Last Friday night’s Family Dinner Download started a great discussion over our pizza. The discussion prompt started with some information about International Women’s Day. It led me to ask my boys about three women who have been influential in their lives. It led to a great discussion about influence in general, and what it means to be under someone’s influence — positively or negatively.

I also asked them, “If you could have dinner with three women that you admired, living or not, who would you choose?” I was blown away by their answers. Then, my 11-year-old turned the tables on me and asked, “If you could have dinner with any three men you admired, who would you choose.” (In case you want to know, I chose C.S. Lewis, Jimmy Stewart and Bono.)

There are times when we need some help getting discussions started at the dinner table. We’ve had a long day. Everyone’s done the same-old, same- old — work or school. Unfortunately, there are days when nothing particularly fascinating happens. That’s where discussion starting topics come in handy because they take the discussion away from “What did you do today?” to topics that draw information out of your children that you might not get any other way. Information like my 11-year-old would want Rosa Parks at his dinner. Who knew?

If you’re looking for discussion starters, look no further than these websites that have put ideas together for you.

I like the idea that a couple of these websites had to print out the conversation starters, cut them apart, and put then in a jar near your table. Then when you need a topic, just pull one out of the jar.  

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