Food For Thought

Small minds discuss people.
Average minds discuss events.
Great minds discuss ideas.
 - - Eleanor Roosevelt - -

This quote hangs near our kitchen table to help me remember what type of conversations I'd like to have while we eat dinner.

As an assignment, I've been trying to make dinnertime more enjoyable and inviting.  Each night I've had a topic or a theme.  This is much harder than I thought it would be! 

Monday we played a drawing game.  We folded a piece of paper in half (hamburger style) and drew half of a picture along the fold.  Then we turned the picture over and passed it a certain direction.  The person receiving the paper would then draw a different half.  After all were done we would open up the pictures and share the silly drawings!

Tuesday night we all shared ideas on what it means to be defensive (my husband's latest goal for our family).  Each person who could share a time when they could have gotten defensive but chose a different approach were given a candy bar.  This one didn't bode so well...but it was a great idea (and we'll try again another time...when we're not so defensive.)  :-)

Wednesday was a favorite.  I bought a book at BYU entitled, "300 Questions to ask your Parents Before it's too Late."  We passed the book around and just asked questions.  There were some that led to great "idea discussions" and others that were simply information about Mom.  I want to find a different book like this;  one that would be more applicable to our season in life. 

Thursday  was A's birthday.  That was an easy topic!

Tonight we're all in different places during dinner time so it will be a "fend for yourself night." 

Saturday's topic is to play a dice game or to play the game Outburst.

Sunday we'll ask questions from Celestial Pursuit.

Next Monday - they have each been assigned to read an article in a science magazine and then share what they've learned.

As I said, this has been quite the challenge.  And yet it really does make mealtime more than just teaching manners, catching up on the day, talking about the events of the day or other not so pleasant topics!  Making mealtime fun seems to make the family want to be there.  As my kids get older I am seeing how vital this time together truly can be.

More Ideas:
- Poetry night - have the kids recite a poem during dinner
- Tell all you know about ________ in one minute.
- Books at Breakfast (from Sister Beck)
- Use chopsticks or other "strange" untensils for eating

For younger kids you could:
 - Listen to a musical selection (classical preferably) and have the family create a story to go along with the mood of the music
 - Play Pictionary - use a whiteboard or if you have a window/sliding door use window crayons
 - Have a your living room or on the master bed!
 - Play "restaurant" and have them order their meals (with cleverly designed menu, of course)

"True power is found in the hands of a worthy nurturer, especially at mealtimes."
 - - Julie B. Beck - -


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