The art of family conversation

The art of family conversation

Rediscover the pleasure of chatting to each other - it’s free and you all might find out something new!

If your household is so frenetic, you seldom have the luxury of sitting down and talking to each other, here are some ways to get family conversation off to a fine art.

“How was your day?”
“What did you do?”

Sound familiar? It’s a very normal exchange between parent and child. But just because it’s normal, does that make it right? No!
Here’s one mum’s story:

Realising that my son (13) was becoming one of those teenagers that grunts instead of talking, I decided to introduce the ‘art of conversation’ into family life (but gradually – so the kids didn’t think I’d gone potty). Some of my experiments were a disaster - so I’ll only describe the successful ones!

1. To begin with, I banned TV dinners (having first got hubby to agree to give them up too). From the first night onwards, I laid the table carefully, making sure everything was there (salt, pepper, paper napkins, drinks etc) so I wouldn’t have to keep jumping up to get things. When everyone was seated, instead of asking, ‘How was your day?’ I asked a different question: ‘What’s the nicest thing that happened to you today?’
I started with my daughter (8) then asked my husband, then my 3-year-old (hilarious answer!) and finally my 13-year-old son – who by that time was bursting to speak!


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2. The following night, I did a ‘themed’ meal – Chinese. I gave everyone chopsticks which caused a lot of giggles. We finished with fortune cookies, which stimulated lots more chat.

3. One night, when everyone was a bit lacklustre, I said we all had to swap seats and pretend to be the person whose seat we took. This role-play was a real eye-opener. I learnt a lot about how my kids see me – and was gently able to show them what they’re like too!

4. When everyone came to the table arguing one evening, I kept the food warm in the oven and put a wooden spoon on the table: a ‘talking stick’ (if you want to speak, you pick up the stick and no one can interrupt until you put it down and they pick it up). The supper got a bit dried up, but WOW that was a great discussion!

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These are a wonderful idea - can't wait to try them! :-)

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I love these suggestions, my kids are only 2 and 3 so conversation is limited! But I'll try to keep these ideas in my head for later :)

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