Parents now have to really make an effort to sit down for a family dinner with their kids. With busy schedules and the distractions from TV, computers and iPads (and more), even if you do get dinner on the table, conversation can be hard to create. But it's a habit worth forming. The problem is, how do you get your kids to talk and share about their day at the dinner table? This is even more difficult when there is a wide range of ages, as topics of interest can vary so much. 

So I really loved this idea of everyone sharing the "roses and thorns" of their day. The idea is that everyone shares one good thing about their day (the rose) and one bad thing (the thorn).

We tried it out tonight over our bowls of soup and plates of salad, and my kids were both really into it. Granted, my youngest, who is three, was more fascinated with talking about thorns themselves than her day (apparently she associates them with bee stingers and thought it would be a really bad moment of your day if you got one stuck in your eye) and my oldest (who is seven) apparently had such a good day she couldn't think of a thorn in it (perhaps she was kindly overlooking when her younger sister got in a fight with her). But both girls were agreed on one thing - ballet was definitely the "rose" for both of them today! 

But the point is, they talked, and getting them to talk was so simple! After a long day, sometimes I am wiped out by dinnertime and it was so nice to have the structure of the "roses and thorns" to get the conversation flowing between us. My husband and I both shared our "rose and thorn" of the day too, which I realized we don't do often enough. I think it's important for our kids to hear us talk about our day as well! It's a healthy example to set. 

If that seems to boring to you, here are 150 topic starters you can use instead. 

What about you? Do you have a favorite dinner time topic starter you use?

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