Developing your Kids’ Conversation Skills

family conversationCan your kids keep an interesting conversation going?
My young adult son and I were recently noticing other people’s inability to hold a conversation. Perhaps you’ve observed conversations that fizzle once you no longer carry the dialogue by asking inquisitive questions. My son works in an industry with a lot of adults, and although younger than most, he finds this same challenge. We soon discover that age, education, and leadership position are no guarantee for the ability to dialogue with others. The point is not to depreciate the person who has a difficult time with conversations, but, to ask, ‘How can I make a difference in my family to develop this life skill?’

 

How’s conversation modeled at your house?
Growing up, we learn basically by being modeled or taught. When were you modeled or taught to have conversations? How do kids learn to dialogue today? A healthy conversation includes eye contact, reading body language, showing interest, empathetic listening, and offering feedback. It won’t happen in front of a computer, TV or smart phone.

With my kids, dinnertimes were the best setting to have conversations as a family. (Bedtime stories and tucks-in were a close runner up!)There’s so much research supporting the value of family meals in the well-being of children. They develop a richer vocabulary; have higher grades, self-esteem, and resilience. Most likely, it’s not the food that’s making this difference but the quality interactions happening at the table. So, how can you develop your kid’s conversation skills?

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Sharing Laughter while Sharing Meals

9 Ways to Invite the Light-hearted In

Recently, my husband and I went to lunch and we got the giggles about something that was funnier to us than probably anyone nearby. The freer we were to say what we really thought, the more silly we became. We all have memories like this and then we say, “You just had to be there!”

I have to admit it; we are grown-up kids. When we say something slightly inappropriate or tell an awkward story on ourselves, it becomes funny. There are as many different styles of humor as there are people; some are witty,

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5 New Thanksgiving Traditions

Every family has their own unique traditions – some are fun, some wacky, and some serious, but each makes the holiday a little more special. If you are looking to change things up or add a new tradition to your celebration, try out one of these activities. You may just discover your new favorite part of Thanksgiving!

  1. This Turkey Trot game is the perfect football-themed activity for a get-together with lots of little ones.
  2. Pull out old home videos or look through scrapbooks together and have fun reminiscing and sharing stories.

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Family Stories Month

As soon as November rolls around, we begin to think about and look forward to Thanksgiving – the relatives we’ll see, the food we’ll eat, the football games and parades we’ll watch and the family traditions we’ll treasure. But what about the stories we’ll tell? No family gathering is complete without an embarrassing, laugh-out-loud funny or even heart-wrenching story. Every family has stories that define who they are, teach lessons and instill values. Sharing these stories with your kids may be the most important thing you can do for your family.

In honor of Family Stories Month, here are some ways you can start sharing your family’s history:

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St. Patrick’s Day Family Fun

Here are four ideas for a four leaf clover kind of St. Patrick’s Day that could make your kids friends green with envy.

Cattleman's PieFirst: Dinner.
A great idea from the February menu if you bought it, is the Cattleman’s Pie which is really like a Shepherd’s Pie and would make a hearty dinner for all your leprechan’s in the family.

Second: Dinnertime conversation.
Get super fun with a little help from a book we found on Amazon that is sure to get chuckles at the table all week long. This little inexpensive book is called St. Patrick’s Coffee Table Quotes and is only 7.99.

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FREE Gift with Family Pizza Night is something to talk about…

Family Pizza NightDon’t you hate those one-word answers from teens when you’re really trying, and perhaps fumbling to start a conversation? If you ask them, “Did you have a nice day?” and you feel lucky to get one word, “Yes.” or “No.” Well, you’re not alone. It sounds like you have a perfectly normal teenager. But connecting is important and sometimes a little different approach to a conversation starter can open the gates of dinnertime conversation. So here’s a way to lighten up and have fun at the table.

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Conversation Starter Trivia – Tour of America

Family Dinner | June 27, 2012 | By

This July we are celebrating with our Tour of America menu. Over 15 delicious flavors from across the US.

To encourage the conversation with your family over dinner, here are some great trivia questions you could ask. These questions are based on the states that are in our menu this month!

  1. The ice cream cone was invented in this state at the World Fair?
  2. The first Thanksgiving was held in this state?

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Host a Taste of America Party!

Dream Dinners July menu is themed “Taste of America”! You can throw your own Taste of America dinner party using your choice of a menu item for that states theme dinner or… make 3 dinners for the “Tour”.

Once the family is around the table, some dinner conversation starters can be facts about the states recipe you chose to make that night!

For example:

  • Buffalo Ranch Chicken – Buffalo New York is right

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