What is a family meeting?
Family meetings are a space where all members of the family come together to bond and grow their connection. It is a space where everyone’s voices are heard, problems solved and misunderstandings cleared. Through better communication families enjoy the beautiful union they have together.
Why are family meetings a good idea?
The funny thing about families is that often we see each other a lot but we find it difficult to voice our opinions or ask questions because life is so busy. There is also a lot of pressure on children to perform and parents keep up life’s pace. We need to slow down and talk situations through, support children; being a friend to them so they don’t hide their inner feelings and are able to get their emotions out. Family meetings are a great place to spend quality time with each other. They are a platform to protect and care for each other and enable a deeper closeness.
How often should we have a family meeting?
The short answer is: regularly. However, because every family is different, you may like to work out the best timing for everyone. Some families might find it beneficial to set a certain day and time of the week (e.g. Monday night after dinner) and have family meetings regularly at that time every week.
How should we do a family meeting?
Again, every family is different and how to do a family meeting may vary family to family. To start with, you might like to set a default agenda. For example: at the start of every family meeting, each member of the family get given a time to speak one opinion they have about how they felt about a certain issue, what they would like changed or if they have a new idea they would like to propose. An idea might be to say “What I would like to express today is ...” at the start of everyone’s turn to remind everyone that it’s just what this particular member would like to express. They don’t want any judgement or questions unless they expressly asked. After this round, a member of the family can raise an issue that they would like to be solved. These issues can be as simple as where to put the new pot plant or as serious as need be. This is a good place to divide chores too.
The most important thing, aside from making sure everyone’s voices gets heard, is what comes after the family meeting. Opinions voiced within this meeting should stay in the meeting. However, all action that was decided during the meeting needs to be done. This is important to keep the family meetings a safe place while still resolving any issues that may arise in the family. Don’t forget to keep family meetings light-hearted and as fun as possible.