Family meetings help busy families stay connected. Other benefits of this simple tool are improved communication, self-esteem, emotional support and problem solving.
Time Required: 30 minutes
- Parents decide together to begin holding family meetings.
- Tell children that you will begin holding family meetings to talk about what's going on in everyone's life.
- Let everyone decide together when and where to hold meetings.
- Mom and Dad should be the co-moderators for meetings at the beginning. Share the moderator duties with children as you go along.
- At the first meeting remind everyone to contribute to the conversation, listen to others, and be supportive not critical.
- Use the "Go Around" method. Go around the circle giving each family member the opportunity to respond to the topic.
- Go Around Topic 1 - Something that made you feel good this week.
- Parents offer praise, encouragement, and support for the good things that each person mentions.
- Go Around Topic 2 - Something that bothered you this week.
- Parents listen for and acknowledge the feelings that are expressed, ask open-ended questions to clarify the problem, then brainstorm solutions with the entire family.
- Go Around Topic 3 - Something that you want to work on or accomplish next week.
- Parents model making an action plan and help children set a specific goal to continue positive experiences or address problems identified this week.
- Go Around Topic 4 - Your schedule for the week. What meetings, appointments, tests, special events or projects you have this week.
- Parents identify any scheduling conflicts and individual responsibilities necessitated by the week's schedule. Plan your week. Teach good time management.
- Set a scheduled time for meetings, post it where everyone will see, and keep the time. If parents are committed to the project, it will have more impact.
- Make the meetings fun too. Tell a story or a joke, play games, have contests.