Want your kids to have good table manners, strong conversational skills, be fully informed of upcoming activities, and show respect for those with differing points of view - all while being empowered to be their best?
Well Then, Host Your Own Dynamite Press Conference Dinner
Dinner time can be one of the most valuable opportunities for families to share information, announce upcoming dates, target discussions, celebrate achievements and introduce mini lessons in etiquette all while empowering your kids. But how?
Schedule a consistent nightly time and place for dinner. Make dinner time a recognized event to attend. Turn off cell phones, televisions, i-Pads and computers and sit down together at your kitchen counter, bar or table.
Whenever possible, make sure that the entire family participates. Even if a parent or child is missing that night, continue on with the same schedule. Dinner starts when everyone at home is seated at the table.
Introduce simple etiquette in a natural fashion. Kids need to learn where their napkin goes, to use please and thank you and maybe even to wait until everyone is served before beginning to eat. You decide which skills you want your family members to embrace. If you don't teach them, who will?
Announcements, announcements, an..noun…ce…ments. Make dinner time a chance to celebrate hard earned grades, finished projects, awards, things to be grateful for or even that you all made it through to Friday. Everyone shares. If mom or dad got a promotion, raise or some other recognition, it is equally important that everyone participates through sharing.
Take this opportunity to announce & discuss upcoming games, practices, events and trips. This is a sure way to keep everyone informed and to cut down on the never ending complaint of, "you never told me".
Promote conversational skills. Dinners are a great way for kids to learn how to converse appropriately. Anyone can select a topic for discussion. Perhaps something happened at school that has everyone buzzing. Parental behaviors model how to take turns, focus on each speaker and encourage respect for the opinions of others, even if they do not agree. Talk with your kids about listening to each other and make sure that every child has a chance to express a desired thought or feeling. If a child has shared an exceptional insight or has formulated a comment particularly well, recognize them for it.
A good press conference ends with a summary of events. Confirm dates, finalize next steps and thank everyone for sharing their thoughts at the close of dinner. By doing so you validate the importance of the dinner conversation as a means of teaching, sharing, bonding and distressing your child's busy life.