Setting the Table with Kids
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An easy way to get kids (and dads) settled and focused on family dinner: set the table. Quality time is sometimes found in small place settings. Which side does the fork go on anyway?


Clay Nichols: Hey dad, put your napkin in your lap and help yourself to a big old helping of quality time. I think a lot of dads get sucked in the idea that quality time is something you have got to make an appointment for, you have got a bust out the candy lane and commit to half an hour, but there are really a lot of activities around the house, we can spend just a couple of minutes with your kids and it really is great quality time. One of my favorites setting the table with the kids. Now I know, a lot of you guys are probably already doing this, but I love this as an activity with the kids. I think there are kind of two schools of thought in terms of setting the table. One is, we just hand them a pile. We say, here kids go at it and I love to see the results of that. It was my heart like, come to the table and it's just a four year old set table and all the place mats are askew and there are napkins everywhere and this silverware is all around and it's beautiful. There is not a more beautiful table in the world to me, than a table set by a four year old. The other way you can go, is of course doing it with them. Show them where the forks and the knives go. Get them, show them how to fold the napkin and yes, in my house the kids use paper napkins. Sorry, might be an angry comment. Fork on the left, knife on the right, show them how to setup a pretty table and that's fine, it's a great chance for you to talk with the kids and that way the kids are really invested in the meal, the table and it gets -- build some anticipation about the time, you are going to spend together as a family. I also really love setting the table with the kids, selfishly, because it's good for me and I think its probably for a lot of dads. I have been at work all day and spend a lot of time Daddy Brad. I am stressed, stock market is down another 1000 points and it's hard for me to put that day behind me and concentrate on my family and my kids and setting the table is a perfect way for me to put the day behind me, to concentrate on the table, on my children and to really engage with them and leave the day behind. So I think its a great way to spend some quality time, set the table with your kids.