Family Meetings are Fun!
Don’t let the word “meeting” scare you.
My grandpa always said, “There is only one thing better than a short meeting, and that’s no meeting at all!”
Try to keep your meetings short – but do NOT skip family meetings altogether!
A family could be resistant to family meetings because they don’t know how to have a successful meeting, they are short on time, and they think it will be long and boring. Our weekly family meeting is one of my favorite moments of the week. Children say the funniest things and every week every person gets a compliment at the discussion.
Family meetings are powerful tools to build your family. Meetings will teach your children leadership, negotiation, and cooperation building skills. They will teach your children how to be good spouses, parents, business and world leaders and more. If it’s a 2-way discussion then it will interesting for all and everyone will stay engaged.
Family Meeting Tips to Success:
1. Be positive – We start our meetings with compliments. Each person gets at least one compliment.
2. Be consistent – Try to have your meeting the same day, time, and place to maintain an important family tradition.
3. Be calm – have the meeting when you are not stressed and pressed for time.
4- Make a record – Record the compliments, challenges, solutions and info so you can remember what you discussed. You will look over this briefly at your meeting next week.
Have a Planning Hour with Yourself -
Have a weekly planning hour in the beginning of the week, preferably Saturday, Sunday, or Monday so you can make your plan and gain the family’s cooperation when you present it to them at the family meeting. This planning hour is the most important hour of a mother’s week because you are creating the scaffolding for your week to be built upon. It’s wise to look at your control binder, planner, and calender. Organize your life by planning the family dinners, holiday celebrations, birthday plans, weekly schedule, chores, and chauffeur schedule, etc. I usually plan Monday morning.
Have a Couple’s Meeting -
After your weekly planning hour meeting take 15 minutes to visit with your spouse about your plan for the week. You can get his ideas, recommendations, ideas on issues, and also gain his cooperation for the week. I usually do this Monday morning.
Have a Family Council Meeting -
When you are a parent you are running a business which is raising your successful family.
You can see what a family council meeting looks like on the old movie Cheaper by the Dozen or the Bill Cosby Show.
An employer would not have an employee work without regular meetings to discuss protocols, challenges, and successes. Your family is the most important organization in your world. Treat your family like a professional and have regular weekly “business” meetings.
Discuss what is working and what is not working with your family team.
At our weekly planning meeting each person gets a compliment, we discuss challenges, solutions, vote, and schedule the week. We do this on Sundays in our living room and it takes an hour. It’s recommended to have 15-30 minutes meetings. We’ve also had some good meetings in the car too. For more info go to Family Council Meetings.
Have a Family Home Evening -
This is a weekly night to teach a moral lesson to your children or have a fun family activity together. Keep one night a week set aside for just your family! For our family it’s Monday night. Everyone plans on it by keeping their schedule free that night every week. We have a song, a prayer, a lesson, and a treat. (This is not the weekly housecleaning discussion meeting!) This is a night to make memories and teach truth.
The key to successful Family Home Evening is to remember K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Silly).
Don’t have too high of expectations. You are not going to be successful if you try to give a doctorate thesis presentation. I take 15 minutes to prepare a spiritual thought to share with my family.
One successful night we had was when we taught John 15 and drew the analogy of the vine on a dry erase board. It’s the scripture that talks about “I am the vine and ye are the branches and if bear not fruit ye are not mine.”
We discussed how the fruit is the service we give to others. Since that FHE I’ve heard my children try to persuade each other into service opportunities with a comment like, “If you help me with my job, then you’ll be putting some fruit on your vine.” It makes me laugh and brings joy to my heart that they actually remembered something I taught them.
The media, schools, and peer groups aren’t teaching the values my family needs, so I take the opportunity to teach my children at Family Home Evening. I cherish the time together. It’s a meeting that everyone loves. It’s a high priority for the whole family.
Have spontaneous One Minute Meetings -
These are little moments where you “Make your dreams known.” Ask yourself as a mother “What do I want?” And then ask the children what they want. When the family makes eachother’s dreams known, then everyone can make sacrifices, and help each other accomplish there goals. For example, sometimes I say, “I really want to laugh. Could someone please make me laugh?” Or I say, “I really want to write on my book and I want the house to get clean. Could someone make my dream come true?” Before you know it, the children are helping me laugh or cleaning so I can work on my book. It’s great!
Be at the Crossroads with Your Children -
These are meetings when children are coming or going from home where you connect in a loving way.
For example, when your children come home from school or friends this is a crossroads time to talk to them about their day.
Most children attend public schools where Christian values are not taught. This is the time to talk to them about what they learned, to correct wrong ideas, to learn about their friends, to have them open up and share their life with you.
Another crossroad time is to talk to your children after late night parties or dates. You can learn about their life and help counsel them as the progress through life in these critical crossroad moments.
Well, it doesn’t all happen at once.
Implement family meetings in baby steps or it’s probably not going to last.
Have a meeting with yourself this week. Stick with it for a month or so.
Remember when you’re the mother your planning hour is your most important hour of your week. When you can maintain your weekly planning hour then add another meeting – whichever one you need the most.
At first it may be hard to motivate everyone – especially your husband. Be patient. He needs to be there because he is the leader of your home. Keep trying. Even if he is just laying on the couch with children walking on his back, that is a great start! (You can have a meeting without him and it’s better to have a meeting without him than no meeting at all.)
Family meetings are not punishment or guilt-trips, they are actually really fun, family traditions.
- It’s fun to get to plan your week because you are prepared for the week ahead.
- It fun to go over the schedule and realize that you have fun things to look forward to.
- It’s fun to listen to your children’s funny comments and ideas.
- It’s fun to get a compliment.
- And it’s fun to be at the crossroads because it makes your house a home, and isn’t that what you really want?