How to avoid a family drama

Consider this - a busy weekend evening and the family is sat at the table for supper and there is harmony. It's not often the case. Not in our home anyway.

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We've had the weaning, the dribbling, the inability to keep sitting at the table let alone prevent food from falling so widely across the floor that anyone would think one of our children had a pea shooter.

There's been the fussy eating, the mimicking, the tiredness where we've even seen the children near collapse face first in to their food. Supper time has been too late, too early, we've been at friends, in hotels, in unfamiliar places and spaces, and we've has many an unplanned supper wondering what to cobble together to feed everyone. Each time a new family drama and some more stressful than others.

As the kids have grown we've begun to enjoy chats and love learning about their days at school. What we tried last night was however a revelation.

Last night we did things a little differently. As we ate, we took turns in saying something we are grateful for.

"I am grateful for my food" came the first little voice, much to my surprise and delight.

"I am grateful for my family" came the next little voice, by now my heart is definitely glowing.

We went around the table and each spoke of the things that made us grateful from the roof above our head to having a football. Where we might have interrupted each other on such an enthusiastic discussion, yet this exercise found us laughing together and comparing compassionately.

It was really touching to hear of things that as a parent we thought our kids took for granted.

Also a humbling experience, certainly for me, to just be and appreciate all that I have from the air that I breathe to the family surrounding me. It's something I recall doing when I was younger. Yet in the busyness of life I've stopped being consciously grateful for all that I have.

I'd recommend this suppertime exercise to anyone, if you haven't done this already.

You don't need to have children and nor does there need to be many of you. Just writing down your own appreciations can also be powerful.

Super sweet, great family time, endearing, bonding, great memories and a moment of mindfulness for ones self.

Michelle Stromgren

Marketing Consultant and Performance Coach, Owner -

Marketing consultant and performance coach running a business to support individuals and SMEs in their growth and development, fundamentally to increase confidence and get a healthy work/life balance. Alongside volunteering for a number of charities, Michelle is a mum of two and an advocate of clean air and green spaces. She loves nature, photography, writing and most of all learning. "Never stop learning. If you don't think you can do it, change your mind set and at least try."


Go to the profile of Diane Priestley
over 6 years ago
Yes a gratitude exercise changes everything! Even when on your own in bed at the end of a hectic day, to pause and reflect on all the good things and blessings, rather than problems and complaints, shifts the mind into a calm, appreciative state. Good to know sharing gratitude worked so well with your children around the dinner table, Michelle. What a lovely family experience!