One of the most practical ways to address family issues on a regular basis is to conduct a family meeting each week (or month). A regularly-scheduled and well-orchestrated family meeting can go a long way towards developing structure, consistency, and even cohesion within the household.
The purpose of a family meeting is to gather the family together in one place for a period of time each week/month so that members can spend constructive, quality time together discussing various issues or concerns that might need to be addressed. This also affords each family member an opportunity to “be heard.”
It is best if each family meeting follows a consistent agenda. Some “agenda” ideas are as follows:
- Discuss any particular issues that might need to be addressed within the family.
- Discuss family rules (as well as the consequences that will be earned for breaking them).
- Discuss family problems then brainstorm possible solutions to those problems.
- Discuss the roles and expectations that each family member has.
- Announce plans for upcoming outings, vacations, and/or events.
- Delegate chores to each family member.
- End each family meeting with a fun little “family game.”
- Determine a set of “Family Meeting Rules” during your first meeting. Be sure to write them down and follow them during each meeting.
- Have the family meeting at the same time and place each week, allowing for emergency time changes as necessary.
- Make sure ALL family members participate and are able to be heard.
- Put all decisions from the meeting in writing. Have each family member sign the sheet when the meeting ends (see our “Family Meeting Minutes” worksheet).
- Keep things positive! Have rules against specific behaviors like name-calling, interrupting, insulting others, or using inappropriate language.
- Minimize distractions. Turn off smart phones and eliminate TV’s and/or radios from the equation.