Many parents, especially parents of older teens, oftentimes feel their kids don’t want to sit around the dinner table and talk to them. You can rest assured that this is actually not the case. At The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, we surveyed thousands of teens. Kids do, in fact, want to have family dinners. More than eight out of ten teens of all ages preferred to have dinner with their families. And what they want at dinner is to talk to you!
Try making talking about anything and everything part of your normal family routine, and establish that free exchange as early in life as possible. One great way to get kids talking at dinner is to use conversation starters. At your next family dinner try some of our conversation starters below.
- What are the best and worst things that happened today?
- What’s your favorite place in the house to hang out?
- If you were in charge of the music for our family vacation, which songs would you pick?
- Which TV show is the most fun to watch?
- What do you like about your friends?
- What’s your favorite amusement park ride?
- What’s favorite toy or game?
- What values are most important to you?
- Who’s the greatest athlete of all time?
- What can each of us do to make the world a better place? What can we do as a family?
- Did you see anything fun on YouTube today?
- Who’s your favorite teacher and why?
- What’s your favorite subject in school?
- What’s your favorite pizza topping?
For even more great conversation starters check out our CASA Family Day Activity Kit. In addition, there’s also many other tips, games, and tools in our activity kit that can help you connect with your kids on a daily basis. All of these activities can help the dialogue between you and your child grow more each day, so that when it comes time to talk about nicotine, alcohol, and other drugs, it will feel more open, honest, and natural for everyone.