A few years ago, we started doing something at the dinner table. Every night (or whenever we all sit down to eat dinner together, usually 3-4 times a week) we ask these three questions:
1. What made you happy today?
2. What made you sad today?
3. What made you angry today?
Each person in the family, even me and my husband, gets a chance to speak and everyone else has to be polite and listen.
Of course, this can prove to be interesting on some occasions. When we started this tradition, Ambria was just learning to talk. We would ask her what made her happy, and her response was, "happy." On other days, we get looonngg drawn out stories from Mariah about good and/or bad things that happened at school and who her best friend of the day is, or what new club has been started and what friend was left out.
We learn new things are each member of the family.
The girls learn that mom and dad have emotions too.
We learn more about each of the girls' personalities, likes, and dislikes.
We learn about events at school.
We learn to respect each family member and validate their feelings.
I really enjoy this tradition. I can only imagine that stories will get more interesting as the girls get older, well, I guess if they don't refuse to talk and have an attitude...