Mealtime is a perfect opportunity to engage with each other and support the development of vital social-emotional skills. During this unique time of COVID-19, we know that adults and students are feeling a range of emotions on a daily basis. You can use the following topics during mealtimes to inspire conversations that will help everyone in your family navigate this unprecedented experience. We have organized these suggestions around the five social-emotional learning competencies.


  • Share personal goals for what you would like to accomplish today or tomorrow.
  • What would help you to stay motivated as you work toward your goals?
  • Describe a challenge you faced recently. What did you do to resolve it?
  • How are you organizing your tasks (e.g., school work, home life, chores, work) during this time?

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  • Share aloud how you are feeling right now; name the emotion(s).
  • What is easy for you during this time? What is challenging?
  • Think about how your emotions are affecting your behavior and share an example of an experience you have had recently.
  • What are your current thoughts about this situation?

Social Awareness:

  • What does it mean to be empathetic during this time of social distancing?
  • How are you demonstrating empathy for those around you?
  • Share a time recently when your perspective on the situation was different from someone else’s.
  • What are the expectations for you in your home with your family? Is this different from expectations in school or your workplace? How?

Relationship Skills:

  • How are you communicating with others outside of your home? What is easy or difficult about communicating in these ways.
  • Share a recent example of a time you demonstrated cooperation with someone else in your home.
  • How do you communicate effectively and respectfully during this situation.
  • What are some important relationships in your life that are supporting you during this difficult time?

Responsible Decision Making:

  • Describe a problem that you recently had. How did you solve it?
  • What is your responsibility for social distancing during this time?
  • Are the problems you are facing now different than those at school or work?
  • What steps can you take when confronted with a problem to ensure you make an ethical decision for how to solve it?