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What's the first word you think of when you hear the phrase, "family dinner"? Exhausting? Stressful? It's time to change that! Take the reins back and steer your family dinners back towards the sunset. These 4 small transformations will make a world of difference. Are you ready for a change?
Lose the Stress, Add Some Silly
What stresses you out the most about family dinners? Discover your triggers and find a way to reduce it. Is it the food planning and preparing? Try Rachael Ray's 365: No Repeats. It's all 30 minute meals- seriously 30 minutes. I've been using it for years- our favorite is the Boo's Butternut Squash Mac-n-Cheese. Does the chaos that ensues at the dinner table make you dread it? Wrangle that energy and direct it towards Silly Suppers. Pick a card and discover how silly your family will be tonight. Maybe you'll eat with socks on your hands or go on a scavenger hunt for your food. Either way, it'll let the laughter in and the tension out. Is it the dishes you dread? Sometimes it's okay to use paper plates especially when it leaves you with your sanity intact.
Create Connecting Conversation
Get out of your typical weeknight conversation rut. You need to be making real connections as you talk with each other and you need to include everyone! Family dinners provide great opportunities to bond but not if it's only the adults talking. Skip the mundane questions and dig a little deeper with this Chat Pack. Want to make your conversations more meaningful? Use my 50 Book of Mormon Themed Dinner Discussions. You'll talk about the Book of Mormon plus discover new things about each other. If you subscribe to The Chicken Feed, you will also receive General Conference themed dinner discussions after every April and October General Conference.
Bring On the Dinner Games!
Fun family games to the dinner table? YES! You'll love playing LDS Shout Out! It's an easy way to see what your children know about the gospel and to share small bits of your testimony all while having a blast. Take turns guessing the 10 target answers so everyone gets in on the fun. Looking for more games appropriate for the dinner table? Try this pack of Table Games- simple enough to adapt to your family and fun enough to want to linger longer at the dinner table.
Music is one of the fastest ways to change the mood in the room. Is everyone off the wall crazy? Did people come home in a bad mood? Turn on some music! We love using Amazon Prime Music. You can listen to Prime Stations (all commercial free), create your own playlist, or use one of their already done for you playlists. Amazon Prime Music even has some playlists that are dinner themed. Try the Scores Station or one of your favorite bands. And yes, they even have some Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Make one of these small dinner changes at least once a week in your family and watch how your family dinners transform into fun family gatherings full of memories. Your family is yours forever; make your eternal bonds strong now.
Your Turn- How do you transform family dinner time?