One of the best things to do for your kids
Eat dinner together! Eating together is a simple way to help your family bond and stay close. Research shows that eating dinner as a family helps kids boost their vocabulary, do better in school and sports, and lowers obesity. Also, kids have less stress and better relationships.
Ways to make dinnertime successful
· Plan ahead.
· Have your children participate. They can set the table, wash vegetables, put napkins at each place setting, etc.
· Come to dinner with great questions. The Internet is full of conversation starters.
· I know this all sounds like more work! But seriously the pay off is bigger than the work. The extra 10-15 minutes of preparation will pay big dividends as your children grow up.
A few great questions
· What are two things you are grateful for?
· What made you feel happy today?
· If you had this week to do over again, what would you do differently?
· Would you rather go without television or junk food for the rest of your life?
· What super power would you like to have? Why?
· Would you rather wrestle a lion or fight a shark?
Things to avoid
· Having dinner together only benefits your family if you are having conversation and creating an enjoyable environment.
· Avoid: yelling, scolding, watching TV, having phones at the table, interrupting and sitting in silence.
Things to do
· Let every person have a turn to talk. A good trick is using a talking stick (it can be a chopstick or anything) and only the person holding the stick can talk.
· Tell jokes and riddles
· Ask open-ended questions. Come to the table with good questions.
· Share a story about your day to get the kids to share their stories.
· Remember, you set the tone. Be positive and have fun.
· Encourage good behavior by noticing and praising good table manners.