Table Talk: Family Conversations about Current Events
For Parents, Families, and Caregivers
About Table Talk
Parents and family members often want to discuss current events and the news of the day. It's a great opportunity to engage children in rich conversation, impart important values and encourage lifelong interest in the news and the world around them. These talks can happen on the way to school, during a walk or over a meal together. Family dinner is a key time to have these discussions. Research shows that dinnertime conversation benefits the health, emotional and academic outcomes for children of all ages.
Table Talk: Family Conversations About Current Events provides parents and family members with the tools they need to engage their families in conversations about important news stories and other timely discussions about societal and world events. Each guide includes a topic summary, questions to start the conversation and dig deeper, ideas for taking action and additional resources.
Shooting at a Pittsburgh Synagogue: On the morning of October 27, which was a Saturday (Sabbath, or the holy day, for the Jewish community) Robert Bowers entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, yelled “All Jews must die,” and opened fire on the congregants. He was armed with an assault rifle and several handguns, and killed eleven congregants and wounded six others, four of whom are police officers.
Nike's Ad and Believing in Something: In September 2018, Nike announced that Colin Kaepernick, the former N.F.L. quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers, would be prominently featured as part of its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. During Kaepernick's last N.F.L. season, he decided to take a stand about racial injustice by refusing to stand for the National Anthem at football games.
Kids, Allowance and Gender: Research has shown that in U.S. families, boys are paid twice as much allowance as girls for doing weekly chores. The “average” boy earns a $13.80 weekly allowance and the “average” girl gets about half as much: $6.71.
Family Separations at the Border: The news has been filled with horrific stories of children being ripped from their parents at the border and placed in detention centers and shelters, including 2,000 children separated from their parents during the first six-week period after the “zero-tolerance policy” was announced in May 2018.
What is Everyday Bias?: In recent months, it seems like we are seeing more and more news and social media stories about people experiencing bias as they go about their daily lives—riding the subway, shopping in a store, dining in a restaurant and hanging out with friends.
Scientist Drawings and Gender Stereotypes: In 1983, a social scientist named David Chambers published a research study on children’s drawings. The study gathered information from the late 1960s and 1970s in which teachers asked 5,000 children (in three different countries) to “draw a scientist.” One pattern appeared strongly: almost all of the scientist drawings depicted men.