When my kids started school, I started a game called “Three Things” at dinner every night. The object was for all of us to share about our day and to open up conversations. Because I’d found that when I asked the question, “So how was your day?” I was often met with the one word answer of “Fine” which didn’t exactly tell a lot.
Three Things – Tell three things about your day opened up tons of conversations and sometimes even little problems that the kids were having so we could help them. Initially I tried to steer it towards Three GOOD Things (which happened often), but as they got older, it was more helpful to not put the pressure on them to only talk about the good when they had other things going on.
Three Things also helped them practice good table manners and how to converse while eating a meal in front of people. For example, don’t eat with your mouth full etc. It allowed the conversations to freely flow more often than not and it brought us together as a family.
We didn’t have a TV in the kitchen because I didn’t want them to be zombies watching it. I wanted us to enjoy family time before they all went in different directions for the night.
Once they got older, I didn’t have to rely on Three Things to keep a conversation going because they were used to chatting during dinner. We’ve had many interesting conversations during dinner which as a child myself, we never had. In fact, when I was a kid, my Dad read the newspaper at dinner and watched the news on TV while we ate. Sure we talked for a few minutes – “How was your day?” “Fine.” But nothing more and I didn’t want that repeated in my own home
And that’s how Three Things came to be. What do you do at dinner?