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 family meetings can help ground you and your family into keeping the important things at the top of the mind.
Creating a family meeting agenda can help keep family meetings go smoothly, and if they become a regular thing, they will help the family feel tight knit.
Creating this sort of 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.
Here are some important things 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 and understanding between family members about current life situations.
you may never now about your child’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 most shy and introverted child can open up and discuss issues they may 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 most shy family members to participate.
Give kids 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. A sense of humor 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. Sometimes it’s just nice to listen, and you never know what family members may 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.
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, you are a family after all.
Create a calm meeting space: It’s a good idea to find a meeting space where everyone can be comfortable. 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 get to take notes and when. It makes children feel needed and important when they get a chance to take notes at the family meeting.
End with fun: We like to end our family meetings with a board game or a session of funny jokes. 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 and create some good strong connections. You don’t need a lot of time for that.
First thing to do 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
Read next: Practical Tips To Handle Lazy Kids
This is your opportunity to discuss what is to go on the family calendar in the coming week. 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 play dates too.
This helps everyone understand what the schedule is like for the upcoming week and if things are looking really busy, there may be something you can do to ease each others 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!”
t’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 may 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 work place 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 till 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 on the school yard, or bringing an extra lunch to a friend in need at school.
Favorite 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!
Important Things To Do In A Family Meeting
Everyone must have a voice: Make sure everyone in the family gets a chance to speak up. If someone feels like they didn’t get that chance, they could start to feel insignificant and can start to distance themselves from the family. This can lead to a whole new world of trouble. Keep things light and simple, and give everyone an opportunity to speak up.
Coordinate schedules: Now that you’re all on the same page as to what is happening with the calendar based on the family meeting agenda, you can coordinate schedules with each other to make the week run smoothly.
Practice communication skills: Regular family meetings give you a chance to model and learn how to communicate positively as a family. Sometimes family meetings can result in conflict and they aren’t always easy, but it is important to have these moments so you can learn how to deal with problems instead of avoiding them.
Discuss opportunity for family time: Family life is a busy life and it’s important to create opportunities to pause the busy and reconnect. Plan a trip to the beach, the mountains, or a water park and create a day of fun for all the kids to look forward to.
What is On Your Family Meeting Agenda?
Do you have regular family meetings? What kind of things do you discuss and are you seeing positive results from them?