The New Rules of Happy Family Dinners

By Leslie Goldman

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father and son talking at the dinner table
Alloy Photography/Veer

Change Up the Conversation

If you keep asking mechanical "How was your day?" types of questions, expect to get the same bored "Grmphh" in response. It's no surprise to most parents that tweens and teens find our questions annoying," says Susan Smith Kuczmarski, EdD, author of The Sacred Flight of the Teenager: A Parent's Guide to Stepping Back and Letting Go. "They don't want to give you too much information because it feels like you are prying too much into their lives," she says. Instead, mimic their conversational style, which typically doesn't include the third degree. Try something like, "I had an awesome day today! Work went well and my old friend from college called me out of the blue," she says. Then see if your kid is more inclined to share his or her own info.

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