A fun family dinner

Most nights between 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm, you'll likely find the Millers sitting at the dinner table enjoying a meal cooked right there in the kitchen.

Someone will likely be asking if he has to eat all the vegetables on his plate (or if he can have some Ranch dressing to mask their taste), someone will likely be refusing to anything on her plate at all (unless you threaten to eat it for her), and someone will be trying everything in her bag of tricks to get everyone else to discuss their days. A fourth someone will be too busy eating and reprimanding someone else for talking with his mouth full.

But last week we received a little prize that has made our family dinners a little less predictable, and much more fun. I entered a giveaway hosted by Penny (a fellow blogger who has a child with ADHD) and won Classic Dinner Games from Families with Purpose.*

I had high hopes for the game. I wanted it to help my son stay focused on finishing his dinner and less likely to forget where he was and what he was supposed to be doing (reference that whole talking with his mouth full). I also wanted it to stimulate some interesting dinner talk about what everyone experienced that day, how they were feeling, and what interesting things were happening in their worlds.

Hope #1 is a no-go. The game is fantastic and stimulating, but that's turned out to be a bad thing for a certain 8 year old. The first night we tried to play it, dinner lasted forever and someone wound up on "silent" because he couldn't remember to eat inbetween turns. However, Hope #2 was fulfilled in really thoughtful and interesting ways. Not only did playing the game lead everyone to open up, the game itself gave us prompts that forced us to get to know each other better (can you believe that a small family who spends most of their time together didn't know everything there is to know about each other?).

For instance, one card asks the children at the table to pose a series of questions to the adults that include, What is my favorite color? What is my favorite food from the school cafeteria? What is my favorite subject in school? In return, the adults ask the children, What city was I born in? What is my favorite color?

While we must wait until after Javi finishes his dinner to play, we all look forward to the game and have really enjoyed playing together. I highly recommend this "tool" for any family that wants a fun, new way to suss out the playful, talkative side of their family members -- even the ones you worry will never, ever stop talking. I'm constantly surprised by how much more there is to know about my little chatterbox, and I'm thankful this game is highlighting those hidden surprises.

*You can also follow Penny or Families with Purpose on Twitter!


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