I’m sure you have heard plenty of times about how important it is to gather your family around the dinner table and have a meal together. My experience is that when I cook a meal, we are more likely to eat together. It really doesn’t matter what the meal is…….even simple meals bring us together around the dinner table.
Once I got the kids to the table, I waited for the “magic” to happen. We were supposed to be healthier and have a deeper connection because we ate dinner together, right? Umm……..It doesn’t just happen just by eating together at the same table. You actually have to put some effort into creating that deeper connection. You need to get them talking in addition to eating. One of the best ways to get the kids talking that I have found is called, “Roses and Thorns.”
Roses and Thorns is an idea that I got from Michelle Obama. I read an article where she discussed that she liked to ask the “Roses and Thorns” questions at her dinner table. I figured if it was good enough for the President of the United States and his family, then it was good enough for my family. It has now become my very favorite way to get the kids talking.
So, what exactly is “Roses and Thorns?” It is two simple questions. “What was the best part of your day?” “What was the worst part of your day?” We take turns going around the table and answering these two questions. Everyone gets a turn and nobody is allowed to opt out. Grown-ups must participate too. We even like to ask the questions when we have guests over. I’ve found the key to getting everyone to buy in to this conversation is to make sure everyone listens and the speaker is not interrupted. We offer comments, but only after the speaker has their say. We have a family with a wide range of ages so I’ve found that it is ever so important that even the youngest have his say.
I find out all kinds of things about my children and my spouse with these simple questions. I learn that lunches were spilled, that recess is not long enough, that grades need to be celebrated, and how much they love each other. We laugh and we offer support. Two simple questions that bring a working family closer together. It’s easy to lose this connection when you are running from activity to activity with your kids. I know. There was a time that I was really hurting because I felt like I wasn’t as connected with my children as I should be. Sure, I was at every event, but we never talked. Now, I know why family dinners are so important. In fact, dinner is my favorite part of the day.
What are the ways that you get your family talking at dinner? Do you feel that it is important to gather for family dinners?
If you are looking for help in making the transition to eating more real food, you should check out the Real Food Experience posts. You can get get started at the beginning or jump around the challenges. You can find a complete round-up of the program here. Each week’s challenge is full of terrific advice to help you transition from fast and processed food to a real food diet. Changes that will help you to live a healthy lifestyle and have the energy to keep up with your busy schedule. I would also love for you to join me on social media. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on a regular basis. Leave me a comment and let me know you stopped by for a visit.