Getting a family all on the same page, whether it be about expectations for chores, where to go on vacation, or who will relinquish their room when Grandma comes to stay, can be a challenge. If you’re running into miscommunications and disagreements in your household, or simply want to catch everyone’s attention for a fun announcement, it may be time to hold a family meeting.
Here are six tips for planning your family meeting:
1. Set a time and date.
Tacking a meeting onto the end of dinner or springing one on your crew haphazardly communicates a lack of earnestness on your part. Let your family know this is important by scheduling it in advance.
2. Make it fun.
Even if you need to discuss serious matters, like needing to take in an older relative, family meetings should include an element of fun. Play a game (with prizes) and serve snacks. Engage in the types of goofy antics your family enjoys. An element of fun reminds everyone why it’s great to be a part of your family.
3. Encourage all members of your family to contribute.
Even the smallest person should be allowed to voice their thoughts. Likewise, take care not to let any one person dominate.
4. Ban technology.
Having everyone leave their electronic devices outside the room or collected in a basket in the center of the table limits distraction. It also helps train kids to respect others by giving them their full attention.
5. Schedule meetings regularly, whether once a month, once a quarter, or once a year.
Chances are your first family meeting may be a little rocky, but over time everyone will get the hang of what’s expected and learn how fun and productive family meetings can be.
6. Once you have held a few family meetings, invite your children to take turns leading.
Not only will they learn organizational and leadership skills, but your family will also gain a better appreciation for each other as they witness members in different roles.