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How To How to Hold a Family Meeting

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Family meetings help busy families stay connected. Other benefits of this simple tool are improved communication, self-esteem, emotional support and problem solving.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 30 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Parents decide together to begin holding family meetings.
  2. Tell children that you will begin holding family meetings to talk about what's going on in everyone's life.
  3. Let everyone decide together when and where to hold meetings.
  4. Mom and Dad should be the co-moderators for meetings at the beginning. Share the moderator duties with children as you go along.
  5. At the first meeting remind everyone to contribute to the conversation, listen to others, and be supportive not critical.
  6. Use the "Go Around" method. Go around the circle giving each family member the opportunity to respond to the topic.
  7. Go Around Topic 1 - Something that made you feel good this week.
  8. Parents offer praise, encouragement, and support for the good things that each person mentions.
  9. Go Around Topic 2 - Something that bothered you this week.
  10. 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.
  11. Go Around Topic 3 - Something that you want to work on or accomplish next week.
  12. Parents model making an action plan and help children set a specific goal to continue positive experiences or address problems identified this week.
  13. Go Around Topic 4 - Your schedule for the week. What meetings, appointments, tests, special events or projects you have this week.
  14. Parents identify any scheduling conflicts and individual responsibilities necessitated by the week's schedule. Plan your week. Teach good time management.

Tips:

  1. 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.
  2. Make the meetings fun too. Tell a story or a joke, play games, have contests.

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