How to set up a family meeting agenda to make family life more manageable and get the kids involved in decision making in your home.
Family is so important, and a weekly family meeting is a great way to ground you and your family into keeping the important things at the top of your mind.
Creating a family meeting agenda can help keep weekly meetings go smoothly, and if they become a regular thing, they will help the family feel tight-knit.
Creating this sort of family bond between the children and the parent creates a certain trust factor within all the members of the family, making it more likely for children to have better communication skills and better behavior in general which personally are important family values I carry.
Here are some agenda items to keep in mind when starting a family meeting and creating a family meeting agenda.
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Tips For Holding A Family Meeting
Family meetings are an excellent way to strengthen family bonds. It can be difficult to find time and energy to dedicate to a family meeting, even for the most dedicated and caring parents.
Even in our busy lives, the most important thing to keep in mind is that strong bonds and connections with our loved ones are what life is all about, and therefore it is a good idea to find ways to keep those connections strong.
Family meetings are all about encouraging communication and creating an understanding between family members about current life situations.
you may never know about your children’s peer pressure issue if they are hiding it well, but having regular family meetings can create this level of trust and love that even the shyest and introverted child can open up and discuss issues they could be facing.
Family meetings aren’t all serious either, they should have a level of fun to them, because family, after all, isn’t all discipline and hard work.
Here are some things to keep in mind when starting to hold regular family meetings.
Encourage everyone to join in: Whether you have 3 people in your family home or 15, you should encourage all family members to join the family meeting.
Make sure everyone gets a chance to speak up and use encouraging words of communication to get even the shyest family members to participate.
Give kids the ability to make decisions: Kids should be allowed to make some decisions in the family home, and this can be difficult for parents who like to control the home (like most of us moms!)
But the thing to keep in mind is, we are preparing our little ones for adulthood, and adulthood is all about making decisions, so doesn’t it make sense for us to encourage our children to make decisions when they are young?
This can really help our children learn how to make the right decisions and help create leaders and thoughtful, structured adults who make good choices.
Keep things light: The worst thing you can do in a family meeting is come off as aggressive and serious so make sure to add positive things at your next meeting. A sense of humour will go a long way when communicating with your family and will help keep those connections strong.
Don’t control who gets to participate: You can’t force family members to participate in the meeting. Make sure you have an open seat for everyone and whoever does not feel like speaking up, should not be forced to during regular meetings.
Sometimes it’s just nice to listen, and you never know what family members could be battling with on the inside, so keep the opportunities for communication open and friendly, but do not force members to speak if they do not want to.
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Help each other: If one family member speaks up and has a problem, work together as a family and come up with solutions to solve it. Help each other through the hard times and keep up the positive family culture.
Create a calm meeting space: It’s a good idea to find a meeting space where everyone can be comfortable for effective communication.
If the dining room table can sit all the family members then that’s a great space. Make sure everyone has a seat and can be comfortable enough to stick around for the meeting.
Give everyone a chance to record meeting notes: Encourage meeting participation by creating a schedule of who gets to take notes and when. It makes children feel needed and important when they get a chance to take notes at the family meeting in a fun way.
End with fun: We like to end our family meetings with a board game or a session of funny jokes as a family tradition. Ending the meeting on a fun note helps children remember for the next time that family meetings aren’t all boring and drab, but there is excitement too.
You can try to play video games as a family or simply tell funny stories of things that happened the past week that made you laugh.
What To Put On Your Family Meeting Agenda
Here are some important things to add to the family meeting agenda. Remember that family meetings don’t have to be long, they just have to cover some basics, be a safe space for problem solving and conflict resolution and create some good strong connections. You don’t need a lot of time for that.
The first part of the meeting is discuss any concerns and wins that family members may have. For example:
- Are the kids getting too much screen time instead of outdoor time?
- What can we do to make outdoor time in the backyard more fun and enjoyable
- Daddy was sick this week, is there anything we can do to help him feel better?
- Mommy had a lot of meetings this week, and she is so proud of how quiet the kids were during them
This is your opportunity to discuss what is to go on the family calendar in the coming week to create transparency and open communication. Was there a science project that needed to get done and hasn’t made it into the to-do list yet? Add it to the family calendar!
Add all extra-curricular activities, date nights and playdates too.
This helps everyone understand what the schedule is like for the upcoming week and if things are looking really busy, there could be something you can do to ease each other’s workloads.
Things to work on
Pick a few things that everyone has to work on for the following week. If you need to practice being a calm mom or the kids need to work on managing anger, these are things that you can discuss. Remember these are things to work on, not things that need to be perfect by the end of the week.
Talk about nice things
You can discuss as a family nice things that happened to you this week or say something nice about another family member.
You can specify things such as “I really liked when Ben shared the red truck with me, because I was going to be really sad if I couldn’t have it” or ” I loved how the kids were quiet during my important meeting on skype on Tuesday, I was so proud!”
It’s always fun to end the family meeting with a fun activity such as a board game or some jokes. Keep things light and fun, and the family meetings will become easier and the kids will start looking forward to them.
Additional Agenda Item Ideas
Problems and concerns: This is a good opportunity to discuss any issues that family members could be facing. This is also a good time to band together and see if you can come up with solutions to those problems and address the concerns if you can.
Plan Meals: This is an excellent time to talk about family meals that family members may want to eat in the coming week. If someone wanted to try something new or wanted a favorite meal made that week, this is a good opportunity to discuss that. It gives you plenty of time to get to the shop and buy the ingredients you require if you need to make something special.
Things to celebrate: Take this family meeting time to celebrate anything that exciting and good that happened or discuss any upcoming events that need to be celebrated. Upcoming birthdays, class events and even workplace parties are good things to discuss at this time.
Discipline strategies: This is an excellent time to go over some of the discipline strategies that were used during the previous week. Were they successful? Did something go wrong? How can everyone do better next time? Talk about this and see if the kids have any input on consequences and discipline strategies.
Open discussion: Create opportunities for open discussion with your family. Anything that isn’t on the calendar or is related to discipline issues can be discussed. Create an open floor with no judgement and you’ll discover new things about your family!
Conversation starters: If you have any family members that are shy and reserved, you can try to get them to open up with these questions for kids.
Acts of kindness: Ask your kids if there is anything they can think of where they can do some acts of kindness in the community or among friends. This can be anything like picking up trash in the schoolyard or bringing an extra lunch to a friend in need at school.
Favourite part of the week: You can always discuss your favorite parts of the week. If anything exciting happened you should discuss it and celebrate it!
What is On Your Family Meeting Agenda?
Family meetings should be held once a week and kept to the allowed time of 15 to 30 minutes, even if everything on the agenda has not been addressed. One of the benefits of family meetings is that this will assist your children in learning the concept of “delayed gratification.”
It also allows each member of the family time between sessions to digest what was discussed at the discussion, test the agreed-upon solution, and practise figuring things out for themselves.
Check out the Family Meeting Album for additional information on how to organize your family gatherings. Many of the pages in this book are meant to be printed many times and used each week.
Do you have regular family meetings? What kind of things do you discuss and are you seeing positive results from them?