Happy Sad- Connecting at the Dinner Table

Something I find to be very challenging in our home is finding time to connect with each one of our kids on a daily basis. During the week the kids get home from school, we start making dinner, we eat dinner, kids run off and play a little, everyone gets a bath and then all of a sudden it is bedtime. By the time everyone is in bed I find myself pondering when I truly connected with each one of my littles, even in the most simple of ways.

A while back I was chatting with a friend about this and she shared something that her family does every night at the dinner table. Starting that night at dinner we officially started what we call “Happy Sad”. As we sit at the dinner table each one of us takes our turn and shares the happiest and the saddest part of our days. The kids even have their own hand symbols for the occasion.IMG_7051.jpgSometimes the 4-year-old will share things from 5 days ago, but majority of the time it opens up a detailed discussion between us as a family. A few times it has also humbled my husband and I in our parenting when a child’s saddest part of their day has to do with how we responded to a specific situation with them. I have to say, it has been really good for us to hear what they have to say in those moments. Sometimes it even opens opportunities for us to discuss why there was discipline for that situation to help them understand something further. One time my daughter told me that her saddest part of her day was that she didn’t get a lot of time with me because I was busy with the baby. Talk about an eye opener. But it gave me a chance to talk with her about it and have an honest discussion together.

But what a blessing it is to hear about the happiest part of their days too. It’s great to hear how much they love school and how happy morning snuggles with mommy and daddy made them. I just love seeing the big smile on their face when they talk about the moments that brought them pure joy!IMG_7061IMG_7057Not only has this been great for our kids, but it has also been great for my husband and I. I just love when they say, “What about your day mommy and daddy? What is your happy and sad?” My husband and I take that opportunity to share very honestly about our days. It not only gives the kids a chance to hear about specific moments in our day that effected us either good or bad, but its a time where we are open with them as a family and they see that even mommy and daddy’s have hard times in their days too.

If you find yourself in need of some good family connection time, I highly recommend this! It has become such a special time at the dinner table for our family! Let me know if you give it try!

Have a beautiful day and always be kind.

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