Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Family Meetings

With the holidays swirling everyone into a flurry of expectations and some anxiety, our family time has been severely distracted with talk of presents and programs, giving and returning!!! Life is racing full speed ahead, and with all the “stuff” that is thrown at us this time of year, it makes it difficult to see straight! So, when I began to brainstorm for this post (later than I would have liked!) the words “Family meetings” kept popping into my head.

Family meetings have become a most important tool in our family. They usually occur when the kids have broken through boundaries and dance around like they are in the Lord of the Flies, and Mama is stressed out and focused on everything else besides the kids. It is at these moments, that we finally freeze and my husband and I throw together a quick outline for a family meeting...and then hold it with a fresh breath of order.

Whether it is implementing a responsibility chart, tweaking our discipline strategy, hashing out our schedules of sports, or Mama's writing time, Family meetings center us again, and provide us with:

  • Unity: Obviously, a family meeting brings a family together. But it also gives the family a chance to work out the kinks and move forward as one unit...many parts that work together for the same goals. If everyone knows their role and what is expected, then unity can be achieved.

  • Respect: You may think I am talking about children respecting their parents, and I am, but I also mean the other way around too. When you sit down with your kids, and listen to them, and give them a chance to help form a plan, they feel a part of something and feel respected. This may not be a big deal when they are young, but when you have teenagers to raise, laying a foundation of respect may be vital to open communication with your kids.

  • Fresh Start: Everyone goes through stages-- especially the kids. Sometimes our strategies to handle behavior or routine are outgrown. And, we aren't always perfect at implementing them anyway (uh, for me, hardly ever!) So a family meeting gives us a chance to start over. Take a deep breath and no that there is hope for “making home work!”

Have you had successful family meetings? Are there any other things you do to keep chaos from consuming the way your family functions?

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