Family Dinner Table Conversations: Tips and Ideas to Get Your Family Talking

by Robyn Wright on January 2, 2015

in Living

Family Dinner Table Conversations: Tips and Ideas to Get Your Family Talking by RobynsOnlineWorld.com

Family dinners are important. They are not always possible, but we do make it a priority in our home. Along with eating together we use this time to talk to each other and have interesting conversations. These talks are actually the most important part of the time together I think. Over the years when T has had friends over they have been shocked that we sit down together and really talk. I see this when we go out to eat as well, other families all sitting together but not really interacting with each other.

There are many different ways to start conversations at the dinner table if it is something new to you. Even if you do already talk regularly at dinner these ideas and tips might spark some new conversations that you and your family will enjoy.

  • Three Good Things
    This is a favorite of mine. Each person at the table has to state three good things about their day. It gives us all insights into what happened that day, what makes each other happy, and helps all of us have a more positive attitude. Read my original post about Three Good Things.
  • Did You Know…?
    We actually play this game at dinner, in the car, or whenever. Everyone just states any random fact or information that they want. For kids this is actually fairly easy once they get used to it because they often have tons of miscellaneous facts from their day at school. These facts have inspired long conversations, trips to the library, and new hobbies over the year in my family.
  • Ask Specific Questions
    The standard “how was your day” is often met with “fine”. Instead ask more specific questions that require more than a simple answer. For kids you might ask about what they learned in science class or what they did at recess that day. For adults ask how the meeting went that morning or how they did at the gym that afternoon.
  • Topic Cards
    There are several different companies that make cards with questions and conversation starters on them. You can purchase these or even make up your own. One company I have heard a lot about is Table Topics (I’ve not used their product myself though). If you prefer to make your own consider printing them out and cutting into strips, then placing in a jar and have someone pull one out. I have two posts on writing prompts that actually would work well for this. 83 Teen Writing Prompts and 77 More Teen Writing Prompts. Even though they say teen, many can be used for all ages.
  • No TV or Tech Devices
    This is really important to help the conversation flow. Turn off the TV, even if it’s in the background and no phones, tablets, gaming devices, etc. at the table.
  • The Family Dinner Project
    There is also an organization, The Family Dinner Project, that has a lot of great resources on their site including conversation starters and other fun activities centered around family meals.

Do you make it a priority to have dinner with your entire family? What kinds of things do you talk about at dinner?

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© 2015, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.

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{ 10 comments }

1 Robin January 3, 2015 at 10:35 am

Your “three good things” and topic cards suggestions are good ones.
I checked out The Family Dinner Project too; thanks for sharing these resources!

2 Robyn Wright January 3, 2015 at 11:19 am

You are very welcome!

3 Christie January 3, 2015 at 10:49 am

Great ideas, we try to have dinner together as much as possible. It can be a challenge in the fall and spring when my kids play sports. We usually talk about our day. We have a big family so there are usually multiple conversations happening at once, it can be loud.

4 Robyn Wright January 3, 2015 at 11:20 am

My extended family has multiple conversations across the room for each other and we are REALLY loud LOL – takes new people coming into the family a long time to adjust (like Hubby)

5 coupontammy January 3, 2015 at 6:17 pm

These are great tips! We do a Best & Worst part of your week every Sunday night. I am a big stickler about us sitting down to dinner together every night. It is always the best part of my day. I love finding out what’s going on in everyone’s world.

6 Robyn Wright January 3, 2015 at 6:30 pm

I like the idea of doing a weekly best and worst @coupontammy:disqus – I will try that out with my family too! Thank you!

7 Lori Killeen January 25, 2015 at 12:02 am

Great tips! We’ve already started no tech at the table but your other tips are great for dinner time.

8 Robyn Wright March 23, 2015 at 1:32 pm

So glad you found this helpful @lorikilleen:disqus

9 Dawn Schamp-Monzu February 28, 2015 at 5:52 pm

This is awesome….nobody does this anymore! I can’t tell you the last time we sat down like a family and ate dinner….and talked!!! My kids are grown, and I’m divorced, so it is hard to get us all together. This is really great. Thank you for writing this. God bless!

10 Robyn Wright March 23, 2015 at 1:32 pm

Thanks @dawnschampmonzu:disqus, glad you liked the post. Maybe you can invite everyone over once a week to have a meal together?

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