Holding a regular weekly family meeting can be very useful for many reasons. It can help alleviate conflict before it arises, it can give each family member a voice and a feeling that they are listened to. It can be a place of planning fun things and a place for you all to put some house rules in place.
There can be few occasions during our busy hectic weeks to come together as a family. One way to address this is to organise a family meeting- this will show your family you are serious about dealing with issues that arise.
Family meetings should not be long or boring- of course this maybe the initial reaction by your children especially teenagers. So make them brief, focused and as enjoyable as possible.
Here are some suggestions about planning and holding a family meeting:
Pick a time when everyone can attend on a regular weekly basis and stick to it.
Choose a setting that is comfortable and each family member can see each other- around a table is good (see photo above).
Take the meeting seriously and set an agenda and allow all to add to to the agenda.
Set time limits- start with 15 mins and increase gradually- rarely a good idea to meet for as long as an hour unless there is a big issue to resolve.
Discourage visitors and phone calls
Set some basic rules for meeting for example one person at a time speaks, phones on silent etc.
Stop the meeting if one person makes more than three hostile comments and deal with away from the meeting. (you want to keep the meeting a positive place).
You could nominate roles for the meeting- a chairperson to make sure you keep to the agenda. A recorder to write down any decisions and actions. A mediator to deal with rules etc. rotate these roles each week so that everyone has a turn and everyone feels involved.
Arrange something nice after perhaps a movie together or a meal/ snack. You have the family together so make the most of this moment.
Family meetings can be used to plan the week ahead as well as behavioural contracts etc.
I hope that you have found this blog post useful if you would like any information on the 6 week course I offer or any of the topics I covered today please do contact me.
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Have a great weekend and enjoy your time with your family.