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Relationships Matter at the Dinner Table

Description

Relationships with our kids do matter—and the dinner table is one of the best places to develop and deepen those relationships.

My children have no trouble talking. (Still stumped as to which parent they get that from. . . .) Our dinner table is usually full of chatter, though it can easily dissolve into meaningless silliness. Sometimes, though, the table is silent, with each one tired from a long day and simply wanting to eat and then retreat.

Relationships with our kids do matter—and the dinner table is one of the best places to develop and deepen those relationships. People who study such things say that teens who eat dinner with their family have higher grade points and lower rates of substance abuse, depression, and teen pregnancy. (You can find a whole host of other positive results that come from eating together at thefamilydinnerproject.org.)

Art Linkletter knew long ago that kids say the darndest things. So if you have a reluctant talker, here are a few ideas to get the conversation started:

  • What one thing happened today that made you laugh?
  • If you could meet one person from the Bible (besides Jesus), who would it be and why?
  • If a genie popped out of a bottle, what would your three wishes be? 
  • Which adult is your role model?
  • Which fruit of the Spirit do you show well already? Which one do you most need to work on?
  • If you had $100 to help someone, how would you spend the money?
  • If a fire is coming and we have 10 minutes to get out of our house, what would you take?
  • How can you tell someone you love them without using words?
  • If you could be the parent for a day, what would you do differently?

Long ago, Moses knew that sitting at home is a great time to connect with your kids, and he has the best advice for conversation topics: “Fix these words of mine [God’s Word] in your hearts and minds. . . . Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home” (Deuteronomy 11:18,19).

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