Friday, September 01, 2006

Keeping them at family dinners

In my last post I sang the praises (with back-up study “proof”) of the great benefits of have frequent and regular dinners with your kids. Regular dinners with your kids may save their lives. But sometimes it’s a bit tough keeping them at the table and/or figuring out what to talk about to occupy the time (nothing worse than repeated “I’m bored” throughout dinner)

To the rescue comes our government and SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) with their “conversation starters” listed on their website. They certainly may help and some my plumb some insight into the psyche of your child (e.g. “Do you think of yourself as a risk-taker?”) But do keep in mind that just regular conversation works too (e.g. “What do you think of the weather? or What’s your sign?, well maybe that last one won’t work so well). Also worth remembering is that humor works and the conversation doesn’t need to be deep and penetrating.

TVland also has some tips about family dining and, amazingly, not watching TV (watching TV during your together family dinners ruins the positive effects). (This one also has stuff to do with younger kids.)

Parenting and making a positive difference as a parent takes work and this is one of those works with a benefit (and you get eat dinner in the bargain as well). Cliché as it may be parenting is the “un-drug”, as well as the “un-death” and the “un-bad choice risk taking thingy”.

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