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Sitting down for dinner with your family is a tradition that is often replaced. Americans are becoming more and more busy, which makes it more difficult for families to get together on a regular basis. Even though it is difficult to make time, I believe it’s important to get everyone in the family together for dinners. To make this time more enjoyable for everyone, here are some things you can do at family dinners that will make everyone want to stay.

Play Games

Although everyone will be focused primarily on eating, playing games during dinner is a great way to keep each family member engaged. Games like Family Dinner Box of Questions are a great place to start. You’ll learn more about one-another and get to share some personal information you otherwise wouldn’t think to. Beyond that, you can always play classics like the Alphabet Game, where you pick a category and take turns naming something that starts with the next letter in the alphabet. Making dinner interactive ensures that you will have everyone’s attention.

Tell Stories

Parents sometimes feel a disconnect with their kids, who may not know anything about them prior to their parenthood. As your kids grow, spend some time reminiscing about your childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood by sharing stories. Even moody teens tend to enjoy hearing stories about their parents when they were young. Just make sure you do this for fun and not always to teach a lesson.

Cook Together

It doesn’t matter if your child is a culinary mastermind or can barely hold a spoon, getting them involved in the kitchen is a great way to make dinner a rewarding experience. Make sure to give them age-appropriate tasks, such as mixing sauces (for young children) or chopping veggies (for pre-teens and teens). If your kids want to choose dinner, this is a great way to allow them to do so without committing to making an extravagant meal on your own.

Make It An Evening

If your family has a rare night free of plans, consider making an evening out of it. Have dinner together, then watch a movie, play board games or video games, and/or head out and about if the weather is nice. If you have post-dinner plans, your family will probably be more inclined to sit through dinner, too.

Spending time with your family becomes more difficult as the children get older and have more to do. However, it’s an important part of the parent-child relationship, and you should make sure to incorporate it frequently. Use some of these tips to get started, and soon, you’ll have weekly or daily family dinners in your household.