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How to have a Family Meeting

 

Hi everybody, it’s back to school time! While we’re all celebrating the return to our routines and a new season, it’s a great time to make sure the whole family is on the same page. Our family tackles this with family meetings.

Family meetings have numerous benefits; including bringing the family together, connecting, and getting everyone dialed in. After we hold ours, there are no surprises and we all feel heard. The back-to-school topic is a crucial one for families. At the end of this posting, I’ll share our last family meeting’s agenda which covers all the changes that come in the fall. All ages can benefit from family meetings, from preschoolers on up to teenagers, as long as it’s quick, follows a predictable format, and remains pretty informal.

As parents, family meetings give us a chance to be proactive, little problems can be addressed before they grow. As kids, appreciate their turn to listen and their turn to speak, as long as it’s about 15 minutes or so… especially for teens!

The points we touch on in our family meetings start with announcements. Any “don’t forgets,” a new sports season, a history exam. Next we share celebrations. Anyone can share something they feel proud of or excited about: an A on a test, a goal scored or an encouraging note from the teacher.  Our family calendar is then highlighted for the week or the month, addressing upcoming school events or birthday party invitations. A quick review follows, checking in on how chores are going, or the morning schedule. This is brief and does not zero in on any one child (individual parenting happens at another time, without the audience, perhaps after the meeting). We then allow our children to voice any grievances they have. In our house, we hear a lot of talk about making bedtime later or a fair rotation for turns in the front seat. Lastly, we talk about goals. I write them down, so we can check in at the next meeting. Making goals is an important skill for our children to learn, but this time can also be for prayer requests.

This all may sound daunting, but it’s much more informal than it sounds. Below, I share our meeting agenda regarding going back to school. This visual can be your catalyst to get your family meetings rolling, just in time for the big switch in seasons.

 1st month of school – FAMILY MEETING AGENDA

  • Everyone share their favorite summer memory
  • Review new bedtimes for all the kids
  • Chores
    • Daily chores vs. weekend chores
    • Who does what?
    • What the consequences are if they are not done
  • Review your expectations for the “morning routine”
    • Alarm clocks
    • Showers
    • Packing lunches
    • The time my car leaves the driveway! J
  • Review “afterschool routine”
    • Where backpacks, shoes, sweatshirts should always be put after school
    • Empty your own lunch box and put it on the counter
    • All papers to sign, homework etc…  put on the kitchen table
    • Playtime and snack is GREAT, but after the 15 minutes of chores is done
  • Expectations for “homework”
    • Always done immediately after dinner
    • Done at the kitchen table unless you need the computer
  • Before bedtime
    • All backpacks are ready
    • Lunch is packed (minus the sandwich )
    • Clothes are picked out for the next day
    • Everyone share their personal GOAL or HOPE for the first month of school

JOYfully,

Jen LOVElady

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  1. 1 Comment(s)

  2. By Krisna on Sep 17, 2010 | Reply

    Absolutely LOVE this! When my girls are old enough to actually go to school, this will be a great plan to follow and make our own. Of course in the meantime, my husband and I can create a similar one for our own schedules and expectations…

    Thanks again Jen!

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