Welcome to Week 3 of the STRONG Challenge! This week, we’re focusing on connecting and reconnecting. One of the best ways to connect with your family and friends is by having a conversation. What better place is there to start a conversation than in the kitchen or around the dining room table? These two areas of our home are not only gathering places, but spaces that we usually associate with being open, comforting, and welcoming.
A conversation is defined as a talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged. Taking a step back at dinner time to engage with others is a great way to learn, encourage, and listen. Put away the phones, tablets, and computers; turn off the TV and engage with each other.
Regardless of whether or not your meal is homemade, takeout, or leftovers, gather your family together and strike up a conversation around the table. You might find something out about each other that you never knew, and gain meaningful insight into each other’s lives. A well thought out question is one of the best ways to unwind together after a long day. It can be difficult to establish those connections, even with your loved ones, and they’re so important to our mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
To get you started, here are some suggestions to get a deeper conversation going:
If you had superpowers, what would they be and how would you use them for good?
A question like this helps to open up the imagination and makes you and your kids think about different ways we can help people. You might also learn about an issue that’s weighing on your child’s mind that he or she might not be able to articulate in another way.
What was your favorite part of the day?
While this is a fairly general question that we ask often, it’s a simple way to start a conversation. A question like this lets your kids know that you care about and are interested in their opinions and feelings. Avoid asking close-ended questions that can be answered with “yes” or “no.” Open-ended questions like this help to encourage conversations to keep going and give you an opportunity to ask a follow-up question. Don’t forget to share your favorite part of the day as well!
What is your favorite thing to do with the family?
By asking this question, you’ll hear your family’s thoughts on the things they like to do. This can help in planning that quality time with them in the future, and give you a good working list of ideas and activities that the whole family will enjoy.
Would you rather questions like “Would you rather go to the beach or the mountains?” or “Would you rather be a giraffe or an elephant?”
You’re only limited by your imagination! Get as silly as you want to with these and let everyone at the table have a turn coming up with a “would you rather” question. Give each family member the opportunity to share their opinion before moving on to the next question.
What funniest thing happened to you today? What made you smile today?
Let your kids laugh and giggle or feel proud for a moment by asking them about their happiest moment of the day. Don’t push for more information, simply listen and focus on your child’s feelings. Be sure to share your happiest moment, too.
Remember, you can have conversations with your family anywhere, not just around the kitchen or dinner table. Keeping conversations open is a great way to communicate with your family. Make sure that you listen to what others have to say. Never pass judgment rather than give advice and support.
I wish you all the best in keeping up your progress during Week 3 of the STRONG Challenge. Keep moving and don’t lose motivation, but remember it’s important to slow down and strengthen emotional and mental connections just as much as it is to work out to strengthen physical ones.
Let's get #StrongerTogether. Until next week!