Dinner Table Discussion
The dinner table is an excellent time for families to reconnect at the end of the day. Some families miss this opportunity by getting in the habit of watching TV during dinner. The daily grind leaves some parents so exhausted they just stare off into space like a pack of zombies. Here are a few ideas to bring fun back to dinnertime, and to reconnect at the end of a long day with those you love most!
1. DINNER GUESTS
Ask each person at the dinner table who they would like to invite to dinner and why. This game can either end up being a fun way for your kids to showcase what they have learned in history, or a startling look at how much your kids know about celebrities.
2. FINISH THE STORY
Remember "telephone" from your childhood days? This is sort of an updated version of that game for the dinner table. Start a story, and let each person take turns adding to it. Start working on the conclusion as dinner is coming to an end.
3. A DAY IN REVIEW
Each family member takes turns talking about his day, but first picks a letter that is off limits. That letter may not be used in the description of one's day. The words used for substitution can make these tales an entertaining vocabulary exercise.
This quick and easy little game involves the throwing of dice (2 to 4). Each person at the table takes turns rolling the dice, and tries to be the first one to reach a score of 100 without rolling any ones. If a 1 is rolled, that person's score is wiped out and must be started again.
5. WHO AM I?
Everyone picks a famous person, without revealing their choice to the group, and then "becomes" that person. When it is your turn, you give a brief narrative on who you are, without revealing too much. You may adopt your chosen person's mannerisms for added effect. (For example if you chose Cher, you might flip your hair over your shoulder and twitch your lips). The others at the table take turns asking you interview-like questions. Your family can decide if you answer the questions simply, "yes" or "no" or if you may elaborate. The first to guess your identity wins that round.
One day I took my granddaughter to school. When we arrived she jumped out of the car and I said, "Have a nice day." She gave me a big smile and ran into the school.
As I was driving away I started thinking about the "Have a nice day" expression. It sounded so automatic like I was expected to say it. I felt the standard goodbye expression was saying be careful, don't make too many waves or changes, and if you're lucky, you will have a nice day.
I wanted my granddaughter to know that she could positively impact her day. Ralph Waldo Emerson once stated: "People only see what they are prepared to see." Without lecturing her, I wanted her to learn how to take responsibility for the quality of her day. She may not be in total control of what happens in her day, but she can control how she thinks about those events.
From that day forward I started saying "Make it a good day." She is a little older now and she understands the importance of the statement. She knows that she has the power to affect how she views the events in her life.
Questions for Discussion:
1. There are other "automatic" expressions many of us use everyday. For example: "How's it going" or "How about this weather." What could you replace these expressions with?
2. What does this Dwight D. Eisenhower's quote mean to you? "No one can defeat us unless we first defeat ourselves."
Suggestions for Implementation:
1. Start using the "Make it a good day!" expression with your family and friends.
2. You should be ready to explain why you are using this new goodbye expression.
25 Ways to Keep Your Child Safe, Healthy and Successful: Lessons from a School Counselor
by Michelle Farias
This is an important book for anyone with school aged children. She talks about bullying, gangs, stress, gazing, drugs and much, much more.
Do you have a 10 - 15 year old?
The Goal Setting for Students book has received three national parenting book awards. You will find it helpful if you want your middle school student to take more responsibility for their education.
"All days are good; some are better than others." - John Bishop