"Table talk is a species of memoir in which a collector (biographer, colleague, friend, etc.) records impromptu comments by some famous person (made generally at the dining table or in small get-togethers), in anticipation of their lasting value. " It then goes on to make a list of famous published "table talks".
Isn't that perfect? It not only points to the purpose of Table Talk, but adds value to it. As parents we are the collectors "recording" the impromptu comments made by our children as we ask them questions "in anticipation of their lasting value". This starts by asking them meaningful questions. While we may not be physically recording their answers, the values you transmit during these conversations will definitely be written in their hearts. As you work to get your children talking, the trick may be in making them feel as if they are that "famous person" whose thoughts really matter. If you want them to hear, listen.