I'm pretty sure that my next statement doesn't apply to any other young families out there, but just bear with me. Ready? OK. Dinner at our house isn't always an oasis of peace, quiet, and pleasant conversation. Often it is punctuated by quarreling over who gets to share what details of the day with Dad, lacking manners, and toddler tantrums over what is or isn't on someone's plate. This never happens at your house, right?
We believe strongly in gathering our family together for dinner each night. There are lots of articles, research, and stats out there proving the importance of a pleasant family dinner each night. I reflect on this statement often:
"...the time a family spends together "eating meals at home [is] the strongest predictor of children's academic achievement and psychological adjustment." Family mealtimes have also been shown to be a strong bulwark against children's smoking, drinking, or using drugs. There is inspired wisdom in this advice to parents: what your children really want for dinner is you." --Dallin H. Oaks
family dinner conversation starters.
I have to say that pulling out this jar completely changes the dynamic of family dinner at our house. Everyone loves to participate in answering questions. And we get to know each other better as we discuss ideas.
I hope that in a couple decades my kids will still think fondly on some of our recipes. But if we can build beautiful memories laughing and talking together, my real goals will be accomplished.