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Child Discipline Series

Hold Family Meetings


For parents who want to:
  • build a bond with their children
  • teach goal setting skills to their children
  • teach problem solving skills to their children
  • teach time and money management to their children
  • improve self-discipline and cooperation in their children
  • strengthen family communication
  • resolve family conflicts

Use the family meeting and begin to see all of these benefits in your family life. Family meetings don't have to be formal, but it is a good idea to hold them regularly. Make it a fun thing and begin when your children are in elementary school. The purpose is to take a structured amount of family time to connect with everyone in the family, to celebrate their small successes, to support them in their challenges, to organize busy schedules, and to solve problems.

The basic technique is called the Go Around. This simple strategy helps children learn to contribute to a group and to listen to others. Three basic Go Around questions should be used each week. When time is short or everyone wants to talk they may be all you are able to cover. But, the potential Go Around questions are endless and can be fun or serious.

Learn How to Hold a Family Meeting in just a few easy steps, then return to this page to see more ideas to bring fun and learning to your family meetings.

Family Meeting Ideas

  • Tell a story. Short stories with moral lessons can be found at your local library or bookstore. Or, tell a family story. You can also find ideas for stories that teach effective communication in the book Sticks and Stonesreviewed in the feature Teaching Children Social Skills.

  • Encourage creative thinking with self-exploration questions, memory triggers, or word associations using the Go Around technique.

  • Assign a family member to choose and say a quotation that has meaning to them. Give them these links to find a quotation - Creative Quotations, Quotations at About.com. Or, they might choose to memorize a Bible verse.

  • Play a game. You might have a weekly quiz or contest or just play a family game during or after the meeting.

  • Let one person bring a joke to telleach week.

  • Create something during the meeting. Make a family poster or calendar. Draw pictures of happy events. Sometimes it's easier for kids to talk when their hands are busy.

  • Pray together.

How to Hold a Family Meeting

More of this Feature

Child Discipline Series Introduction

Try Something New!

Quick Strategies for Improving Child Discipline

Give Effective Instructions

Gain Compliance Using Consequences

Hold Family Meetings

Charts & Chips - Using a Behavior Modification System

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