The family meeting is a regularly scheduled event that allows all family members a chance to actively participate in running the family and to encourage family communication among all members of the family.
It can begin with short meetings when children are young and expand over the years to allow for more problem solving and discussion. Sometimes it is just the everyday, thoughtful little kindnesses we do that deepen our family’s relationships.
Meeting regularly as a family helps nurture what you appreciate about each other and strengthens your family bond.
With young children, family meetings can be very simple –an opportunity to involve them in family matters such as who feeds the dog, where do we want to go for vacation, who wants to choose dessert for Sunday dinner.
Toddlers and preschoolers may want to share their artwork with the family, and have the opportunity to showcase to their siblings something important to them.
With older children, the family meeting provides an opportunity to improve family communication and discuss family business, ideas, or current world events, allowing them to participate in ‘grown-up’ discussions.
Distributing allowances, or deciding how to use a family pool of money sets the groundwork for financial planning and budgeting discussions.
Suggested Agenda for Your Family Meeting
Each meeting should have a meeting leader and a note taker. Parents can take turns and as children get older, they can also fill these roles.
Ideas for agenda items:
- Read the minutes from the last meeting
- Old business/New business
- Allowance Distribution, if you children are old enough
- Treat or family activity
Agenda items can be added to a list on the refrigerator during the week—things such as where the family will go on an outing, how chores will be distributed fairly, reinforcing family rules and identity, etc. When conflicts occur during the week that can’t be immediately solved, these can also be added to the list.