Communication is the key to living together in harmony. It doesn’t matter if your family is small (two partners) or large (partners and various children) – family meetings are a great way for a family to stay connected. Read through this article and see if you can find some ideas which will help you reconnect and communicate better with your own family.
Relationships can be tough. You may be going along fine when all of a sudden something is said and misunderstood. Before you know it there’s a rift in your relationship and someone’s feelings are hurt. Whether you’re a parent or a child, you’ll want to repair you relationship as quickly as possible.
Family meetings can be used by parents to establish ground rules for the children to follow. They can teach children or teens how to solve problems with parents role playing with them. They can also be the perfect time for allowing family members to discuss things which are important to the family as a whole. Ultimately, they help you stay connected as a family which will keep the family strong.
Establishing regular family meetings will give everyone in your family a chance to work toward a central goal. Everyone gets to voice their opinions and help make decisions in a family meeting. Your child who hasn’t been very good at expressing themselves in the past may finally find their voice and be willing to make their feelings known.
You decide who to include in your family meeting. It could include your immediate family but if there’s something that affects your extended family who lives nearby you may want to include them as well. It is possible you may even want to include people who are renting from you if what you discuss pertains to them. You make the rules, so you decide who to include.
Try to have an agenda for your family meeting even if it’s just a loose one. Set some ground rules as far as behavior is concerned. You want everyone to feel safe during the meeting and not like they’re being attacked. Decide ahead of time to try to keep the meeting short and to the point. Your goal is to address topics which matter the whole family as well as give everyone a chance to express their feelings on the topic at hand.
Rather than discussing only problems or behavioral issues, try to use your family meeting as a time to congratulate your children for doing well in school, for an adult getting a raise or something else that’s positive. If all you talk about at family meetings are the bad things going on, no one will want to be at the meeting and they may blow them off. Having positive things to talk about will help keep people’s attention.
Take a little bit of time during each family meeting to do something or plan something fun. Keep the family calendar handy so you can see what dates are available for a trip to the zoo, a movie or dinner out. Give your family something to look forward to, particularly if everyone has been trying to do better about working together.
Family meetings can be a great way for a family to stay connected. It also provides a time for problems to be discussed and congratulations to be made. More importantly, having family meetings can help keep your family together – which may be the best benefit of having them.
The Family Mission Statement (CDI Article)