YOU Magazine - April 2008 - 4 Ways to Get Your Kids Talking at the Dinner Table
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Kathleen Petty     Kathleen Petty
AVP/Sr Mortgage Originator
Alaska USA Mortgage AK#157293
Phone: (907)261-3458 Cell: 223-4440
Fax: (907)929-6699
License: NMLS Unique Identifier #203077
Alaska USA Mortgage AK#157293
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4 Ways to Get Your Kids Talking at the Dinner Table

4 Ways to Get Your Kids Talking at the Dinner Table

Once a highly regarded institution, the family dinner table has all but disappeared from the weeknight agenda. For the better part of this country's history, "dinner time" meant far more than the time of the evening when supper was put on the table. It was an opportunity for parents to connect with children and for everyone to discuss the events of their day. The following article and video is one mother's attempt to reestablish this tradition.

Casey Cunningham is a leader in mortgage banking. With over 20 years of successful industry experience, she is the creator of Xinnix, one of the nation's leading mortgage academies. Casey is also a wife and a mother.

In an attempt to bring the traditions of her family into a daily practice for everyone to enjoy, Casey created several dinner-time games. They are designed to promote thought and discussion, as well as communication, among family members. Most of all, they are meant to transform the average weeknight dinner into an above average experience.

The High-Low Game
Meant as a springboard for discussion, the High-Low Game is an opportunity to gain invaluable insight into each other's lives, and then respond with the proper feedback. The rules of the game are simple. It starts with each family member sharing the low point of their day, or at very least the moment or event they would most like to change. The game ends on a high note as everyone then shares the best part of their day, or whatever brought them the most joy.

The Goal Game
This game is designed to keep your children dreaming. Moving around the table, everyone takes turns describing a personal goal. Goals can either be short-term or long-term. The point is to initiate a discussion, as well as action and influence on your part. Understanding your children's dreams is the first step in guiding them to accomplish their goals.

The Spelling Game
The purpose of the Spelling Game is to stimulate creative thinking and to emphasize the learning process as a whole. It also promotes good spelling as well as an enhanced vocabulary. Here's how it works: The game starts with the family deciding on a topic, e.g. animals. The first player chooses an animal and spells it out. The next player spells an animal that starts with the last letter of the previous animal, and so on and so on. The game ends when someone either misspells a word, or cannot think of an animal that starts with a specific letter.

The Laughing Game
As the title suggests, the Laughing Game is all about having a good time and relieving daily stress. The object of the game is to keep a straight face while saying whatever it takes to make the other family members laugh. The last person with a straight face wins. You will be surprised to hear some of the crazy things your kid will think up. Just remember to try not to laugh!

These are just a few examples of the games Casey plays with her family during dinner. We encourage you to try them out or think up some of your own. Most importantly we encourage you to make a point of eating dinner together as a family. Doing so will yield positive results and is sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.

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