For those of you who may know me, the following fact may come as a surprise to you...I love quiet time. Most of you know me as the person who fills the air waves with constant chatter and who does everything in her power to avoid the "7 minute lull" (you know that part in a conversation where no one has anything to say?). I do enjoy quiet time when I'm by myself and/or the kids are all in bed (like right now), when I can read, or think or rest my vocal chords.
But when I'm in the presence of people, I really don't like having awkward pauses in conversation. Unfortunately, my children are the same way. They all have a story (or 14) to tell and I have to organize the conversation chaos or I'll put everyone in quiet timeout. So some of you may remember my iPod app coasters and my ideas to encourage organized family conversation (click here to remind yourself). It worked for awhile, but then they started fighting about who got which coaster. As if my kids need yet ANOTHER reason to fight.
So, this Valentines I came up with "Real Conversation Hearts." None of this Hug Me, Be Mine mumbo jumbo...I mean how does that start a conversation?
Heart: Hug me.
Heart: Be Mine.
Person: Okay or No (in which a bad conversation will start)
So I cut out paper hearts and put real conversation starters on the back. Here are a few:
If you could meet anyone in the world who would it be and why?
If you could only eat one kind of food for the rest of your life, what kind of food would it be and why?
If dogs could talk, in which ways would the world be different?
If you could choose one talent that you could have and you'd be the best in world, what would it be and why?
Try to convince the family to go on your dream vacation this summer.
Describe the person on your left in 27 words.
You get the idea. I came up with a lot of story prompts in my post for a cheap quiet book (click here to remember). I used them for my conversation hearts since conversing is different than writing.
And since texting is the preferred method of communication among our youth, I think they are missing out on the art of conversation. Hopefully this can help.
Also, to add a little Va-Voom to my kids lunch, during Valentine's season, I use a cookie cutter to cut their sandwiches into hearts.