The Joy of Family Meetings

With the start of the school year, comes more organized activities and less time to spend together as a family.  A great way to keep up with everyone’s schedules and create some “family” time is to hold family meetings.  Regular family meetings provide the opportunity for planning, problem solving, job sharing as well as family bonding. 

Family meetings teach children valuable social and life skills such as: mutual respect, cooperation, listening skills and many more. 

Coordination of individual family member’s schedules (practices, rides, etc.) can take place during family meetings and many families include meal planning and special event planning on the agenda as well.

Speaking of the agenda, an agenda should be placed somewhere where family members can add items during the week as problems and needs arise. 

A suggested meeting agenda includes:

Compliments: This encourages family members to look for and verbalise positive things about each other.

Challenges & Problems (that were added by family members during the week): Brainstorm for solutions, choose a reasonable solution and try it for the week.  Re-evaluate at next week’s meeting.

Calendar: Weekly essentials, meal planning, events, etc.

Family Fun:  End the meeting with a special dessert, game, etc.

Many parents comment that family meetings have become their most valuable (and enjoyable) parenting tool.  More about family meetings is in the book, Positive Discipline by Dr. Jane Nelsen or attend a Positive Discipline workshop.

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