Prepare for Conversations
Dinner time is a very significant family time – if only we are intentional and use it to our advantage. Just think about it – you have a captive audience – no-one is going anywhere!!
- Table conversation – the idea that you never talk about politics or religion at the dinner table simply don’t exist in our family. We use the time around the table to talk about the values and beliefs that we hold dear.
- Read Alouds – we like to have a read aloud time during dessert. Most of our read alouds are for entertainment – for building family memories though at the same time we do often end up talking about something stemming from an incident in our book.
- Movies – Eating dinner and watching a movie is one of our favourite Friday night activities. Even though we may watch a movie for relaxation most movies have something worth speaking into. The worldview of characters is a good one – what do they believe that made them do that.
- Thinking Movies – On Sundays we often watch what we call a ‘thinking movie’. This may be a documentary, a biography, a seminar, a story with a message. These movies are chosen for the discussion to follow.
Dinner time is at the end of the day, we are tired and it is easy to let opportunities simply slip through our fingers. Sure, there will be days where we are just silly and have fun together but if we are intentional about taking hold of the opportunities that meal times offer us we will have a rich family life.
To be intentional means we will be prepared and we will be directive.
To be prepared means we need to think about the possibilities before we sit down to dinner. As I prepare the house and food for our family time around the table I use this time to think about the conversation possibilities. I reflect on things that have happened in the day, or an issue happening around the world or in our town. I think about something I’ve read or something I know the kids have read. I look for topics that I can introduce into the family conversation – topics that will direct thought and give Peter or myself an opportunity teach into.
To be directive means that we take steps to make it happen. There have been days that the conversation is simply silly for no reason other than a lack of purpose. I need to overcome the apathy that would just let it ride, and say “So I was thinking…..” and introduce my topic. We must be courageous and break the cycle of nothingness at the dinner table.
Dinner times are a time where I can share what I believe and why – about all sorts of aspects of life. Our kids need to hear this and have the freedom to discuss it as this is what will help them know what they believe and why as well.
Yes, I know October is over, but I slipped a little behind so I’m still finishing up the series!