Friday 18 May 2012

Family Chat

I've always said that one of the important things I want my kids to have is social skills. And by 'social skills' I don't just mean being able to down a pint of beer in 5 seconds or nicely share a joint. I want them to be able to chat to different types of people and in various situations. I think my social skills are pretty good - I do like a chat, especially if it's over coffee & cake.  My husband also has good social skills too - as long as he doesn't talk about his work. It's one of those life things that we want to pass onto our children. We think it's more important than fricking fractions.

They are okay at it so far. They will say "Hello" and ask questions and, if you're unlucky, go through every photo on my phone telling you the story behind it. The girl child, if she was a superhero, would be Non Breathing Girl because she can talk at you for six hours straight. My son has learnt the art of sarcasm but his most favourite phrases are "What's for dinner?" and "Where's the computer?"

In order to develop their social skills, I've introduced games at the dinner table. Which works if I can get them to stop fidgeting and pushing carrots around the plate. These games include such delights as Good News/Bad News (example: the good news is we have no homework, the bad news is Mummy will make us read)  and Three Things That Happened Today, which is simply when you have to talk about your day.

This was last night's offering:

ME: "I walked the dog. I had a nice coffee. My friend phoned. I bought a hat."


HUSBAND: "Was if the coffee I made you?"

ME: "No. It was from Starbucks."

THE BOY: "School was boring. Where's the computer?"

THE GIRL: "Mummy, can you stop talking now please."

TODDLER: "Watch telly."

HUSBAND: "I don't know why you make them do this."

ME: "You have the social skills of a pig."



  1. LOL love this!
    I would almost think that we share a husband except that yours made you a coffee.

  2. Ha ha ha... It's like we are the same... Brilliant. Xxx

  3. At least he didn't complain that you spent money at Starbucks instead of making your own!


  4. Experienced all this as a child (god, why are you so embarrassing/weird)?
    I now do it to my nannied kids and step children. You're all going to suffer as I suffered so f'ing there!! X

  5. "You have the social skills of a pig." Classic. Love it!

  6. Pigs are actually quite sociable. You were paying your husband a compliment. Hence the awed silence, I guess.

    Can I come to dinner at your house? I like games :D

  7. I love that my daughter has the confidence to say Hello to random people, but I worry for her safety. It's sad because social skills are important, but I'm scared to let her talk to people!

  8. love this!!you blog always brightenes up my day!never stop!!

  9. Yup, I can see your strategy is working nicely! But, if you'll forgive my boasting, I think you'd be better trying my approach. I wouldn't dream of dining with my children. They drive me mad. And anyway I like to eat grilled chicken with the Vicar and discuss medieval theologians! So instead I shove burned fish fingers in front of my pair, tell them there'll be no pudding, telly or goodnight kisses unless they swallow every crumb then I scarper. They talk happily about farts and I sit happily upstairs tweeting. Their teachers said they are a credit to me!

  10. LOL!! Katie likes to sit with us at dinner and say "What shall we talk about today?" If you ask her what she wants to discuss she'll often say "Nemo" or will relay stories of her 15 children and what they've been up to all day. It's amazing that there is often only one month between their births as well. Apparently she's going to have 20 children so I asked her if she'd like me to buy her a trailer now. She looked quite hopeful that I might be getting her a present for a few moments! Mostly dinner times are a fricking nightmare in our house with Katie taking hours to eat anything. She can make one mouthful last an entire episode of Charlie and Lola (and yes I have given in to letting her watch the laptop whilst she eats because I can at least shovel some food into her when she's not looking!).