Family meetings are a great vehicle to use to connect with your kids. And with Easter Holidays upon us there is no better time to call one.
Calling an official “Family Meeting” is a great way of involving everyone in the family. It does not matter how old your kids are. (Ignore nose turning up if they are in their teens- they soon change their tune if they think they are going to influence the outcome).
And little ones, as long as they can communicate just a bit, have a huge amount to offer. More importantly it can also give you an insight into their view of the world- which can be very enlightening.
My husband normally announces “right we are calling a family meeting” and next minute there is flurry of activity as children appear from various parts of the house and throw themselves on the sofa in positive expectation.
I should like to add, when I was a single parent, I always found them very valuable and often gained some profound advice from my kids. So whatever your circumstances or the current challenge try using the “Family Meeting” platform.
Of course as with all good meetings there has to be agenda. So the agenda for your family Easter holiday meeting may go something like this….
If you are going away.
* When are you are going,
* What are you going to be doing
* What you will do if the weather is bad.
* What games would you like to take…etc
You can also get buy- in on rules by asking:
- What are your children’s expectations of you
- And what are your expectations of them (the children).
Maybe on a more general level you can find out what they and you would they like to do during the school holidays.
* Who would they like to see.
* What are they going to do if it rains.
* How much television do you they think they should be allowed to watch.
* What would they like to do that they don’t normally get time to do.
* How are they going to help you
Make sure everyone (including you) gets a chance to have their say. If the “meeting” gets very rowdy try using an object – my old teddy does this. Whoever speaks needs to be holding him. (No one else can have their say until Teddy is back on his cushion or passed to the next speaker.
Family Meetings are also good for announcements like “all clothes to be washed three days before you go away” – otherwise they may not get packed.
Finally as with all good and properly run meetings it needs to be minuted. Make a note – or even better get the kids to minute it with brief bullet points.
If there are commitments made (e.g. limitation on TV, tidying bedrooms draw up a contract by getting everyone to sign what has been agreed.
To help everyone stick to the actions which have been decided try displaying the agreed action plan somewhere prominently like on the fridge.
Have fun with your family meetings and use it as a way to discuss nice things and challenges you maybe facing within your family. Used like this family meetings can really create solid bonds within your family unit which can be no bad thing.