Cultivate Theme

Every night at dinner, I ask my family about their day. I do this for many reasons:

  1. I genuinely want to know. I haven't been with you all day, and maybe you had something interesting/funny/crazy happen to you but it momentarily slipped your mind, but my asking you questions made you remember and we can talk about it.
  2. This conversation style is teaching my son to be a grown-up. One day he will be eating at someone else's table and he will need to know how to carry on a conversation and ask other people questions. If we don't model this behavior at home, he will think it is perfectly fine to say whatever weird randomness pops into his head and that it suffices as conversation.
  3. While I understand that every day is not monumental, over the course of the week's conversations, I can get a general sense of where his mood is overall.
  4. I am tired. Asking about your day is a way for us to all talk about our days without having to come up with new conversational topics on the spot. 
  5. I like dinner conversation; I don't want us to eat in silence as we all stare at each other or at our food.

So, it made me laugh when my wonderful husband sent me this link of a woman ranting to parents who ask their child about their day. (I'm not being mean here, the article is actually filed under "rants.") She thinks it's not a good idea to ask a child about their day because it is either too prying or it is turning them into people pleasers.

Or, maybe it is just turning them into people who always have a social crutch to fall back on when they don't know what else to say.

Like it or not, most of us will spend our lives talking with other people. And small talk is still a part of that - the chit chat that happens before a work meeting starts, or the lady that talks to you in line at the post office, or the parent you end up next to at the children's birthday party. "Tell me about your day" is an easy way to break the ice and you might end up learning something along the way.

So, yeah, I'm still going to ask how everyone's day was at dinner for all of the above reasons, and so that we might continue learning about each other as we go.

What does your family like to talk about at the dinner table? Tell me in the comments.

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