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    March 27, 2020 2 min read


    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?

    • What skill do you wish you had?
    • What are you proud of?
    • What is your superpower? (it can be very silly, or very serious)
    • Describe your perfect room (it can be anywhere).
    • If you could travel to any time and place, where would you go?
    • What would make human beings better?
    • What is the best thing about the internet? (lively inter-generational clashes here!)
    • Take a family vote to cook something you don’t normally to make (Candy? Bread? Hot sauce?)
    • What would you ask your great-grandparents if you could?
    • Would you like to write a family rule book?  Do you think it would make life easier or harder?
    • Would you ever shave your head?
    • If you could become an animal whenever you wanted, what would you be?
    • What mystery would you really like to know the answer to?
    • Is there ever a time when it is good to tell a lie?

    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.

    1 Response

    ellen rocco
    ellen rocco

    March 30, 2020

    Thank you for this. We need all the reminders we can get that time spent with each other (even if not for the moment in person) is an enormously wonderful thing… I feel very lucky to be part of several online chains of conversation with friends and friends of friends and look forward to a having an in person gathering once this is over. I will definitely follow some of your suggestions – and happily use the beautiful natural linen table cloth you custom sized for me as backdrop.

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