Why Family Dinner Conversations Are So Important & How We Make Them Matter

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Have you ever read an article or a blog about the benefits of a sit-down dinner with your family. You quickly decide that from this point forward, you’re going to enforce that rule in your house too. Perfection: that’s what we’re after, right?

Well, we’re going to stop you right there…We’re two moms, just like you, living in a guilt-filled world of soccer games, math tutoring and yes, even sit-down family dinners. Oh you don’t have sit-down family dinners every night? Shame! Well, we say, shame on those who are shaming us! After all, the ideal version of what a family dinner should look like—a perfectly set table with smiling kids politely chatting away and parents happily doling out a homemade meal—well, isn’t actually all that ideal or practical these days.  

Raise your virtual hand if you’ve ever had that “family sit-down dinner” in the car on the way to dance practice or ordered a “freshly cooked” meal from the local restaurant? We certainly have and we’re proudly closing up those takeout containers as we’re tap, tap, tapping away on our laptops! Let’s face it … life’s busy and far from perfect. So, let’s all take a breather and agree that no one’s perfect, dinner time is whatever everyone makes their best effort to have. The bottom line? We just want to have a moment to connect with our kids—that’s what gathering over a meal is really for: the potential for really amazing conversations and a chance to connect. 

We know you’ve got the “How was your day?” question covered for opening up those mealtime chit chats, but have you tried asking your kids about the news? News topics are natural conversation starters. Whether it’s news about the latest space achievement or why athletes are kneeling during the national anthem, asking a question about something happening in the world right now—something real, relevant and interesting—sparks infinite amounts of lively conversations.

Each week, we at Xyza News produce a dinner table conversation question that’s linked to something happening in the news. So after you’ve asked your requisite “How was your day?” check in, try following it up with our weekly dinner table conversation question and watch the conversation sparks fly!

For our inaugural post on Red Tricycle, we’re starting with a simple but important question: What can you do to help the environment?

Here’s the scoop: Plastic straws have been in the news A LOT lately because of their negative impact on the environment. Many places around the world have banned these environmentally-pesky things and it looks like several companies are following suit.

Starbucks, for example, has decided to phase out plastic straws from all of its 28,000 stores by 2020. Any guess on how many straws that would eliminate per year? One billion! The solution? Starbucks plans to use unique lids that allow customers to drink cold drinks without hassle.

American Airlines and Hyatt Hotels have also promised to phase out straws in their operations, but the two companies are going about it a bit differently. Hyatt will offer straws only on demand beginning Sep. 1 and American Airlines will be using biodegradable straws instead of plastic ones. SeaWorld in San Diego, California, is also banning straws and plastic bags, and Bon Appétit will remove plastic straws from all of its restaurants by 2019! It just goes to show how one small act can produce a ripple effect of planet-friendly choices around the world.

Talk to your kids about what you can do to help the environment! What have they learned—and more importantly, what can they teach you?

Featured Photo Courtesy: skeeze via Pixabay
Joann Suen & Sapna Satagopan
Tinybeans Voices Contributor

We're two perfectly imperfect moms who have five very different kids between the two of us. We believe that topics in news are a fantastic way to spark conversations in families. That's why we started the Dinner Table Conversation series here at Xyza: News for Kids. Won't you join us in the conversation? 

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