Tech-free Dinner Conversation

img_3458My family knows I have a tech-free dinner rule. I might be more lax at breakfast or lunch on occasion, but dinner is for family time and conversation. Frequently though I am frustrated by the lack of responses to my questions of “how was school?” or “what did you do today?”.  I tried more unique questions like “what was the funniest thing that happened today” but that usually fell flat as well. So when I heard a local Philadelphia area mom created conversation starter cards that were age-specific ways to spur discussion, I was excited to try it.

Tiffin Talk is a box of daily cards with conversation prompts centered around a weekly theme and season. I chose the kindergarten box and our themes were: memories, yum, by yourself, what do they have in common, idioms, how do you feel, singing, nursery rhymes, the favorite part, all done, magical thinking, hide and seek, and what’s up. In addition to the main question, the cards are decorated with puzzles, number games, images, and facts to entertain. There are guidelines about how to use the cards, but it is meant to be fun and flexible. We used them routinely for a few weeks and will continue to use it sporadically as needed.

We enjoyed some of the questions, like “What is your all-time favorite food? Is it something that is made from other foods put together? Can you make it?” These types of questions prompted us to learn something new about each other. My biggest complaints was that some of the questions were a little abstract for my kindergartener, like “Can you remember tomorrow yet?” In these cases, the cards made dinner a little frustrating.

A thirteen week box of cards will cost you $60. There are multiple options, including some for parents, counselors, and seniors. In addition to sets based on age, there are themed packs for things like addiction, grief, and self-image.

The CEO, Kat Rowan, is passionate about creating moments for people, especially parents and children, to engage without using technology as an interface. In India, a “tiffin” is a food carrier used for lunch, but Tiffin Talk cards are much more than your average lunch notes. These are thought-provoking questions that will lead you away from the usual answers of “fine” and “nothing” and toward real connections.

 

[Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Tiffin Talk. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own. I did receive a complimentary box of Tiffin Talk cards. The above does not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.]

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