Chris and I were both raised in families that believed family meals were important, so it hasn't been too difficult to make it a priority to eat together most of the time. Our problem is the conversation.
Half the time our kids sit and make noises. Or whistle or sing or say something silly which makes everyone else repeat it over and over and over. And over. We end up telling everyone to zip their lips and just eat if they aren't going to contribute to a decent conversation. So we all eat in peace and quiet.
But that's not what family meals should usually be about. It's a time when we can discuss our days and our discouragements and our dreams. I remember lots of interesting conversations when I was growing up, both fun and serious. And I love eating with Chris's family for the same reason. It's bonding time.
So last night the teacher gave out a page full of conversation starters. Thoughtful things like, "tell us about something nice you did for someone today?" or silly things like, "If you had 3 wishes, what would they be (and you can't wish for money!)?"
Maybe tonight we'll we'll try it out. I think there will be less hoo-ha going on while we eat, and more heart-to-heart. I'll let you know how it goes :)