- They allow everyone to process an event together.
- They were a time for me to remind everyone our purpose…our goals as a family.
- They were a safe place for each of us to share vulnerably without the fear of being attacked.
- They allow for you (mother) to review family chores and schedule ONE TIME, older kids can take notes if they need to remember.
The value of these times together became evident to me especially in reviewing the weekly chores. I realized somewhere along the journey that I could not do everything and deal with all the emotional challenges personally and with my children. Our family meetings became a time where I was able to look all of my beautiful children in the face and say, “We are in this TOGETHER. We are a FAMILY and we have to work together.” As each child took ownership for their chores, they began to understand the importance of working together to create a peaceful home environment; this played a vital part in our unity as a family.
There are some basic ground rules you should consider as you draw your team members together for a Family Meeting.
Begin with prayer, giving time to the Father, declaring that He is head of the household and you all submit to His leadership.
Appreciate each person in the family.
Take a moment and share with each family member something positive you have noticed about his or her behavior. Appreciation creates a sense of belonging; when we feel appreciated and valued we feel validated and safe.
“Susie, it was so great that you helped John with the dishes yesterday when it wasn’t even your chore.”
“Bobby, I love the way you were singing when you were mopping the floor, it made me happy to do my chores too.”
“Sarah, thank you so much for not complaining when I had to remind you to take out the trash, I so appreciate when you honor me. “
Lay out ground rules for Family Meetings.
This is important to create a safe place for your children to share openly.
- No grumbling or complaining, rolling of eyes, etc.
- No belittling anyone…if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all.
- MOM, be prepared with consequences if they break the rules.
- Share what the consequences are.
- Everyone participates…everyone has a voice and every voice matters.
- It’s ok to disagree but has to be done kindly.
- Can’t use the word ‘stupid’ etc.
- Have the topics you want to discuss.
- Perhaps something major happened, or kids just got back from dads.
- Have a list of chores and who is responsible for what.
- Have the weekly calendar ready to review.
- They will know this time is important if you are prepared.
Remind everyone that you are a FAMILY and you are working together as a FAMILY and learning what it means to function as a FAMILY.
Even though my children are now grown, and some married, we still have ‘family meetings’ over e-mail or texting. It is important for us when we are preparing to be together or when a life event is happening and we want to share it with each other. My married children have made these times a part of their marriages as well.
How would developing the habit of family meetings help you establish peace in your home and connectedness with your kids?
By Misty Honnold
Mother of 2 adult girls, 2 adult sons & 2 amazing son-in-laws (married to daughters)
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Executive Director and Founder of The Single MOM KC
Hostess of Mocha Moments For The Single MO