Family Meetings are a great way to sit down as a family and talk about plans, schedules, chores, family fun and family values. Beginning family meetings when children are young helps everyone to feel involved and valued. Family meetings create a forum for discussing the easy and the harder issues that come up in family life.
Parents that wait to have a family meeting when there has been a problem with a child are often met with resistance to the idea. When families talk together regularly in family meetings there is increased comfort and room to address the good the bad and the ugly!
Parents can share guidelines with their children during family meetings. For example: guidelines for phone and computer use, for sleepovers, for relationships with neighbors. Family meetings give parents a way to monitor children’s compliance with guidelines. Meetings also provide a chance to acknowledge and celebrate when kids are following family guidelines and to “correct the course” with appropriately moderate consequences.
Many families find that making an agenda with everyone’s input is helpful. Leaving an agenda on the fridge that family members can write topics on helps to ensure that everyone knows what will be talked about in the meeting. For example: a child may write “ trip to the zoo” because they want that to be a family activity or “apple picking and pie making."
ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK 5:
Have you ever had a family meeting? If so what went well and what didn’t go well?
If you have not had a family meeting can you imagine trying one? What is something that you would want to cover in your first family meeting?
Talk with your parenting partner and friends about the idea of regular family meetings. How will you fit meetings into your busy family schedule? What would you like to see as an outcome from regular family meetings?