We all know that families who eat together, stay together. That is, if you dine as a family four to five times a week you are building a strong foundation that will often result in a child with a higher self esteem, better study habits, lower drug use, and more self-confidence.
Next time you have a meal together or have a long car ride get the conversation started by asking questions that lead to a real conversation. It’s important to know how to ask a question to get the conversation flowing. Don’t ask questions that can be answered with a mumbled, monosyllabic “Yes” or “No”. Figure out how to ask questions that illicit a thoughtful answer. And once your child starts getting involved in the conversation, keep it going by truly being interested in what they have to say, and asking more questions.
Elementary School Age (grade K-5):
- What happened at lunch today? (Rather than asking “Who did you eat lunch with”, this helps tell more of a story and hopefully they will tell you who they ate lunch with in the process of chatting it up.)
- What would you like me to make for your lunch tomorrow? (This is to help you learn what they like to eat, too many parents don’t realize their children throw their lunch away.)
- Who did you play with today? (This helps you find out who their friends are.)
- Do you want a play date next week? (To help you find out who they enjoy playing with.)
Middle School Age (grades 6-8):
- What friends are in your classes?
- Who is your favorite teacher?
- What is your homework level? What teacher gives you the most homework?
- Do you want to get on Facebook?
- What’s your favorite subject?
- What movies would you like to see?
- Do you want to start picking out your own clothes?
High School (grades 9-12)
- What was your “high” of the day?
- What was your “low” of the day?
- Who is your favorite teacher? What do you like most about that teacher?
- What did you do for lunch today?
- Which of your friends has a driver’s license? What kinds of car do they drive?
- Do you feel you know what constitutes safe internet use of Facebook? What types of photos do you post? What types of photos do your friends post? Do you have all appropriate security settings in place? (Do YOU even know what they are?)
- What clubs do you want to join?
These are just some starters. Sit down with your spouse to figure out some creative, fun and family friendly questions. Turn the table and have your children ask you questions about your day and see what they come up with!
What’s the best question you’ve been asked today?