Read about 5 family meeting tips. Family meetings can be held as a result of big news, impending changes or to deal with familial problems. Today we offer some tools to hold a thoughtful and productive family meeting. Using these tips will help you create a positive and inclusive space to grow as a family.
Incorporating regular family meetings into your home’s routine is a great way to open up lines of communication. It also gives you some quality time with those you love most. But how do you plan and carry out a meeting that will be successful? These 5 family meeting tips can help!
Invite the whole household to your family meeting
If you have in-laws, siblings, a nanny or other relatives living under one roof, it’s important to welcome them to the meeting. They are as much a part of the family as anyone else, and will likely have plenty to contribute and gain from your group gathering.
For anyone who may be shy about opening up in front of others, a great way to get them talking is by simply asking “what is one great thing that happened to you this week?”
Change up the location of your family meeting
While kitchens or living rooms are a typical go-to for meeting locations, you may want to considering testing out some new spots to gather. A local park, cafe or restaurant might make for a nice change of scenery, especially if you find your family has been experiencing any tension or stress within the confines of your house.
Keep things light and positive
The most important aspect of having a family meeting is encouraging communication between members of your household. That’s going to be tough to accomplish if right off the bat, the topic of conversation is rooted in conflict.
That’s not to say that important topics are off limits, but try to ease into the heavier material; consider starting by going around to each family member and having them share a funny or proud moment from their week. When it comes time to shift gears into more serious conversations, keep things as positive as possible, even through difficult subjects.
Be careful not to be too controlling of the conversation and make sure you allow everyone to get their two cents (or more!) into the discussion. If your family comprises younger kids, keep the language simple enough so they can follow along, and encourage participation from all ages.
With teenagers, don’t be surprised if they don’t want to attend; don’t make attendance mandatory, before long they will be curious enough to attend on their own free will.
Be Supportive In The Face Of Conflict
It’s unrealistic to assume that all family members are going to agree on every topic at every meeting. Especially when it comes to things like big family decisions, money matters and behavioural concerns.
When conflict arises, it can be tempting to pull the plug and shut down the discussions.
Try to work through the clashes – maintaining a respectful and civil tone – until a compromise or understanding can be reached, or until you “agree to disagree” without any hurt feelings.
Setting an example of support will help your children to know that it’s ok to come to you when they have problems.
Should the conflicts run deeper than what can be resolved at a family meeting, consider bringing in a professional therapist who can help navigate and encourage tools for better communication.
End On A High Note
Having a little fun at the end of each family meeting will encourage everyone in the household to take part. It could be something as simple as a favourite game, movie night, a special treat. You can even take turns picking a fun activity to do after. It doesn’t have to be an expensive outing. Just come up with something simple like a game of soccer, an ice cream or a movie. Celebrate the success of your meeting, and enjoy the closer bond you’ve created.
Family Meeting Toolkit
Some people find that having an established plan for organizing and running family meetings is helpful Check out this PDF resource on Positive Discipline.
Find other resources on our blog post “The Best Blogs For Mom’s”