Remember when smartphones weren’t a thing and you didn’t feel the need to constantly tap into your social networks? Isn’t it crazy how there is a new generation of people who *don’t* remember a time before all that? If you’re a young mom, your kids are probably part of that generation. It should be no surprise that here at Brit + Co, we love tech, but we also love to unplug and be present with the people around us. As moms, it’s tough teaching your kids how to keep their digital consumption at healthy levels. One of the best ways to do this is by having tech-free family dinners.
You might be thinking, “What are my kids and I going to talk about without our phones?” We all know that the typical “What did you do at school today?” question only goes so far. Today, we teamed up with McDonald’s to show you nine ways to have the best dinner conversations with your kids. For a limited time, McDonald’s Happy Meals® come with a Cutie® so you kids can enjoy a little citrus yumminess with their meals. Good food equals good mood equals good conversations!
1. Turn off your phones. First things first, turn off any phones, tablet, watches, anything that’s able to give you a notification. When there’s less distractions, you can focus more on your food and the lovely people you’re with.
2. Share highs and lows of the day. This one is an alternative to simply asking your kids how their day was. Go around the table and share your greatest and not-so-greatest parts of your days. You’ll probably get more elaborate answers (and better conversation) this way.
3. Play get to know you games. Just when we think we know our kids, they always seem to surprise us, don’t they? As moms, you’ve definitely seen the best and worst sides of your kiddos, but do you know what animal they identify with or what their favorite season is? Those are silly examples, but that’s kind of the point. Take dinnertime to ask your kids funny questions. Here are some good ones to get your thoughts going:
- If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- If you had three wishes, what would they be?
- If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
- What is your favorite thing about yourself?
- What’s your favorite word?
- If you could invent something what would you invent?
4. Play the choosing game. When you can’t think of any more silly questions, move on to asking family members to choose between two outrageous hypothetical options. Ask each other questions like “Pick one: Having purple skin for the rest of your life or having green skin for the rest of your life” or “Having a pet ostrich or a pet elephant?” Challenge yourself to get weird! The more bizarre your questions are, the funnier the conversation gets.
5. Take a trip down memory lane. Instead of scrolling through someone’s feed on social media, dig out your old family photos to relive good times of the past.
6. Color at the table. You know those restaurants that give kids coloring pages while they wait for their food? Bring that awesome concept home! Cover your dining table with kraft paper, pile markers and colored pencils in the middle of the table and color right on the table with your kids. You can ask them questions about why they drew what they drew, or ask them to tell you a story about their drawing. If you don’t have kraft paper, bringing coloring books to the table is equally awesome.
7. Play I-Spy. What do you spy with your little eyes? I spy a happy family conversing over dinner!
8. Use dinnertime to plan a trip. Meal time is the perfect time to map out your next family vacation. Whether you plan on going overseas for two weeks or you’re just hashing out details for a weekend away, use this time to ask your kids what they want to do on the trip. Flip through travel books and make a wish list of everything you and your fam want to see, visit and eat. We know — vacation planning is a lot of work, and breaking out books and maps can make the dinner table super cluttered. Make it easy for yourself by getting McDonald’s Happy Meals®.
9. Play Two Truths and a Tall Tale. This game might be easier for the parents than on the kids. All parents had full lives before having babies, which might surprise some children. Use this game to share some fun facts about your life to your kids, but keep them guessing at the same time.
How else do you make the most out of your dinner conversations? Tweet us @BritandCo to share your tips!
Author and Photo Styling: Irene Lee
Photography: Kurt Andre
This post is sponsored by McDonald’s.