Meal times are a great opportunity to enjoy chatting with your child.
Mealtimes around a table and with no TV, tablets or phones are the best because it means you can spend quality time together as a family, and shows your child that making time to talk and listen to them is important to you.
Learning from others
Children learn from what they see and will copy the behaviour of parents, siblings or other children at school. If you are sitting at the table talking and eating with them, it will encourage them to do the same.
Time for a game or two to open conversations
Here are some games that can help keep the conversation flowing:
I spy: A great way to engage kids at the dinner table and have some fun too!
Plan your dream holiday: Talk to each other about a family adventure you’d love to have, whether it’s a trip to a nearby amusement park or a fantasy holiday. You may surprise yourselves at the ideas you come up with together.
Guess the ingredient: Ask everyone around the table to guess all of the ingredients that have gone into creating their evening meal. Can they get all of them?
Best and Worst: What are the best and worst things that happened today?/ What were you grateful for today?
This game is great for opening conversations, giving children a chance to share something that they’re proud of or something their worried about. These things may otherwise have gone unsaid.
You can then ask ‘what can I do to help you?’. Encouraging phrases like ‘we can get through this together’ will help your child feel safe when talking about things that may have upset them or they are worried about.