Make Mealtimes Fun

In many homes, dinnertime is the only time when the family actually gets together. This becomes more pronounced as children get older and schedules become more complicated. It's unfortunate that many parents overemphasize manners or food choices or even use the table talk as a time to go over the offenses of the day or to further discipline children.

All of these things may be necessary or helpful at times but be careful not to develop a negative pattern. We say that more meals are ruined at the dinner table than at the stove. Instead, use mealtimes to share about the day. Talk about things you've learned and ask children to talk about their experiences. Children will learn valuable relationship skills like listening, asking questions, talking, and telling stories. Gentle reminders about listening, not interrupting, or letting someone else speak, can go a long way to teach children how to carry on conversations and enjoy others in the process.

Children learn from stories. As you share ways you're growing or incidents that made an impression on your day, children apply them to their own lives. Laughing and being silly can add to a positive sense of family life. When appropriate, share how you have applied God's Word in practical situations by the way you think or act. This helps children see that spirituality is not just a technique; it’s a lifestyle.

Some children make mealtimes a challenge. Hyperactivity or overly talkative youngsters can make civilized conversations difficult. Sibling conflict issues spill over into what might otherwise be pleasant conversations. Try to gently move things back on track. Redirect conversation and distract children by your enthusiasm and energy.

God promises us a special dinner at the end of this world. It's called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. It will be a feast to celebrate our relationship with Christ. You can be sure that that meal will be special time of enjoying relationships.

What are some ideas you've found helpful to teach your children values?

Milan Tomic

Hi. I’m Designer of Blog Magic. I’m CEO/Founder of ThemeXpose. I’m Creative Art Director, Web Designer, UI/UX Designer, Interaction Designer, Industrial Designer, Web Developer, Business Enthusiast, StartUp Enthusiast, Speaker, Writer and Photographer. Inspired to make things looks better.

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  1. This was sent in by email. Great idea. Thanks Anne

    I have 3 teenagers. At dinner I ask them all, friends included, a series of questions. They actually beg to be first.

    I ask them, for example: What 3 things nice did you do for someone today? An answer can be as simple as, "I opened a door," I lent a pencil," etc.

    What 3 nice things were done for you?

    What made you laugh

    If you could re-wind something that you did today, what would it be

    And so on.

    Amazing what I learn about their day this way and they LOVE to answer! No friend is off the hook either. Other parents have begun to do this as well. Success. Yes

    Anne Sutorius
    Las Vegas, Nevada

  2. This article came at a wonderful time. Our middle sone, 4y.o., has been having such a hard time eating over the past months (and it happens on and off) due to his health (mouth sores), tiredness, short attention span, distractions, etc. I (mom) have been on a quest to have him sit down through a dinner along with his 6y.o. brother, 2y.o. sister, me, and daddy. It's been tough - one night, him and I both cried as I was at the end of my disciplining ideas. Thank you for reminding me that a lot else can happen during dinner other than eating that can be a good thing. My heavy heart has been lifted off focusing on eating and good manners only and more on thinking of how to engage my young ones during the short sit-down time we can have together and by mom & dad creating a positive atmosphere, good memories, and dinner perhaps something to look forward to.