Attempt at sparking dinner conversation


We all know by now that as parents, we should be having regular family dinners together.  Research shows families who routinely convene for meals have children who get better grades, are less depressed, don’t do drugs, etc. If these results could be achieved by simply placing a healthy meal in front of our kids, that would be great. The magic happens, however, because of the conversation and connection we are developing with them at these regular intervals. Unfortunately, I fear my children are in grave danger of becoming social misfits because our dinner table conversation quickly deteriorates into bodily function jokes on a nightly basis.

So in an effort to elevate the level of discourse between the members of my own family, and possibly yours, too, I researched various kid-friendly conversation starters to try during dinnertime. Hopefully, these suggestions can get you beyond the standard “How was your day?” and “What did you learn at school today?”

The list of questions is separated by age group, but almost any question could be asked of any child. When you run out, your kids may have some interesting questions for you.

For little ones

How would the world be different if animals could talk?

What would you do if you could be invisible for a day?

If you could tell me to never serve two foods again, what would they be?

What weird or unusual pet would you like to have if you could pick anything?

If you could choose a new name for yourself, what would you choose?

For tweens

Which of your friends do you think I like the most? Why?

If you could change one rule our family has, what would it be?

What is the hardest thing about being your age?

Have you ever had a dream that really scared you?

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

For teenagers

At what age should a person be considered an adult?

If you could grow up to be famous, what would you want to be famous for?

What does the word “success” mean to you?

What is the nicest thing a friend has ever done for you?

Tell me three things you remember about kindergarten.

If you could travel back in time three years and visit your younger self, what advice would you give yourself?

If you get any interesting answers, send them to [email protected].


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