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 of everyone 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! If you make it something out of the ordinary or something that you only have at family meetings that is even better. 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.