With our kids growing older by the minute and maturing before our eyes, we have seen the even greater importance now to introduce to them the skills of a good conversation.
We have found the dinner table to be a good place for this kind of training and since we sit around our table every night, we ought to have lots of practice!
Up to this point, we have mostly relied on encouraging everyone to share something about their day - a report of sorts. We've found that even a very young child can do this. In fact, sometimes the youngest has the most enthusiasm and wants to have the floor for a looooooooong time. We have had to reign her in just to be fair and give the others a shot.
This evening, I had the pleasure of sharing the dinner table with four lovely young ladies.
Here are their top highlights from their day, or what they chose to emphasize tonight.
"Today we studied the Greek and Persian war which was basically a review, but today we looked at it from the Greeks' perspective."
"Today we got to try kimchi, a Korean food."
"Today we measured buoyancy by doing an experiment with a bobber and weights."
And last, but certainly not least...
"My teacher said the elephant is the largest, largest, largest, largest, largest animal in the jungle."
Talk about interesting and fun topics to get into further!
Now comes the hard part where we help the kids learn to ask questions of each other and comment on what someone else has said in an intelligent and respectful way.
I think doing this is one of those life-long lessons.
If you have any input as to how to teach these skills or have insights from your own experience, pass them on!