We all have ‘em. Days that just start bad and keep getting worse. You stub your toe on your way from the bed to the bathroom. You get shampoo in your eye. There is no milk for cereal. You are late to school or work. You forget to pack your book report/progress report/lunch. You get a time out/a bad review/a pink slip. You get picked on/made fun off/dumped on. Here’s a fun way to leave your troubles at the door and teach your kids how to handle life’s disappointments.
Dinner time is really such a crucial part of the day for the family to get together, share their high and low points and decompress. Read more about the positive effects of eating together here. This time should really be fun and stress-free. This post is one of a series of posts called “Dinner Games“. The point of the games? Just to have fun, laugh and learn more about each other.
Life just has a way of testing us, doesn’t it? And for some reason, when one thing goes wrong it always seems to be followed by a stream of additional bad luck. You don’t just bite your tongue during breakfast. You also are late to work/class/yoga, have an argument with your husband/best friend/boss, and lose your earring/glasses/retainer.
Some days just leave us wanting to cry, vent, scream, hide in our bedroom, or whine.
Bad days, as rotten as they are, can be amazing teachable moments. So instead of flipping out on your family, cursing, or escaping to your room, turn that day around by playing the game that encourages whining, tears and drama.
Cue the music. Cue the lights. It’s time for “Whine with Dinner”!
Whine with Dinner
“[Kids] don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.”
― Jim Henson, It’s Not Easy Being Green: And Other Things to Consider
Whine with Dinner, the in-home game show, lets each family member complain about their day with the chance to win fabulous prizes. (OK, maybe just some cute stuff from the dollar store or the chance to give away one of their chores to another family member.)
The object of the game:
To be as dramatic and sympathy-inducing as possible.
Each member of the family stands up, in turn, and tells their tale of woe – getting caught in a huge rainstorm, forgetting to turn in your homework assignment, falling down the stairs in front of all your friends. Let your inner drama queen/king out. Really pull at your family’s heartstrings.
All situations, however, must have truly happened. No lies or made up stories allowed.
Following each tale of woe, each family member holds up a card with a number (1-5) indicating how bad that person’s day really was. The person with the best score (aka the lousiest day) at the end of the game wins!
Sometimes life just doesn’t go as planned but choosing to look at our misfortunes with a sense of humor is an important and helpful skill to learn.
Oftentimes, when we really look back at the things that were so upsetting to us (getting stuck behind a pokey driver, arriving 5 minutes late to a meeting, burning dinner), we find that they really weren’t so terrible at all when compared to the problems others faced that day.
This dinner game may also help show that letting one bad event haunt us throughout the day causes us to view a lot of other things negatively as well. Bad energy bring more bad energy.
Showing your kids how to pick themselves back up when life throws them a curve ball, may be perhaps one of the best lessons you could ever teach them.