A family meeting is a regularly scheduled time where family members get together to discuss important issues. This is a great way for children to learn how to cooperate. Meetings can also be used to share good feelings, have fun together, make decisions about family issues, give encouragement, and talk about problems.
It is a good idea to set a meeting time that is convenient for everyone and to set a time limit (20 minutes to 1 hour) depending on the ages of children. You can appoint a secretary, and you can rotate this position so that everyone has a turn. This can help children feel included. Also, make sure that everyone has an opportunity to make suggestions during the meeting.
Some ideas to discuss at a family meeting are:
-old business (evaluate decisions made at previous meetings)
-qualities you like about each other
-something nice that you enjoyed last week
-something new you learned lately
-how to spend family times
-concerns, feelings, complaints
-future plans and goals
-allowance and who will pay for what
I suggest trying to have the family meeting at the same time each week, if that is convenient for every family member. This way, it will become an expected part of the week for everyone. Most families today are very busy and the family meeting allows for some quality time to be spent together. Children also can feel capable as contributing members of the family. Although parents ultimately provide discipline and set the rules in the family, during meetings children can present their concerns and are able to see how problems are solved and addressed. Give it try and enjoy spending time with your family!