Family meetings are a great way for each member of the family to connect even more in being on one accord. It allows parents to share new and upcoming changes with their children. Family meetings allow each member of the family to share their concerns, and it allows parents especially to breakdown their expectations for their family. Each family is unique in having their own standards, goals, challenges, and again expectations that they want to unite in achieving. Family meetings allow parents to share in their observations, if properly conducted it gives children a voice of influence. Family meetings shouldn’t be organized just for times of sadness or dramatic changes such as death, divorce, or the impending of a major relocation. A family meeting can be held to discuss new rules, distribution and understanding of chores, and to plan the next fun family outing.
Here are a few ways you and your family can choose to implement at home for your family meeting.
- Choose a date, time frame, and frequency that works best for everyone to be home, focused, and which allows enough time for it to run smoothly without rushing. Our family meetings are the fourth Sunday of each month, and we choose not to allow them to run over 45 mins.
- Choose rather to make your meetings formal or informal. Family meetings are a great way to train children about designated positions of leadership. It will give them a head start for when they’re older and can run for class offices. It’s perfectly fine to choose a more casual routine in conducting your meetings as well. We chose our family meetings to have a combination of both with my husband as president, “mama” which is me as V.P., my eldest daughter as secretary, and our son is the treasure. The twins toddlers kinda act in their own roles as toddlers. Casual wear such as pajamas are optional!
- Choose a topic for discussion. Again you can choose to have several topics and write an agenda or you can have just one topic for the family to discuss. Due to our daughter’s age she doesn’t keep the minutes. I keep the minutes, and I have a folder from each of our meetings on our topics, minutes, and responses to reflect back on if needed.
- Allow feedback. No one enjoys a meeting where it’s one person talking the whole time and delegating their different rules and etc. Allow the kids to share their feedback and concerns. It gives children a voice to allow their ideas and opinions to be heard. You don’t have to select their options, but it’s good to hear them speak on their vision within the family in adding input. It teaches positive verbal communication We have some talkers, so they love to share their input on matters. The twins even elaborate in throwing in some feedback.
- Be honest, clear, and direct on a age appropriate level of presentation for your family’s meetings. Remember it’s not a meeting at the White House! It’s your home so personalize your family meeting in away everyone can fully understand and that no one feels left out. We don’t take it personal if one of both of the toddlers decides to exit out the meeting to play. We keep it short, sweet, direct, and simple so everyone can go back to enjoying their day.
- Allow this to be a time for sharing and connecting as a family. We use this time to venture beyond the surface of asking the usual questions of after school with the kids. Choose a fun ice breaker or even a wide opening closer to conclude the meeting. Our daughter shared at our last meeting that she encountered a bully at school, and how she handled it with love . Our son shared his dreams and aspirations of college at one meeting. One of the twins shared that they had a new friend that they loved to play with .
- Don’t shy away if there is a major family change or concern. It will be best to discuss these matters as a family united then later on when the actual moment is presented. There will be times as a family you will have to discuss some major changes or sadly a tragedy. If you all have a consistent relationship of uniting in having discussions it will better help everyone cope. We had a serious talk with our eldest two children when after the birth of our twins they noticed that their sisters didn’t come home. We shared with them that they would be in the hospital for a few months. We shared in an age appropriate way of understanding about a time when our family went through a major change, and we had to be more careful with our funds.
- Add your own personalize family traditions, flare, or little ways to make your family meetings special . You may choose at this time to begin the meeting with a bell, a song, fun game, or open with a prayer.We begin and end each of our meetings with a family prayer.
- Be open to fun. It doesn’t have to be all serious in having family meetings. This can be a time for laughter, sharing of new exciting ideas, proposing a family community project, and more. Our children look forward to our meetings because they each get to choose the next family outting together for the next month. They also get to vote on the next family vacation.
It’s more important that you all as a family make this time your own in your personal way. Choose to make them as frequent as time presents for your family, and be as creative as you want to be. Wishing you much success for your next family meeting.