Does your family hold regular family meetings? You know, a gathering of sorts, where you are able to share your thoughts and feelings with each other? Yep, I get it, if you grew up in the *cough* 90’s like I did, a family meeting would be a foreign concept. In fact, it would be laughable! I mean, if we had family meetings back when I was a kid, my mum would respond to my “chores is child labor” claims with a shoe against my face. Well, that is a mild exaggeration, but you get the gist. Parents of the 90’s (and earlier) were not prone to needing the advice or opinion of their children. But things have changed, it seems.
So according to quite a few websites (I’m linking them below), it’s important to hold regular family meetings. These sites claim that families should sit down and deliberate decisions together… as a group. As in, your kid gets to have a say. One expert says that decisions should not be made without the kids consult. Apparently that’s dictatorship and no one wants to be that guy.
I read that holding meetings is a great way to include everyone in the decision making process and it creates a space where you can address issues, openly and calmly. Have you guys tried this at home? Well, I did, the other day. I mean, I figured that we arent living in 19-voetsak anymore and that it would be cool to hear the kids thoughts on certain things. Here’s how ours went down:
It was cool to address topics that were areas of concern. We brought up sensitive issues and made sure that everyone knew that we would respect each other’s opinion. Kyle (who loves debate) could argue his case and explain how he feels. And we could respond with our reasoning and thoughts on the topic. We then reached an amicable conclusion and were able to move on from the issue.
Did you read the part where I said that Kyle loves to debate? ‘Cause that. The kid can argue his point until next week, if given the chance. We had to remind him that this was a brainstorming session, and not an opportunity to attack each other. AND most importantly (well, for me probably), we get to have the final say because we are the big people.
I think that family meetings are a great idea. But, before you hop right in there Harriet, lay down the law. Have some “family meeting rules” to comply with. In fact, a talking stick is also a really good idea too.
Here are other bits of advice I found, that really helped us:
– Create a safe place (no judgies) for everyone to respectfully share their thoughts.
– What happens in Family Meeting, stays in Family meeting.
– For every negative comment, three positive comments must follow.
– Brainstorm ways to do things better, instead of focusing on the problem.
– Write down family goals and determine ways to reach them.
– Set the date for your next family meeting.
So, that’s my take on the family meeting. What do you think, moms? Is this something that you’ve implemented in your own home? Please share your advice in the comment section below – you’ll be surprised at how many mama’s draw on the info that they receive in the comments.
Centre for Parenting Education
Lifestyle Plus Centre