Many of us are in the thick of more domestic intimacy than we are used to, so let’s use it! This is a unique opportunity to get to know the people we sit across a table with a little better.
There are some tricks…
You can always start with conversation 101, asking each person to share the best thing they experienced recently. A certain amount of chairmanship is necessary (looking at you, mom), the shy should be encouraged, and the talkative will need to let others take a turn.
Years ago my mother gave me a little stack of cards called The Ungame, with questions like, “What do you think your friends say about you when you’re not around?” and “Describe the ‘ideal’ mother”, as well as lighter topics like “Where would you go if you were invisible?” It’s all about dipping below the surface, getting to know the people you love. It works for teenagers too! I wouldn’t have believed how much more I learned about people I know well.
Here are some conversation starters:
What is your earliest memory?
Ask the children to make up their own questions too.
Table Topics is another company that makes cards to engage families in the art of conversation.
When you have put time, love and effort into preparing a meal, setting a welcoming table with any or all the civilizing components—food and drink, pleasant lighting, linens, flowers, and candles—lively conversation and discussion, even in a family context, is enhanced.
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