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Old April 11th, 2014, 09:19 AM
searain searain is offline
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family conversations

DD called a family meeting to say she didn't like the way our family dinners were. She specifically said that there was no togetherness. Everbody ate in different areas (only at my place because I don't have a large kichen) and there are too many different conversations going on, with tablets and tv and cell phones in use. I should mention we get together once a week usually at my place but sometimes someone else will offer atheir home.

My question is: how do you handle family gatherings? Is there a general topic for conversations? Do you play games? And how do you involve different ages (my grands are 2, 3, 4 and 15.

Thanks.
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Old April 11th, 2014, 11:02 AM
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Re: family conversations

My only experience with family gatherings involved getting together at my grandmother's house when I was a child, and it wasn't just for a meal - we lived far enough away that visits were for a week. For formal meals like Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, my grandmother had a breakfast room where the grandkids ate in shifts (there were a lot of us) - the table sat six and as one person would leave, another would join. The adults ate in her dining room; her table sat 12 comfortably but I think chairs would be pulled up and more would be accommodated. That doesn't help you much though. The adults would play Bourre (pronounced boo-ray) which is a card game popular in Louisiana and the kids would play Monopoly or some other game after dinner.

My kids and I generally eat dinner together every night - my DH joins us if he's home. My rule is no TV, no electronics at the table. Dinner might only last 10 minutes, but I've been doing it since they were little and we all sit together even if it's food from a drive-thru. When conversation lags, we play a game which started out as "I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 500" and has evolved into more um, unusual things such as "I'm thinking of a road sign between 'Avalanche Area' and 'Zone Ends'." We're an odd bunch. Sometimes at night if everyone is free we play a few quick card games (Go Fish for your younger grands?)

Is there a place somewhere in your house that you could set up a couple of card tables? Or maybe have a picnic table outside in nice weather? I think the important thing is that you are all together and there is happiness and laughter.

Best yet - ask your daughter to come up with ideas, since she was the one complaining.
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Old April 11th, 2014, 02:16 PM
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Re: family conversations

We do the sit inforunt of the TV thing now, but in the past we would sit at the dinner table and eat as a family. I would recommend sitting at the table, it was some of the best times we had as a family.

One other thing we have done in the past is give up tv, computer and video games for 40 days. My kids looked forward to this time as we always had lots of fun playing games and doing crafts. We grews as a family in those 40 days. This year is the first in at least 8 that we havn't dont this. My oldest works nights and sleeps during the day now, my two middle kids are no longer at home. That leaves my 16 year old, she wanted to do it this year but because my middle son was home on leave we decided to forgo it this year.
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Old April 20th, 2014, 12:10 PM
searain searain is offline
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Re: family conversations

Thanks for the ideas. Dinner was at DD house this week. We played a game with GS2. DD invited their dad, my ex, who has not been a part of our family nights. I didn't think that was appropriate because there are things we can say as a family but not in front of him. I wouldn't like him to hold conversations with our kids in front of me that I am not included in or topics I am not aware of or want to know.

Now that she has included her dad I am concerned her 2 brothers will think they have to include him when they host dinner at their homes. I don't mind that he is invited for birthdays and holidays but these family dinners started out at my place as a way for the adults to see each other after I watched the little grands that day. Ex is obviously not invited to my place.
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Old April 20th, 2014, 01:12 PM
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Re: family conversations

Searain

I totally get where you're coming from - however as long as he's behaving himself try to be polite .... and try to have more family nights at your home

(FYI ex and I used to have dinners with DS, but ex would behave inappropriately and I finally put a stop to the dinners)
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