Family Meeting Guidelines
Family Meetings can be a very successful method of enhancing family cooperation and closeness. Here are some ideas for the format of a family meeting.
Hold the meeting once a week at a time when everyone in the family can attend. Keep this time sacred -- don't keep changing it at everyone's convenience. Mark the time on a calendar and make it as important as a business meeting.
Take the phone off the hook so there are no interruptions. This helps your children see how valuable the meetings are to you also.
Decisions should be made by family consensus, not majority vote. If an agreement cannot be reached after a discussion, table the decision until the next meeting.
Elect a new leader and secretary at each meeting. The leader runs the meeting and calls on members. The leadership should rotate every meeting. Other members should be encouraged to support the leader. The secretary can take notes on what was discussed and what decisions were reached.
Begin the meetings with compliments to each family member. Use words like, "I love you because...," or, "I'm grateful for you because...," Teach children to say thank you after they receive a compliment.
Keep an "agenda" list on the refrigerator and discuss it at each family meeting time. As problems come up during the week, write them down to be discussed at family meetings.
Go on to problem solving. Does anyone have a problem they would like to bring up? Teach your children that if she complains, it is helpful to think of a solution. A person who is not part of the solution is part of the problem.
Coordinate everyone's calendar for the next week and plan some activities together as a family.
For more productive meetings, sit at a cleared table and chairs versus the family sitting room. Don't have this meeting during a mealtime.
Always end the meeting by allowing the leader to pick a fun way to close it. Suggestions are choosing a bedtime snack for everyone, delaying dessert until after the meeting, playing a game, etc.
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