We have our meals together and the topic for conversation is usually about our day.
So its – Did you have a good day at school? Yes- comes the answer.
Did you play with….? Yes – again.
Of course most of the time its – ‘Don’t kick your sister under the table’ , ‘Eat your peas or there’s no dessert’!
Sometimes we talk about some interesting event coming up and that gets them excited but mostly its the mundane ‘how was your day’ conversation.
When Goodfellas got in touch with us to try something new – I knew it would be quite an experiment. For one, the children love pizzas and secondly it would probably, put a stop to boring meal time conversations.
While enjoying pizza, I started the conversation with –
1. I heard you playing Justin Bieber’s new song earlier – are you and your friends all Beiliebers?
She likes some songs of his but not all.
2. We can’t wait to watch the new LEGO film…
This was a biggie and immediately there were cries of – when are we going? It sounds great and we discussed the characters.
3. We heard that Match Attax cards are really cool – what are they all about..?
They had no clue.
4. What’s your favourite video game at the moment, we heard Skylanders is really good…
Jadyn’s favourite is Animal Crossing New Leaf and Ethan is playing Lego City on their Nintendo DS. Again this was well received and we talked about – yes – games they would ‘love ‘ to have etc. Big hints were passed. 🙂
5. If you could be any footballer, which one would you be?
This really didn’t get answers.
The idea of starting Kids Conversation Stations is great as we discussed more than the normal everyday stories. This kind of set a trend and we now have wide and varied topics at dinner.
In research carried out by Goodfellas it was found that –
Family mealtime conversations are purely One Directional
– Teenage heartthrobs revealed as a secret to getting kids chatting at the dinner table –
• 31% of parents don’t know what to talk to their kids about and 58% of mums and dads admit that their kids are bored of their tired chat
• “How was your day at school?” tops the list of parents’ most unpopular conversation starters
• One third of 6-15 year olds questioned said they would behave better at dinnertime if they were interested in the conversation
• 1 in 5 children name Harry Styles and One Direction as their favourite topic of conversation during mealtimes
• List of conversation topics kids want to discuss instead, split by age group, created to start families chatting
It’s meant to be a chance for families to get together and exchange stories, catch up on each others’ news and generally get closer. Unfortunately the flow of conversation at Britain’s family dinner tables is decidedly one-directional. Indeed, according to a study out today, parents wanting to make a connection will need to immerse themselves much more fully in their kids’ cultural interests: as one fifth of all 6-16 year olds named Harry Styles and his fellow One Directioners their ideal topic of family mealtime chatter.
The research by Goodfella’s Pizza, which studied 1,000 children aged 6-16 and 2,000 adults to find out about their mealtime habits, revealed that nearly a third (31%) of parents struggle to start a conversation with their children at mealtimes because they simply don’t know what to talk to them about. Instead, they are reverting to unoriginal opening lines to try and engage with their brood, with “How what your day at school?” and “Have you done your homework?” topping the list of go-to phrases.
As a result, over half (53%) of kids questioned claim that they are bored by their parents’ drones over dinner and wish they’d say something more relevant. They cite the poor quality of conversation as the main reason that 43% are entertaining themselves by watching TV whilst they eat, over a quarter (27%) are texting and playing games on their phones and 5% are even listening to music on their headphones.
However not all is lost, 6-16 year olds want their parents to be more “down with the kids”, with a third (33%) saying they would behave better if they were more interested in what their mum and dads had to say and a quarter (25%) just want their mum and dad to let their hair down and have a little more fun, when they eat together. In fact, the best way to get kids off their phones is to talk with them about what’s on those very devices, as a new conversation guide reveals.
To help families across the UK re-connect at mealtimes, Goodfella’s Pizza put the power in the hands of kids by asking them what topics of conversation interested them the most, broken down by age group:
• 60% of kids named video games such as Skylanders and Fifa as their go-to topics
• 55% chose pop artists such as One Direction and Little Mix,
• which was closely followed by You Tube and social media, with vine videos a hot topic amongst those questioned (41%).
Experts at Goodfella’s have taken kids’ suggestions and recommendations to create KIDS CONVERSATION STATIONS, a fun guide for parents, including 10 conversation starters (broken down by childrens’ ages) that are guaranteed (more or less) to get kids talking, making mum and dad king and queen of the dinner table once more and these were the questions that we raised at our table above.