20 Dinnertime Questions to Help your Child Develop Resilience
Recently I wrote about how to reap the benefits of family dinners for Kiddipedia, using 2 secret ingredients. Family dinners have long been studied for their benefits on children’s overall health. So when scientists told us that family dinners are the perfect setting for raising resilient children, I thought this is the yummy cherry on the cake we all needed!
What’s resilience anyway?
Now we hear about resilience and how important it is, all the time, yet we hardly understand what it is.
It is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties”, it is associated with longevity, lower rates of depression, and greater satisfaction with life! So who wouldn’t like this for their children?
M. Duke, a psychologist at Emory University showed that family dinners contribute to grounding conversations where children learn about their families. The research concluded that the more children know about their family the better they do when they face challenges. Here are the 20 questions that were used in the research. You can use them to build conversations at dinner so that one day your children will know the answers.
- Where do you come from? Do you know how your parents met?
- Do you know where your mother grew up?
- Do you know where your father grew up?
- Do you know where some of your grandparents grew up?
- Do you know where some of your grandparents met?
- Do you know where your parents were married?
- Do you know what went on when you were being born?
- Do you know the source of your name?
- Do you know some things about what happened when your brothers or sisters were being born?
- Do you know which person in your family you look most like?
- Do you know which person in the family you act most like?
- Do you know some of the illnesses & injuries your parents experienced when younger?
- Do you know some of the lessons that your parents learned from good or bad experiences?
- Do you know some things that happened to your mum or dad when they were in school?
- Do you know the national background of your family (such as German, Russian, etc.)?
- Do you know some of the jobs that your parents had when they were young?
- Do you know some awards that your parents received when they were young?
- Do you know the names of the schools that your mum went to?
- Do you know the names of the schools that your dad went to?
- Do you know about a relative whose face “froze” in a grumpy position because he or she did not smile enough?
It is not surprising that raising resilient children is associated with grounding them in who they are and where they come from. Now that you know that dinnertime can help you raise resilient children, what’s stopping you?
ADYK SCALE Duke, M.P., Lazarus, A., & Fivush, R. (2008). Knowledge of family history as a clinically useful index of psychological well-being and prognosis: A brief report. Psychotherapy Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 45, 268-272.