Got Family Meetings?

12
May
2010

fmeeting

Any good organization has regular meetings to discuss situations and give updates with employees.  It allows the business to run smoothly.  Everyone knows what is expected and it gives a chance for people to express themselves and share ideas.  So, have you taken this great concept into your home?

I have found more moms I work with tell me they have never had a family meeting, or if they have – it was a complete disaster.  After a few questions and some thought, we put together a new plan for a family meeting.  These meetings then become a centering point for the family and moms wonder how and why they didn’t start this sooner!

Here are a few steps and ideas that I have found helpful with incorporating family meetings in your home:

Have meetings at a set time, ideally the same time every week

Pick a day that works for your family and then stick with it.  It will become an expected event and everyone will know they have that opportunity coming up to share.

Have some basic rules:

Allowing everyone a chance to speak and finish with out being interrupted is a must.  Validating what is said and not allowing someone to make fun of or judge another person’s ideas is also important.

An adult moderates the conversation.

No interruptions, no cell phones or other distractions are allowed.

Unplug your home phone to keep that from interrupting you.

You can come up with other guidelines that work for your family.  At our meetings we go around the table so everyone has a chance to share and they can only share one item at a time and then we move on.  This keeps one person from dominating the entire time.  Everyone is given the opportunity to share their thoughts or opinion on a subject.

Lighten Up

I think family meetings have a negative overtone – so change that!  We don’t just discuss problem issues, we bring up vacation ideas or activities we might be considering for the upcoming weekend during a family meeting.  It is a great environment to combine both the serious discussions as well as the fun ones!

Talk schedules

This has been invaluable in our home, especially since we have older kids.  By having this designated time to talk about the upcoming week we have alleviated a lot of stress, multiple questions and unexpected appointments through the week.

Serve dessert 🙂

This has always been a winner at our house!  Why not come up with a special “family meeting dessert?”  You can also involve your kids in preparations for the meetings, getting the dessert ready, serving, etc – it creates a team spirit where everyone is in this together.

I would love to hear your other ideas on family meetings and what works at your house.  You can create a great atmosphere for your family to share ideas – if you just take a little time.

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Help Susan Help These Children!
  • We have family meetings all the time. Though now that I think about it, they may be considered more like ‘pow-wows’. I will say though, when I yell ‘family meeting…!’, the kids all come running and know they have to pay attention. TV is off, everyone gets to say their piece. They know that whatever the topic is, that it is serious and they need to pay attention. Some of our best discussions have come out of family meetings, I love them.

  • I love it! Thanks for taking the time to share what you do at your house. It is funny how kids enjoy knowing that they will be heard and respected.

  • Yes, we have family meetings! I enjoy them every week. The only thing that is missing is the dessert!

    I often thought we’d table our meetings for when the kids are asleep – when we have them – depending on the topic, it’s a great idea to include them in the meetings. They are apart of the family as well. I love this idea 🙂

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