“What made you sad, mad, and glad today?”Nicole Fornabaio/rd.com, shutterstock
There are lots of versions of this question, which prompts kids to share highlights and low-lights of their day. Your family might call it “Roses and Thorns,” “Highs and Lows,” “Bests and Worsts,” or “Two Stars and a Wish” (the wish being something you wish hadn’t happened). However you phrase it, giving kids a little structure helps them jog their memories and organize their thoughts so they have something to say. And, substantive conversations can actually help you all be happier.
“Now it’s my turn.”Nicole Fornabaio/rd.com, shutterstock
Whatever game you play or prompt you use, make sure you—the adults at the table—are participating too. Not only are you acting as a role model, helping kids learn how to think and talk about their day; you are also introducing more topics that everyone can discuss. Kids really are interested in what’s happening in your life, too! Plus, you are actively showing that family conversation is a two-way street. (Over time, teach your children to avoid these speaking habits).