How To Get Your Kids To Stop Complaining About Dinner

Is it time to let go?

family dinners Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Do you try to organize dinners to regularly connect with your family, but your spouse and children don't seem to enjoy them?


You get so excited to connect with your kids and spouse, to have everyone laughing and chatting and sharing their deepest feelings. But then it turns into stress and everyone becomes miserable. 

Before long, you can't help wondering if this is negatively impacting your relationships with them, and if you should just give up on the idea? 

In this video, life coach and YourTango Expert Kiva Leatherman talks about how to get your family to appreciate —and even look forward to— family dinners.

Here is one very important point she makes:

It's important to let go of your preconceived ideas about what your family dinner "should" look like.


Instead, to work with your other family members to agree upon a plan everyone can be excited about.

Talk to you family at a time when everyone is relaxed and having fun, so that they don't feel pressured, and see what it is THEY would enjoy doing together weekly. You might be surprised to hear what's meaningful to them, especially as they get older.

If the problem you're having is with younger kids, try some fun ideas for conversation starters

Many experts suggest asking kids about the "peaks and valleys" of their day. One awesome dad suggests calling them "roses and thorns". The peak/rose being the best part, the valley/thorn being the worst. Make sure after you hear about your kid's hard times, you ask if they learned anything from the problem or situation, and remind them that they get to start new tomorrow. 


Another fun idea is to ask silly questions and place them in a jar for when everyone seems irritated or bored. Things like, "What animal do you wish you could be for just one day?" or "What's the stinkiest thing you've ever smelled?" 

Knowing you're going to play a fun game can help younger kids learn to be more present with their family during meals, and not just look forward to the next time they can get their hands on an iPad. 

Want to learn more? Check out the video above, where Kiva has so much more wisdom to share!