I like Sunday dinner. I think it’s important. I think all dinners are important but especially Sunday dinner. As previously noted (here), I am on the Co-Parent Team. Family dinner each night is shared. But, on Sunday, nearly every Sunday, the kids are home for dinner.
We don’t make anything fancy but we rush less and we typically have desert. Tonight we are having Orange Cake made by my husband and the kids. Although I am not a deeply religious person, we begin nearly all our dinners with Grace. I think it’s important to take a moment and express gratitude. The kids attended a Catholic pre-school and they would say prayer before snack and meals. They brought Grace into our home and I’ve never discouraged it.
The kids have begun to evolve into little humans. They are learning to interact during meals. They have a few conversation topics they use routinely.
“Let’s go around the table, and everyone say what the favorite part of their day was!”
“Let’s go around the table, and everyone say what the funniest part of their day was!”
“Let’s go around the table, and everyone say what the worst part of their day was!”
And we all answer. Every question. Their topics are born from my after school questions. I once read up on getting kids to communicate and I can’t remember what book it was in (sorry). But I was having trouble getting my daughter to tell me about her day. I’d ask “how was school” and she’d say “good”. And that was it. So, this book, it recommended asking specific questions. I began to ask them what their favorite subject of the day was and then why. And I would ask who they ate lunch with and did anyone say or do anything funny. I’d ask what the worst part of their day was. Because not all parts of every day are great. And so on.
Children are a reflection of us. At dinner they are reflecting me, my communication style. And I’m not going to lie, there are times where I am all too consumed with whatever life is giving me and the idea of forcing joviality into my tone to ask these questions seems burdensome. On days when I’d rather just be quiet, I force myself to engage. Because this is the foundation. We are building the house that they will live in as adults.
Children love us because we nurture them, they like us because we listen, because we ask, because we advise, because we teach…because we care.
Do as I say, not as I do. Do as I do.