Do your kids go crazy right before dinner time? Mine do! It never fails that when 4:30 rolls around and my husband is about to walk in the door, all hell breaks loose! The kids are running around, fighting over everything and I'm yelling threats while trying to figure out dinner (at which point I want to open a bottle of wine!)
Well last night I came up with an idea that I thought could help make these unbearable 30 minutes a little less unbearable... I told the boys that we were going to have a "Show & Tell" dinner and they had the next 30 minutes to think about what they wanted to share with the family.
My oldest ran straight up to his room and was there for the next 20 minutes preparing. My youngest said he wanted to paint a picture... (UGH, was my immediate reaction b/c it meant I had to clean up painting supplies too, but I let him do it despite my hesitation).
My little plan worked! They were separated, quiet, and working away on their new little project.
I finished up dinner (all sorts of finger foods so we could eat "picnic style" in the living room) and grabbed my "show and tell" item. I didn't escape meltdowns completely because my youngest freaked at the site of mini pizzas on the platter (he's super picky - a topic I'll blog about at some point because it drives me crazy!), but it was short lived. We all sat on a blanket in the living room and started our "show & tell."
Keaton had gathered all his favorite lego guys and talked for 15 minutes about how they're all different, why they are his favorite and he even came up with a new game!
Eliot's explanation of his picture was short (it was a picture of an owl if you can't tell, ha!) but he was proud nonetheless.
I had grabbed a photo book from our first spring break trip to Florida. We all looked through the book together and talked about our favorite things that we did there. Let me tell you, this was the best dinner we've had in a long time. It's not very often I feel "connected" during dinner time, so this was a breath of fresh air. We just might have to make this a weekly occurrence! Try it out and let me know how it works for your family.
Melissa Ash - mom of 2 energetic boys, wife, and business woman. Just trying to "do it all".