Starting a Family Meeting
Our kids were 5 and 3 when we started a weekly family meeting. Before that we had music night, but as our kids started to develop and could talk about what they needed and understand what we needed, a family meeting evolved.
Our meetings are on Wednesday nights, after dinner and before bed. We use the time to talk about issues in the family. Mostly it is about people picking up after themselves and the usual struggles of the family we all have. Bedtime comes up alot, as well as screaming and crying for no reason.
This meeting gives us a chance to talk to the kids in a quiet forum where we are all pretty unemotional. It also gives them a chance to bring up their concerns. It has been amazing to hear what they come up with.
They designated desert nights as only Monday and Wednesday in response to our concern that they should just eat their dinner because it is good for them, not because they get desert.
They requested a weekly kid calendar at their level in response to our concern that they were never ready to leave the house on time. They wanted to know what was going to happen to them.
They requested limits on television for the parents because they wanted our limited screen time to be split evenly. (This request was denied since we don’t watch very much tv :) ).
They started doing a small speech competition because they had seen us practicing speeches for our Toastmasters groups and wanted to be involved.
They came up with ways to organize their toys and consequences if they left their toys out.
These things all came from them. It is so important to make sure your kids are involved in what is happening in the family and be part of a community Also, we are starting this practice early because we know that in too short a time, these beautiful children will be big strong teenagers. We want to get into the practice of communicating as a family now - so that it is part of our community and habit later. And best of all - these meetings are a fun highlight of the week!