Monday, September 28, 2015

Tea Time: Connecting with Your Kids

My mom passed away ten years ago which was just before I had kids of my own. I wish I would have gleaned more information from her; what a resource she was–she had five kids in eight years! I never thought to ask for parenting advice, actually, I wouldn't have known what to ask because I really didn't know what I was getting into. Sure, I learned from her example but as for actual tidbits about raising toddlers or teenagers, I didn't inquire.

Connecting with your children around the kitchen table

There was one piece of guidance that I have in her writing:

Even if you don't like tea, drink it and listen, you will be amazed at the ease of the conversation; sometimes it is the only way to get a teenager to talk!

Tea time with family

Many evenings a week, when 8 or 9 PM would roll around, my mom would announce "Tea time, girls!"  We had one of those nifty intercom things that would call us all out of our rooms and we would gather around the kitchen table. We would drink a cup of tea and eat from my mom's wonderful variety of homemade cookies; haystacks, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and boterkoek (that's dutch for "butter cake").

The treats would get us there and the conversation would keep us.

With five girls there are a lot of emotions and feelings that fill the home. With five teenage girls, the silence of secrets can be scary. Inevitably, around that table and feeling safe, we'd start talking. We didn't share it all, but enough came out that my parents had a better sense of what was going on in our lives. There were so many laughs around that table as well as our share of tears.

Right now with my own family, we have dinners together each night but I know as they get older, this will be more difficult with their extra-curricular activities. I'm not sure that my kids will be into "tea time" but I know they would definitely be into "cookie time". 

Don't underestimate the power of the kitchen table.

 When did you feel safest sharing with your parents?


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Connecting with your kids around the dinner table. Whether it's a meal or just some tea, time together is not wasted.


  1. That's super sweet Louise!!! I like the idea of tea time :)

    1. I bet your family has some great traditions too, you guys are so fun :)

  2. Christine Duda10:34 AM

    I remember baking with Trish (years and years ago) once and she took the cookies out a minute before they were done because that's how your mom use to do it! Plus putting soap in the washer before the clothing... Funny how little things being said over the years just sort of stick with people/us! ❤️ I love tea time at my grandmas... One day when we have a kitchen big enough for a table I will start tea time at home!

    1. Didn't want dried out cookies :) Oh ya, tea time with grandmas is also so special! I have great memories of that with my dad's mom.

  3. THat is fantastic!!! So special :)

  4. This is wonderful - love the idea of tea time and sharing moments with each other around the dinner table. Thanks for sharing :)

  5. I love this so much. Tea has always been the binder in my family as well. When my grandma passed away all I asked my mom to bring back for me was one of her teacups, fond memories. Thanks for sharing!

  6. My closest friends growing up were 3 sisters from a Dutch family. This sounds like something their mother used to do too.