Skip to content
Home » How To Be Intentional With Your Kids At Dinner Time

How To Be Intentional With Your Kids At Dinner Time

If you have kids, I think you know how rushed and chaotic dinner time can be. Everyone is tired from the day, hungry, maybe a little cranky, and each person has had a different experience of events throughout the day. It can be a struggle to come together and actually enjoy each other’s company much less have good, meaningful conversations. While we are still learning what works best for our family, I wanted to share some tips that have proven to work for us. So, here is how to be intentional with your kids at dinner time!

Set The Standard

As the grown up in this scenario, you have the power to set the standard. (Mind blowing, I know), but as mentioned before, maybe you have had a hard day too. I suggest doing some work in your own head before sitting down to eat. Take some good deep breaths, recite some scripture to yourself, take a quiet moment in the car to reset, whatever works for you! Make sure you have a sound mind that is ready to enjoy your family instead of reeling all the day’s crazy events.

Then, when it is time to sit down for dinner, you can be level headed and ready to enjoy the company of your family! If you are like me and are the primary cook of the home, check out this post on the secret to creating a love for cooking. It used to be difficult for me to go straight from cooking mode to enjoying my family mode, but as detailed in that post, the Lord has graciously redeemed that part of my life.

Put The Phone Away

This is so important!! Being intentional with your kids starts with giving your undivided attention to them. If your phone is in your hand, pocket, or on the table, your attention will naturally be divided. If you have older kids with phones, set the example! Maybe have a designated spot where everyone puts their phones before dinner time. If you have younger kids, I promise they are watching all the time. I know you don’t want them to grow up thinking it is okay and normal to be glued to a phone. AND I know you want your kids to know how loved and valued they are. If your nose is in your phone, you’re sending the wrong message! This Father’s Perspective has some great insight on dad’s and their phones in this post.

Ask Intentional Questions

There is no better way to learn what is going on in your child’s life than asking them about it! Maybe you have a question that you ask every night, or maybe you mix it up! Let me take the guess work out of it and provide you with a list of questions to choose from!

  1. What made you feel happy today?
  2. Did anything make you feel sad today?
  3. What was the BEST part of your day?
  4. Who did you play with today?
  5. What is one new thing you learned today?
  6. Who are your closest friends right now?
  7. What plans do you/we have for the rest of the week?
  8. Who was kind to you today?
  9. Who was not kind today? How did that make you feel?
  10. Who were you kind to today?
  11. Were you unkind to anyone today? Tell me about what went on.
  12. Did you meet anyone new today?
  13. What are you looking forward to in your life right now?
  14. Is there anything coming up that makes you feel nervous? How can we work through that together?
  15. What makes you feel most loved?
  16. What brings you the most joy?
  17. Did you have to practice patience at any point today? Tell me how that went!
  18. Tell me one thing you are thankful for today!
  19. Tell me one thing you are working to improve today!
  20. What do you hope to accomplish tomorrow?

While I don’t recommend asking all of these in one night, your kids would feel under attack!! I do think being intentional about asking a couple at each meal will inspire good, meaningful conversation.

Leave Room To Listen

If you are going to ask a question, this is probably the MOST important step. Leave room to listen. In order to build good, honest, open communication with your kids, it is SO important to listen to them. Listening promotes trust, helps you get a better understanding of who your child is, and enables the conversation to keep moving.

If you are constantly interrupting with your own thoughts or feelings, your kids won’t feel safe enough to share with you. This is particularly important when asking questions about how your child is feeling or what they have been experiencing. Give them the chance to answer honestly, listen intently, then respond thoughtfully.

Read A Family Devotional Together

Reading a family devotional together has been such a great thing for our family at dinner time. Our kids love it and we are all learning something new together. Devotionals by The Daily Grace Co. are amazing! We are currently working through All About Jesus. These devotionals are awesome because they bring us together, we memorize scripture together, and our kids are learning reading comprehension even at 2 and 4 years old. The layout of this devotional allows for us to discuss and answer questions as a family, and the result has been my son asking big questions in everyday life. The fruit we have harvested from family devotional time at dinner has been indescribable.

Make Sure You Leave Room To Be Silly

While most of these ideas are pretty serious in nature, because being intentional with your kids is a serious thing, make sure you leave room to be silly! Tell some jokes, make funny faces, sing a silly song, make fun memories around the table! When your kids grow up and look back at their childhood, wouldn’t it be sweet if the thing they did every single day with their parents (eating dinner) was one of their favorite memories?!

Now you know our secrets on how to be intentional with your kids at dinnertime! So, What do you do around your table? Will you try out any of these ideas?

Join our Community!

When you join the Heart + Home community (it's FREE!) You will be given access lots of freebies. Planners, kid's room decor, etc. PLUS you will be encouraged, receive tips, tricks, and everyday motherhood anecdotes.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

6 thoughts on “How To Be Intentional With Your Kids At Dinner Time”

  1. What a great post! I love all the tips on how to be intentional with your kids at dinner time! Growing up, dinner was sacred. No phone calls, no TV – just family conversations and connections.

  2. These are awesome ideas. I particularly love the idea, leave room to be silly. After a hard day, it wouldn’t hurt to show your funny side around the table.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *