I don’t know how things go in your family, but in ours between homework, ministries, meetings, guitar lessons, coffee dates, soccer games and just plain old everyday commitments, it can be stinkin’ hard to connect as a family. When Sam and I were first married we lived on his family farm which meant our lives and meal schedule revolved around the milking schedule. This meant that often times we weren’t eating dinner until nine o’clock and beyond. During this time we got into the nasty habit of eating in front of the TV before crawing into bed. This habit carried into the early years of raising our girls as well when it sounded so much nicer to eat and veg out once my two hooligans were tucked safely into bed and I could just relax. As they have gotten older, though, we realized we were missing valuable time to connect with our kids, sometimes the only time we actually got. We still some weeks only eat together as a family four or five nights out of seven, but that time is still vital for us to be connected in each other’s worlds. When we first started eating as a family I found myself often scolding the girls for fooling around or interrupting while their dad and I were trying to have a conversation, one that often excluded them and was above their comprehension. This was no good.
I searched Pinterest (ever the helpful resource) and find this idea of just adding each other questions during dinner. I was skeptical, but decided to give it a try. Two years ago I jotted down some questions and threw them in a jar. They ranged from “if you could be a dog for a day, what would you do?” To “if you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?” These questions are great because they help us to dream together and be imaginative. As they have gotten older, though, every once in awhile I will throw in a new one that is more meaningful. I’ve been amazed to hear the answers the girls can come up with. These questions help them think and grow, but they’ve also challenged me as well! So here are a few examples:
1.Who is someone you can encourage tomorrow and how can you do that?
2. Name three things you are thankful for.
3. Name something you love about the person on your left.
4. What is something God has been teaching you.
5. Who is someone we can be praying for?
6. Who is someone you can talk to about Jesus this week?
7. What is something you can rejoice in today?
Then, of course, there are the sillier ones like this:
1. If you could be a zookeeper for the day, what would that look like?
2. Tell us about an embarrassing moment.
3. If you could have anything to eat right now, what would it be?
4. If you could be a polar bear for the day, what would you do?
5. If you could be anything, what would you be and why? (Nora told us one time she’d like to be a unicorn in a uniform, my favorite answer ever!).
Those are just a few of ours. What about you? What questions would you ask? What do you do to connect as a family?? I’d love to know on the comments!:)