Family Conversation Starters For Around the Dinner Table (and Elsewhere)

From Stacey Seybold Hiller, M.S.,CCC-SLP, Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist and Owner, Dream Dinners of Indianapolis, IN

Family setting the tableIf your family is like ours, you may work hard to create a family dinner time routine, or other family activity (“forced family fun” as our oldest calls it), and then realize that you are not sure what to talk about.  There are many resources in print and on the internet that have conversation starters for families.

Here are few:

  • What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
  • What cartoon character would you most like to be?  Why?
  • What is the hardest/best thing about being ___ years old?
  • Describe your all-time best day ever.
  • What would be the worst job/profession to have?
  • What should a parent do when a child doesn’t listen?
  • Where would be the best place in the whole world to take a family vacation?
  • Would you rather dive off a huge cliff, or give a book report in front of the whole school?

 Even if these don’t spark a lengthy conversation, they will at least get the group started.  It is important that each family gets a turn to talk without fear of interruption.  Don’t worry if every child isn’t old enough to participate.  The language stimulation for the little ones will be wonderful!  Don’t forget to have the adults answer also!  It may be necessary to start a rule that no one is allowed to make fun of someone else’s answer.  That way there is a feeling of safety for everyone to speak, whether they are two or fifty-two.  You may be surprised by some of the things you hear your children say!

Stacey Seybold Hiller has practiced pediatric speech pathology for more than 18 years.  Both she and her husband felt they were ready for a career change, so they opened Dream Dinners in Indianapolis with a partner.  Now she can further her passion for healthy family meals around the table at home!