50 Dinner Table Questions to Grow a Flourishing Family during the COVID-19 Quarantine


What I’m about to say may just make me the long-lost twin brother of Captain Obvious. This COVID-19 quarantine season is a really stretching time for every family.

But if you’re like our family, the extra time around the dinner table–between all the extra friction and food fights–has been a sweet gift, stuffed full of family-deepening potential. My own family has discovered (through much trial and error) how to find new levels of relational connection, growth, and depth. One way is to tee-up 1 thought-provoking, heart-revealing, identity-shaping discussion question each night around the dinner table. Curiosity like this is helping us ponder our reality. And it’s giving us greater purchase into hope.

Here’s a running list of our questions. Why not grab one and use it tonight? And please add to the list by posting your best questions in your comments!

  1. What is our “Bucket List” of fun or meaningful things to do while in quarantine?
  2. What would be a fun, helpful, new skill to learn during this season? (ie, guitar)
  3. How will COVID change us as a family? How should COVID change us?
  4. What “Day” is it for you? (Friday—Pain & Discouragement; Saturday—Deep Despair; Sunday—Resurrection Hope & New Life; Monday—Re-Energized, Refocused, & Recommitted)
  5. How does Easter help to give us meaning in all of this? (hope/resurrection)
  6. “That discomfort you’re feeling is grief.” How are you grieving today? (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance, and Finding Meaning) 
  7. How do you think God wants to grow our family during this crisis?
  8. How are you adapting to the new digital schooling reality? What do you like or not like? What can we do to make the experience better for you?
  9. Do you miss your friends? How can we safely connect with them during this season? (Zoom? Gaming? Texting?)
  10. How does God’s most common command come into play in this crisis? (Fear Not)
  11. How does God’s most common promise come into play in this crisis? (I am with you)
  12. Weak families cave in a crisis. Solid families survive in a crisis. Awesome families thrive in a crisis. What would it look like for our family to thrive or flourish in this crisis? 
  13. How can we best take care of our bodies in this season? (proper rest, exercise, nutrition)
  14. How can we best take care of our minds in this season? (read, limit news, Scripture study/med)
  15. What games would be fun to play as a family? 
  16. What movies would be good to watch as a family?
  17. How do you think God might be forcing us to slow down in this “Great Pause”? What benefits are there in our slowing down? 
  18. What’s the difference between a sprint and a marathon? How is this season a marathon? How can we run it well as a family? (training, pace, nutrition, mental attitude, partners, rest, acknowledge the pain, run with reward in view, etc. )
  19. What’s the difference between checkers & chess? How can we “play chess” as a family right now? (be wise together; consider the longterm impact of our actions)
  20. How can we redeem the time we’ve been given in this “Pause”?
  21. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? What did you learn then that helps now?
  22. Looking back at our family 1 year from now, what do we want our story to be?
  23. What do you think is the purpose of the pain we’re going through? (discern/wisdom/learn)
  24. How can we best live out our family values right now? (Bieschke Family Values are W-I-L-D: Wisdom, Integrity, Love, Diligence; call out the best in one another)
  25. What does a family like ours do in a situation like this?
  26. How could we better depend on each other in this season?
  27. How is this hard for you? (empathy) 
  28. Who are we? (identity) 
  29. How would a daily routine (schedule) help us cope with this new normal?
  30. What should be our family’s Rallying Cry/Mission in this season? (1-liner of shared purpose)
  31. What’s the reality of our current situation? How will we make the best of it? (hope) (see the Stockdale Paradox–being simultaneously realistic and optimistic)
  32. What are the gifts in this crisis for our family?
  33. What are the opportunities in this crisis for our family?
  34. How can our family better operate as a team in this season?
  35. What do you most need from me (as husband and daddy) right now?
  36. What have we lost from COVID? What have we gained?
  37. What is uncertain right now? What is most difficult for you with all this uncertainty?
  38. How can we show innovation in this season? (Learn & experiment on the fly as a family)
  39. What would be a meaningful ritual for us to start right now? (8 PM Family Prayer, Communion, family walks, game night, cooking a meal together, chores!, etc.)
  40. How could we better listen to each other?
  41. If one of us should get sick, how will we respond? (pray, trust, love, nurture, hope)
  42. How could we be sure we all get sick? (Then) How can we be sure we don’t get sick? (going from negative to positive will help you brainstorm more ideas)
  43. What specific Scripture verse gives you encouragement/perspective/hope right now? (ie, Isaiah 43:10; 2 Corinthians 1:8-11; John 16:33; Joshua 1:7-9; Deuteronomy 6:5-9; Revelation 21:4; Proverbs 9:10-11; Psalm 25:4-5, 3a, Psalm 1)
  44. Why do you think God allows sickness & suffering in the world today? (We live in the time in-between Jesus’ Resurrection and Jesus’ Return. It’s during this messy and painful time, that Hope and Hurt hold hands.)
  45. What are the Known Unknowns of this situation? What do we know we don’t know?
  46. How are you feeling frustrated today? How can I specifically encourage you?
  47. What happened today that made you laugh? What happened today that made you sad?
  48. What could we do in our neighborhood to show Jesus’ love? (check-in, serve, bring food, pray, go shopping…)
  49. 4 Pieces of Crisis Communication for Parents: What do we know about the crisis/situation? (facts) What are we (mom & dad) doing? (leadership action) What do we need you (kids) to do? (cooperation) How can we name how this feels? (understanding/empathy/perspective)
  50. How do you hope this crisis changes our family? How do you hope it never changes our family?
  51. BONUS: During training, Navy SEALs are taught this: “Get comfortable being uncomfortable.” How are you uncomfortable right now? What does perseverance look like in the middle of your discomfort?
  52. BONUS: “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.” Right now, is our family acting more pessimistic or optimistic? How can we be more opportunistic in the midst of C19?


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