Do you know what my kids fight about most at dinnertime?
What color cup they get? ...no...
Who gets the last piece of jello? ...no...
The biggest point of contention at our dinner table is about who gets to sit by MOM!
(WOOHOO! I'm loved!)
Oh, children, children, no need to fight! (Gush!)
There's enough of mom to go around...(especially while I'm pregnant.)
Anyway, while I was visiting family in Colorado last week, I spied a book that my MIL had set out on the breakfast table for us sisters to discover. (Incidentally, it's called Walking into a Hug.) It's a journal/workbook that helps you to create a more embracing home over a 52-week period, by implementing one new habit each week.
I read through the book that afternoon and took notes of suggestions I thought would help us/me to create a more loving atmosphere. I also wrote down any impressions that came to me about our home-life that were not in the book...and there were a LOT of them.
One of them was a possible solution to making table-seating fun instead of a fight.
I didn't like the idea of having set seating. It's boring, predictable, and too top-down for me. Plus, given the fact that everybody wants to sit by me, I didn't want to have to "choose a favorite" to get that "privilege."
So, instead, I thought why not pull numbers every night before we sit down to determine where we'll each sit at dinner?
That way it mixes things up, creates an element of anticipation and surprise, and takes the pressure off of me to break up quarrels and crying over who gets to sit where!
We introduced this new "dinner game" last night before dinner/FHE, and I think the kids enjoyed it. At least...no one cried!
As dinner was winding down, I started discussing our family's schedule and how we'd work in our chores and fun time around school drop-offs and pick-ups and homework and such.
I presented some time dilemmas that we are facing and asked them to help come up with the best way around the problems. They enjoyed giving their input into how our mornings and evenings together will go in the fall. Then I asked them to tell me other fun things they'd like us to do together as a family on the weekends. Guy had a lot of suggestions which revolved around each child getting alone time with Mom or Dad.
At one point, I asked Scarlett a question, calling her by name at first to get her attention. She said, "Mom, you mean, #2? Why don't you just call us by our seating numbers?" Smarty-pants!!! :)
To wrap up our family home evening together, I told the children that I had a surprise for each of them. While I was in Colorado, I spotted these cool closet organizers at the Current outlet for $8 each! There is a slot for each weekday, where the kids can lay-out their school clothes and gather items they might need for special things happening each day. The kids were thrilled with their back-to-school presents, and I am looking forward to seeing them use these things to organize their ever-expanding lives!
Now if only Guy and Autumn had a closet in their new bedroom, we'd be all set! I'm working on that!
We start school next week, so our next FHE will include back-to-school blessings from Dad!
Check out more FHE reports from That Good Part!
And if you're interested in seeing some more food-related tips, check out these posts:
A Snack-sneaking Solution (which I use to make lunch fun)
A Dish Solution that has helped us keep dirty dishes to a minimum.