could have any special power, what would it be? How would you use it for good?
10. If you could spend one week helping other kids, what kids would you most want to help?