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Get ready for a real conversation with these 5 Ways to Engage Conversation at Mealtime.
Do you struggle at mealtime to have conversations? Or maybe you don’t actually eat around the table?
This tends to be the way our culture has shifted, especially as electronics have taken off too.
I’ll admit that even I’m guilty of answering text messages or looking something up while sitting down to eat dinner.
Over the years though, we’ve tried to make it a point to put down the electronics and come together around the table a few times a week.
This includes breakfast too.
Breakfast tends to be a rush during the week, we have to be out the door early for school, so we typically keep some go-to items on hand for a quick breakfast.
Not only for a quick breakfast, but we make it quick so we can eat around the table in the mornings too a few times a week.
It’s a great way to get our day started.
It’s not always going to happen each day and we are aware of that. I highly suggest though planning at least 2-4 times a week that you can all enjoy dinner around the table together.
This is such a vital way to keep the lines of communication open as your kids get older.
Learn more about Maple Cheerios
One thing we have stocked up on this season is Maple Cheerios. Have you tried them yet? They are now available at Walmart and perfect for a fall breakfast. They’ve become a weekly staple to our Walmart Pickup order.
Maple Cheerios are gluten-free, plus made with real maple syrup.
Those are a few must-haves of our breakfast. Gluten-free is a must because my son and I are gluten-free.
Plus in the fall, we are all about that maple syrup. The fact these are made with real maple syrup makes them even better.
We keep these on hand in our pantry along with the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios. Sometimes, I like to eat a bowl of those after the kids go to bed. It’s like my sweet treat after a long day of being a mom!
We pair our cereal with some fruit or bacon in the mornings to complete the meal.
Now, as we talk more about what food items we serve, let’s think about ways to engage conversation.
It’s super important to keep these things in mind as we head into the holiday season. That’s really why we keep easy items like Maple Cheerios on hand.
It makes me spend a little less time in the kitchen and more time engaging with my family around the table.
5 Ways to Engage Conversation at Mealtime
As you sit around the table, are you all just staring at each other trying to eat as quickly as possible or are you making the most of the time you have together?
There are some ways that we engage in conversation at mealtime.
Silence the Electronics
It seems like a given, but for this day and age, it’s not. A simple way to engage conversation at mealtime is to turn the phone off.
Resist the urge to look up something real quick or answer a text. That person on the other end can wait, there are people that need your attention sitting right in front of you.
This is a fun little way to give you conversation starters. We have a jar of questions on our table that our son made us a year ago at school.
We still use it even now as they have gotten older. It has a variety of questions and each person takes one and ask a question and then it moves on to another person.
In our household, sometimes, we never get past the one question. We stay on it until we are done and ready to go.
That leads me to the next point.
Follow Up Questions
If you are discussing something with kids, follow up on their response.
How did that make you feel? What was your response when this happens? What do you think about this question that you ask us?
There are ways to expand on just one question and then make it a full conversation. Ask more questions or share stories that relate to what you are discussing.
I have no doubt that some of the stories will make your kids laugh at the dinner table and they will feel like they can relate to you more.
Words of Affirmation
This tip will lead me into the next tip, if you are discussing a topic and maybe you don’t agree entirely with your child, be more affirming than negative.
This is sometimes a hard balance to keep, but there is probably a reason why your child feels the way he’s sharing.
Try not to immediately cast down their feelings, they are likely a very real feeling but encourage them in other ways or help them understand the whole topic of what they are speaking on.
That leads me to the big issues like discipline, finances, and other family matters.
Keep the Big Issues Off the Dinner Table
This is a big one for me and sometimes I forget! Don’t discuss your finances, behavior, and things like that at the dinner table.
Of course, if it’s a teaching moment and fits the conversation that’s one thing.
If you just got onto your child about something though that happened earlier in the day, wait until after dinner to discuss it with your spouse or child if it needs to be discussed again.
Don’t bring the big issues to the dinner table. This is a time to enjoy each other’s company and not be stressing about other issues.
Make mealtime a fun and enjoyable time for the family!
Mealtimes just like breakfast even when in a rush, should be an enjoyable time that you are able to come together and reset for the day.
Sometimes having some tasty items on hand like Maple Cheerios helps bring the family back around the table again even in the mornings.
Our kids are sure excited about these and even more so to have some lighthearted conversation and laugh as they enjoy a bowl.