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Parent: “How was your day today?” Kid: “Fine.” (That’s a really exciting conversation!)
Parent: “What did you learn at school today?” Kid: “Nothing.” (And we all know kids spend 6-8 hours a day at school doing nothing!)
Family conversations at dinner don’t have to be strained or like pulling teeth to get your children to participate in. Instead of grilling your children about their day, here you’ll find conversation starters that will naturally lead to more conversation. Some pointers to remember:
- Don’t answer everything your child says with another question.
- Sometimes a simple “Oh!”, “I see”, or “That’s really neat” will naturally lend itself to your child opening up to sharing more and more conversation.
- Good conversations involve just as much listening (sometimes more!) as they do talking!
Now here are some family conversation starters for at dinner, or anytime! I’ve used a few of these in the car on the way home from school before:
- Tell me the best thing that happened at school today.
- What is the nicest thing you did for someone today?
- If you could go on vacation anywhere, where would you go?
- What was the something that happened today that made you upset?
- What do you think a hero is? Who is a hero to you?
- If you could be the parent of the house, what rules would you change?
- Tell me about your favorite time of year.
- How old do you wish you were and why?
- What is your favorite thing to do when you have a day off of school?
- What would you do if you were the president?
- Has someone ever hurt your feelings? What happened?
- What is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
- What are you most grateful for today?
- Would you rather be very tall or very short? Why?
- Tell me about what color you are feeling today.
- Thinking about what you have right now in your life, what would you like to keep for the rest of your life?
- Tell me the 3 best things about YOU!
- What do you think we should do more often as a family?
- What is the earliest thing about your life you remember?
- Finish this sentence: I feel the best about myself when I ________.
- If you had $1000, what would you do with the money?
- What do you think will be different about our family in one year?
- If you were an animal, tell me about what animal you would be. Why would you be that animal?
- What do people mean when they say to “do your best”?
- Ask me any question you want!