conversation starters for family

7 Conversation Starters for Family Dinners

The Jones household is in desperate need of some dinner conversation starters. Five minutes into the meal, Tony (a.k.a. Dad), having patiently waited for the initial feeding frenzy to settle down, asks twelve-year-old Emily, “What’s new at school?”

“Nothing.”

“How about you, Jason?”

“I dunno.”

In desperation, he looks at his wife, who happens to be busy checking Facebook, or email, or something.

“What?” she says, defensively. “Did somebody say something?

So what should Tony do? He’s not about to reach for the TV remote. Yelling won’t solve anything, but he refuses to give up. Instead, Tony has a powwow with his wife. Together, they agree to reclaim the family dinner hour. One strategy involved a literal card-stack of conversation-starters, including the following, 7 Conversation Starters for Family Dinners.

  1. About Current Events: “It’s been a busy week in the headlines. Let’s all share one item that makes us really glad we live in this country.”
  2. About History: “If you could travel back in time, where and when would you go? Would you take anyone with you? What would you do?”
  3. About Today: “Talk about the most difficult thing you had to deal with today. Maybe homework? Or a rude person? Or you got disappointed about something? How did you get through it?”
  4. About Discovery: “Share two things you know now that you didn’t know when you woke up this morning. How did you learn this?”
  5. About Dreams: This is for everyone, Mom and Dad included. “Tell the family about your ideal job. Then talk about how you might get from here to actually having that job.”
  6. About Family: “Imagine someone walked in and gave this family (not just you) $20,000. What could we do with that money that we’d all appreciate?”
  7. About Vacation: “What’s your best idea for a two-week family vacation? Where would you like to go, and what would you like to do?”
Sound Off

Sound Off: What is a favorite dinner time conversation starter that you use?

Derek Maul

Derek Maul is the author of five books, a nationally recognized men’s resource, a committed encourager, and a pilgrim in progress. He divides his time between writing and traveling to speak about the fully engaged life.

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Huddle up with your family tonight and ask: “What could we talk about that might make dinner time more interesting?”

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