Every night at dinner our family gathers around the table to share a meal. Well most nights, we gather around the table to share a meal! We all know the struggle it is to keep the family together during the busy school year, sports, clubs, activities all the things that pull our family time away. We decided that one way that we will make the most of this time together is teach our children the importance of communication and really listening.
Growing up this was something that was such a high priority in my parent’s home. They made it a point to make sure that we had several family meals together every week. They also encouraged us to talk at the dinner table. I was able to express my opinion, ask questions, I hear about my parents day, and they truly care about what happened in mine as well. I knew that someday, when I had my own family, this was a tradition that I most certainly wanted to keep.
So about three years ago, our family started sharing at the dinner table something good that happened to that day. it was very simple, we went around the table, my kids were young so having them recall just one good thing was sometimes difficult to do, but provided the opportunity to teach them what it meant to be grateful for the good things that happened. (Sometimes when they struggle to come up with what to say, or to start the conversation we would ask specific questions about recess, lunch, music class, playing outside, etc and before you know it — toddlers are having a real conversation!
Now that my kids are getting a little bit older, we adjusted our method around the table, we don’t just simply asked for one good thing that happened today — now we play a game again that’s called, Two Goods and a Bad. — Now I’m no parenting expert, by any stretch of the imagination… but I do know that allowing my children a safe space to share with us, something that made them smile and something that maybe disappointed them, or added frustration to their day, is a healthy way for us to learn self expression and communication in our home.
So when we sit around the table at night, we go around and everyone shares their two good things that happened in their day and one not so great thing. The not so great thing gives us the opportunity to discuss why it was not so great and maybe some problem-solving strategies as to how to improve on that situation if it happens again in the future. I also think it’s healthy for our kids to hear, sometimes things don’t go great for mom and dad too. We often share something that maybe was a little bit frustrating in our day and how we chose to solve it — of course we censor sometimes what we talk about and make sure that the conversation does stay light — but it’s been a great exercise for our entire family.
I think putting some sort of gratitude practice in your family’s daily schedule is a wonderful way to model mindfulness. Mindfulness is the act of being present. It is simply allowing your mind to be here (where your feet are) and less full of distractions. When we are sitting at that table - we are discussing how our days we are - WE ARE THERE - our phones are not out, we don’t have a TV on, we are simply together as a family sharing about our lives. This is something that I know is making such a positive impact on the children that we are raising.
What kinds of methods do you use at your home to bring more mindfulness in?
If you’re interested in learning about more mindfulness strategies or just sharing parenting advice, inspiration, and support —- I would love it if you would check out the upcoming workshop we have called Yoga and Mindfulness for Mom‘s. It will be a six week series meeting at Sift Yoga on Monday starting at noon. If you work from home or of a flexible schedule, (or can get a sitter) I hope that you will join us!
Get it on your calendar! We are so excited for this series. Each class will consist of beginners friendly yoga, inspirational readings, as well as work from several different. workbooks books, and books that are my favorite! You will be able to take the strategies that sound like they will work for you, and apply them that day!
If you would like more information about the resources that will be used in this class, or if the class is self, feel free to reach out. You can email and we can discuss this upcoming workshop!
Now take a couple moments grab a piece of paper and maybe write down what you will use this evening as your TWO GOODS and A BAD.