Gathering around the dinner table is important and wise parents make the effort to do so. But what are some table topics questions to promote conversation? We’ll get to that in this article!
Family dinners used to be an everyday occurrence, however, as our lives became busier, family dinners have have become more of an exception than a rule.
School and extracurricular activities consume more of our time. As a result, there is less time for families to enjoy each others company. There are constant interruptions of phones, television, computers and other things that ring, beep, swoosh, and ping.
Parents who want to keep family time sacred must make an effort to do so. Even if it can’t be every evening, a family dinner two or three times a week should be a family goal.
Discussion Around The Table
My mother wasn’t Donna Reed or Mrs. Cleaver but she did have dinner on the table every evening and we were all there.
This was in the 1950s and 60s (a long time ago), but even then tv was beginning to have an impact and families often scheduled their evenings around what was on the tv schedule.
>> Also read: Fun activities for bored teenagers.
Many of my friends would have the tv on during dinner which my parents didn’t allow. We always said a blessing over the food and then started eating.
Mom was a good cook and I think in those days most women were “supposed” to cook and the kids cleaned up. Which we did. No dishwasher involved.
Our dinner table conversation was limited to what we and our friends did in school that day and activities being planned at church. One of my brothers was especially funny so I remember a lot of laughter too.
Two parents, 4 kids and eating in the kitchen in a small house. This was the way it was with most of the people I knew.
One of the differences in our family I know now and didn’t know then is that our family tended to linger around the table long after we were finished eating just talking. I always thought that was normal but later realized not all families liked each other that much.
Or they were in a hurry to get to the TV.
Why Conversation At The Table Is Important For Families
Table discussion is a great way to connect with family, learn about each others day, and spend time together. When parents are working and kids are in school, there aren’t many times to enjoy each other’s company and dinner is a great opportunity (read my article on hand-clapping games for kids).
I know people whose parents expected lively conversations on topics of importance like current events or books. That may have been nice but ours was limited to what was going on in our lives as children.
For example, if we discussed an unfair thing that happened to us at school our father would be ready to remind us that life doesn’t always go as planned and then offer ways in which we might help correct the problem. I don’t remember anyone ever being chastised or demeaned in any way while at the table, but it was a time for learning.
I know my mother and father saw the time together as an opportunity to grow. Problem-solving and sharing with one another is what families should do. Dinner is the perfect time for it.
Strategies For Table Topic Questions
- Daily Review
One family we know has a “Best – Worst – Funniest – Thankful” moment during the meal. Everyone takes turns going over the best thing that happened during the day, the worst, the funniest and then shares something they are thankful for.
This never ceases to create opportunities for discussion and laughter! I highly recommend this activity.
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It’s especially nice when the grandkids say they are thankful for grandma and grandpa every night!
A fun activity to do with family is to read and answer the big quiz in the newspaper. No one will have all the answers but it’s just fun to try.
It’s a bit like trivial pursuit but shorter. No winners or losers.
- Debate Club
Debating is a skill that everyone should probably learn. Many people think it is just arguing but it’s not.
There are guidelines that debaters follow, two of which are being respectful and listening to opposing views. To debate at the table it’s best to keep the topic light.
For example, “What’s better watermelon or ice cream?”, “Should we go to the mountains or the beach?”
Debating things that don’t really matter will keep the discussion lively but non threatening. Dinner conversation shouldn’t be upsetting to anyone.
Quick tip: Avoid politics and religion especially when visiting relatives.
101 Engaging Table Topics Questions For Families
Here are some conversation starters….
1. What was the strangest thing you saw today?
2. What would you do if a new student came in your class today?
3. What makes a good teacher?
4. Where do you want to go on your next vacation if you could choose anywhere?
5. How many ways can you be a good friend?
6. When you’re sad what cheers you up?
7. What’s your earliest memory?
8. Who is a person at school you admire? Why?
9. Name an historical figure you would like to talk to?
10. If you could have 3 people over for dinner who would they be?
11. What would you like someone to say about you?
12. Describe your regular day.
13. What is your favorite song?
14. Have you made a mistake lately? How did you correct it?
15. Has a teacher ever made you feel sad? How?
16. Has a teacher ever made you feel wonderful? How?
17. What is your best skill or talent?
18. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
19. What is the best gift you’ve ever given?
20. Did you hear a word today that you didn’t understand or know the definition of?
21. Did you experience nature today? How?
22. What did you do today that required physical effort?
23. If you could time travel, where would you go and at what time?
24. What would your friends do if you dyed your hair green?
25. Imagine your job in the future. What are you doing?
26. If you were in a TV show which one would it be?
27. If you could be the best at any sport what would it be?
28. What is something that always gets you really excited?
29. What are three of the best qualities in parents?
30. What are the three best qualities in children?
31. What are the three best qualities in humans?
32. What do you look forward to in the morning when you wake up?
33. When you are old, what do you think you will be like?
34. What could your parents do that would really surprise you?
35. If you were a fly on the wall where would you want to be so you could hear and see what was going on?
36. Give your mom some advice.
37. Give your dad some advice.
38. Give yourself some advice
39. Give your sister some advice.
40. Give your brother some advice.
41. Have you had a prayer that was answered?
42. Do you have a dream that happens over and over?
43. If someone gave you $1,000 what would you do with it?
44. If you had to move next year, where would you want to move to?
45. If you could be one person you read about in a book, who would you be?
46. Do you like to share?
47. If you opened a shop, what would you like to sell?
48. If you could learn anything in school what would want to learn?
49. Who is the best teacher in your school?
50. What do you like best about where you live?
51. What do you like about your best friend?
52. What animal do you like to watch?
53. What animal would you like to talk to?
54. What animal would you like to be?
55. What did you do for someone else today that was kind?
56. Who was kind to you?
57. What are you very proud of?
58. What embarrasses you?
59. How do you know your parents love you?
60. How do your parents know that you love them?
61. What is your favorite part of the day?
62. What is your favorite holiday?
63. What is your favorite dessert?
64. What is your favorite dinner?
65. What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen?
66. Do you have a hobby?
67. What do you do to get in trouble?
68. If you could assist your dad at work what would you like to do?
69. If you could assist your mom at work how would you help?
70. What is the funniest thing that happens at your house?
71. What is your purpose on earth?
72. How does a relative make you laugh?
73. How does your friend make you laugh?
74. Do you laugh a lot or not much? Why?
75. Do you have a bad habit?
76. Do you have a good habit?
77. What should be against the rules in our home?
78. What is your favorite thing about summer?
79. What is your favorite candy?
80. How many birds can you name?
81. What is your favorite vegetable to eat? How do you like it cooked?
82. Can you tell a joke?
83. Do you know a knock-knock joke?
84. Do you think you have an enemy? Why?
85. How have you assisted someone when they didn’t ask for help?
86. Has anyone told you they appreciate you? Have you told anyone the same?
87. What’s the scariest movie you’ve ever seen?
88. What is the funniest movie you’ve ever seen?
89. What is the best movie?
90. What kind of weather do you like the best?
91. If you were a chef what would be your best dish?
92. What do you like on your sandwich?
93. What are you most thankful to God for?
94. When God created earth, what do you think he had the most fun making?
95. Did you compliment anyone today?
96. What is the compliment you ever received? Did you say thank you?
97. Look at your pet. What do you imagine they are thinking?
98. If you wrote a book, what would the title be?
99. If someone wrote a book about you, what would the title be?
100. What is wisdom? Do you have it?
101. What is your newest hack or tip to make life more efficient?
What Not To Do Or Allow At The Dinner Table
The art of conversation is not valued as much as it used to be. But it can be taught by example and parents should make an effort to do so.
Listening is an important part of conversing so interrupting others should be discouraged.
It is so sad when I see families out to eat and all the kids are looking at their cell phones. That would be the first thing to go.
No cell phones. No TV. Table set nicely. Good manners practiced by all. Children learn good manners at home first so parents must be ready to teach them.
I don’t think I’ve even heard the term “etiquette” for years but good manners can be taught and they are appreciated. If you’re not sure what good manners are for dining, look it up!
This brief article is about dinner time with the family. Families should make the most of the time with the children at home because they grow up quickly.
While eating dinner together may not be not considered “a big deal”, I’d like to encourage you to make it special. Focus on the children and each other.
Listen and learn about them. Laugh together. Teach when the opportunity presents itself.
Make dinner time a positive uplifting event with no put downs or arguing.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31