September 26, 2018

Conversations best around dinner table


There are few conversations that I treasure more than those my wife and I have with our four children at the dinner table.

Despite how busy we have become we make sure to sit at the table with our children five nights a week.

The conversations at the table will often begin with a play-by-play recap of their day and eventually morph into talking about politics, travel, religion and more.

Our oldest child Connor, 11, loves to talk about politics, science and life. He greatly enjoys being the eldest, and when it comes to an in-depth conversation, Connor is the go-to child.

Our oldest daughter Marlena, 9, likes to talk about her day, her dreams and religion, and while her interests change frequently, she asks the questions — many of which spur conversation among us all.

Our youngest boy William, 6, pretty much talks about anything that catches his attention. Sometimes, with the younger ones, people might have a tendency to brush them off in conversation, but when a 6-year-old can recall what day three months ago you had pizza and what was on it, I highly suggest you listen to him.

While our youngest child Charlotte, 9 months, isn’t quite ready for the discussion, I have noticed that she loves the interactions at the table — often making faces, blowing bubbles and seeing if she is able to capture the attention of her siblings.

I am not sure if it is usual to discuss hot topics with children as much as we do, but I take great pride in knowing they are free-thinkers.

My wife and I challenge our children to explore what they are told and learn more on both the topics that interest them and the ones that don’t. We also invite the children to challenge us and ask whatever their hearts desire.

The innocence of children presents a unique view on the happenings of the world. Their fresh perspectives have several times influenced my opinions.

As I look back on my childhood, some of my most treasured memories are the long discussions with my dad. He put a great deal of time into challenging me, and in turn my views likely challenged his own. The discussions brought us closer together and eventually went beyond a father-son relationship to that of two best friends.

My hope is that in addition to helping my children expand their minds, our discussions will stick with them and offer them an insight into who I was and my views on life. I don’t expect my children to agree with me, but I hope through our dinner table conversations, they will have memories to treasure, whether I am with them or not.


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