Have you ever wondered why you should eat dinner together every night?
In Jessica Barna’s “Power of the Dinner Hour” statistics, she states:
The more often you eat with your children, the better the conversation will be, and the more you will learn about what is going on in their lives. As Columbia University reports: Of the kids eating with their family 0–2 times per week, 44 percent talk about what’s going on in their lives (that means 56 percent don’t!). Of the kids eating with their family 5–7 times per week, 81 percent of them will talk about what’s going on in their life at a dinnertime.
* Benefits disappear if the TV is on during dinnertime. (http://meetmeatthedinnertable.com/family-dinner-statistics)
Dinnertime creates the perfect opportunity to talk with your children and discover what they know to be true about God. I have the unique opportunity to co-parent my 4- and 6-year-old grandchildren with my son. Each night at dinner we clear all distractions to hear about each other’s day. This allows us to get a pulse on what is going well and where the kiddos might need some help or encouragement.
To do this we ask three questions:
- What was your high today?
- What was your low today?
- Where did you see God today?
We usually start with the youngest and allow him to share his answers first. We have assured the kids that there are no right or wrong answers and it is acceptable to say, “I haven’t had a low today.” Or, “I didn’t see God today.” That being said, we do encourage them to think back on their day and dig deep for answers. Knowing these questions will be asked each evening prompts them to be on the lookout throughout the day.
A few weeks ago my six-year-old granddaughter reported on her God-sighting for the day. She told the story of a little girl on the playground who was alone and crying. She said, “I went up to her and asked her if she wanted to come play with me.” She went on to say the little girl stopped crying and came and played. Curious, I asked, “how that was ‘seeing’ God?” She replied, “Oh Mimi, that was not seeing God. That was hearing Him. I heard God tell me to go do that so I did!”
Had we not taken the time to clear all distractions and give the kids an opportunity to share about knowing God in these simple yet profound ways we would have missed this! Not only are they learning to see God in nature and the love that others share, they are learning to hear God’s voice and respond and are excited to report back to their family each evening.
This month I’d love to challenge you to start this tradition in your home. Believe me, God wants us to know Him and He will show Himself in remarkable ways to you and your children.
One of my greatest joys is when my grandchildren include guests—no one is exempt from answering these questions if they sit at our dinner table.
Once everyone has answered the three questions we add a bonus question that the “asker” can make up and ask any one person at the table. These usually get pretty silly but absolutely add to the fun and impact of this family tradition.