By Claire Nazar, Families for Life Council member
Regular communication builds close relationships. No matter how busy we are, it is important that we remember to set aside time for our family.
Whether it is over dinner or a simple phone call, making the effort to connect shows that we are interested in each other’s lives. In turn, this would encourage family members to share deeply about how they feel and their personal experiences.
There are many benefits to having regular conversations with our family. For instance, we become more attune to each other’s feelings and understand the challenges that our loved ones might be facing. This enables us to support our loved ones in times of difficulty.
Having conversations with your family can also stem from partaking in regular family meals. Eating together is a great way to strengthen family ties as we build a deeper understanding and get up to speed with each other’s lives.
Here are some conversation starters to make family meals more meaningful and engaging:
1. Daily events: Nothing sparks a mealtime conversation better than talking about what happened during the day. It is a simple topic to get the ball rolling and everyone around the table can join in. Simple things like sharing interesting observations at the workplace or in school can lead up to more interesting discussions.
2. News and current affairs: There are many things going on in the world today, so why not pick light-hearted topics that are age appropriate and skewed towards the interest of your child. It could be about the latest movies showing in the cinemas or gadgets released, and this is a great way to learn about one another’s viewpoints and better understand one another. As your children grow older, you can bring up more serious topics and gain insight into how they think. This may also lead to more teachable moments and lively discussions.
3. Ask fun questions: A more light-hearted approach would be to pose fun questions to one another! Questions like “If you could be any famous personality in the world, who would you be?” or “What would you bring to a deserted island?” would lighten up the atmosphere around the dining table. You may even learn something new about your family members through their unique responses.
Claire Nazar is a director of Kalco Law LLC, a mother of two and a council member of Families for Life. Together with her husband, she has been a facilitator for the 18-hour intensive marital communication skills training, Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Programme (PREP) designed by the University of Denver, US, since 2006.
Families for Life is organising a “My Family Weekend” Picnic on 2 September for families to unwind with loved ones and bond over fun, laughter and conversations. Do bring out your picnic baskets for an evening of family-friendly activities, including music performances, bouncy castles, family-friendly games, and a movie screening under the stars, which are sure to keep everyone engaged. Click here to register and receive a Families for Life goodie bag.