What is your child's favorite thing about their day? Find out the answer to questions like this by creating a Family Talk Jar! It's easy to get started. So easy in fact, you could even do it at tonight's family dinner.
To start: Create multiple questions all ranging from specifics (What is your favorite book?) to broad questions (What did you learn today?). Each member of the family can also contribute questions to the jar so that the conversation just keeps growing over time. Place each question on a piece of paper, fold them, and place in a jar. You can use the jar as much as you want or as a special once a week family dinner idea.
Once you are ready, have each person at the dinner table choose a question, and go around and ask each person at the table. There are no rules, except everyone at the table must participate.
Having a Family Talk Jar can create a place where each member of your family can have a voice and be heard. It helps everyone be connected, on the same page and to learn a little more about their family members. For children, it helps them with expression, story telling and also builds self-esteem.
What should you use for a jar? ANY CONTAINER! The spaghetti sauce jar, oatmeal canister, or even unused Tupperware. You can even have the children decorate it!
What are examples of questions? We have some below to get you started. To promote more than one word answers, use WHY where necessary after each question.
What is/was your favorite subject in school? Why?
Who is your best friend? Why?
What's your greatest fear? Why?
What is the most important lesson you want to pass on to others? Why?
What personal traits do you like the best about yourself? Why?
What's the last book you read? What was it about?
Want more question ideas. You can find a printable here: Utah State Universities Family and Consumer Sciences
Tips for Starting a Family Talking Jar
Prepare the family: Give them an option to participate. If they choose not to, they can do the dishes while everyone else talks. That should get everyone on board!
Pick a time or a day that works with everyone's schedule and try to start that day.
Make it a safe place to be themselves, be goofy, act it out, give them solutions to their problems, and most importantly give them your full attention.
Everyone needs a stage to perform on to build confidence and feel important. Let them know you care through this small action that they will remember for a lifetime.