Truth be told, dinner time had gotten all but out of control. The kids seemed to think this was silly hour and parents began to consider it the dreaded hour when we tried in vain to talk to one another over the noise and then there were dishes to clean up afterward and sweeping. Not much fun.
We realized at this stage in our life, dinner probably isn't the best time to try to talk to each other. We sat the kids down and told them dinner was the time to share their ideas and experiences with their parents, and father especially as he doesn't have much time with us otherwise. We made the rule that conversation had to center around what the parents would be interested in hearing from them. No silly jokes, no nonsense. And we'd make the effort to encourage and listen to them.
So, at dinner tonight, they talked about their day and showed some pictures they drew which led to a discussion about talents and each child wanted to share his talent and one got to thinking his talent was flexibility which ended with him having his feet behind his head and everyone laughing and laughing.
"I suppose this is a step forward." I said to my husband,"We're having conversation."
"Yes," my husband agreed with a smile, "but maybe they've just brought us down to their level."