We have three meals a day. They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but the meal that gives us the time to be with the family is dinner. Unfortunately, not all family utilize dinner well. There are families who spend dinner without talking and focus their attention on their smartphones. This is not good in terms of family interaction.
For the information of everybody, Google Consumer Barometer Research reported that Singapore has the highest penetration of smartphone in the world – about 85% of Singaporeans. Google’s research says a lot about our family interaction whether we are eating or doing other things. If we want to break the ice during dinner, we have to strike a conversation.
Here are some activities that we can consider to avoid awkward moments during dinner and stay connected with the family:
- Cook together: When everyone is settled for the night, it is time that we call our little helpers. Preparing the meal is an excellent bonding activity. Conversations will spur from this activity and by the time the foods are prepared, the family will be so involved.
- Dine together: When it is dinner time, not all members are in the table. We have to emphasize that dinner is a family affair and everyone should attend. Make it a culture and habit that we dine together and talk about things.
- Share: There are mothers who prefer the more convenient way of portioning – individual servings. This will not cultivate bonding. We have to consider serving meals on shared plates. If it is shared plates, the plates will be passed around and it will get everyone talking. It will also help the kids saying their please and thank you.
- Maximize adjectives: We can start conversations by maximizing adjectives. Instead of asking “how was your day?” we can turn it into something that will interest our kids. We can instead ask “what was the best thing that happened to you today?” The responses of the kids will help them build self-esteem.
- Be positive: When we eat, we tend to talk serious things even to the point of destroying the mood of everyone. We have to make sure that our dinner conversations are light-hearted and positive. We should avoid lecturing our kids about their school performance or argue with our spouse about our finances. We have to settle for universal topics so our kids can also participate in the conversation.
Dinner should be a family time. We have to break the ice so we can interact.