My husband called a Family Meeting this week. He's never done that before. We usually talk about family matters haphazardly during dinner but this time my husband wanted to have a scheduled, planned, meeting.
My daughter and I were nervous. We ran through all kinds of worst case scenarios in our heads.
- Were we moving?
- Was he changing jobs?
- Was he sick?
- WHAT IS IT??!!!
We tried all week to get it out of him but he kept it to himself like a clam locked shut.
Then the day came and we sat around the table. He asked if anyone had anything they wanted to bring to the table. My daughter and I gave each other the eye across the table. Nope we were fine. What about you??!!!
Then my husband began this wonderful tale of how our pastor's sermon a few weeks ago pressed upon him how we should be coming together as a family and sharing or bringing concerns to the table. Something we, of course, hadn't been doing but needed to so that one person's plans didn't completely take over the rest of the family.
What a novel idea!
What a great idea!
So then we opened up a little more. I brought up needing more help keeping the home clean. We're in a bigger home, we're busier, and we are entertaining more. It would help if everyone could not only pick up after themselves but also pitch in without being asked.
My husband then brought up some family vacations he would like us to think about before the end of the year.
We went over the family finances and had a nice time of sharing.
The Family Meeting.
Do you have one?
Here's some tips for setting up a Family Meeting (that's a little more effective than ours was).
- Make a plan to meet as a family once a week or once a month. If you're just starting out try once a month Once the parents have talked and worked out a plan then it's time to bring the children in on the meeting. Children at even very young ages can understand the concept of family unity and a family meeting. Let them feel as if they have a say from a young age, and then give them more say as they get older.
- Get The Whole Family Involved : Make sure all members of the family are available for your meetings. The more choices the entire family feels they get the more likely they are to stick to the new plans. By including them on the decisions, everyone will be more likely to stick to it.
- Give Everyone a Voice : Family meeting time should be a time when everyone gets to speak up. Listen to everyone and work together as a family to solve any issues.
- Set Some Goals : Create realistic goals for the family. Let each family member write down one new goal a month to work on. Show them how to be very specific.
- Create an Actionable Plan : Write down the goals, then create an actionable plan toward reaching that goal. A goal needs to be realistic, but it also needs to have the steps necessary toward fulfilling the goal. If you have a goal to exercise more, but you don't know how much more, or what activity you're going to do when, you won't succeed.