conversation starters for family dinners

7 Conversation Starters for Family Dinners

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Families miss a golden opportunity when they don’t take the time to sit around the dinner table and talk. 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 12-year-old Emily, “What’s new at school?”


“How about you, Jason?”

“I dunno.”

Families miss a golden opportunity when they don’t take the time to sit around the dinner table and talk.

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 decided to reclaim the family dinner hour. One strategy involved a literal stack of cards with conversation starters on them, 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 them?”

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?”

For more conversation starters, download the Q & U app!

Sound off: What are some questions you use to get your kids talking at the dinner table?

Huddle up with your family and ask, “What could we talk about that might make dinnertime more interesting?”