Years ago, while reading a parenting book, (don’t ask which one, I’ve read too many, there’s no way I could tell you) I read an idea from the author about holding a family meeting each week. I was sold on the words alone. My family was a team and we would conduct ourselves like one.
A Family Meeting
Family meetings have become a part of our identity. They are the founding idea behind the website you are on right now! Having a family meeting each and every week was one of the first #beyondgoodhabits we started within our family.
Something about the idea resonated with me. It triggered memories of work meetings, where I left feeling as though I was part of a team, feeling like I was needed, like I belonged! Perhaps work meetings don’t spark such uplifting notions for you, but a team meeting done right, is beneficial for everyone involved.
Typical topics of discussion are; happenings in the organization, goals, highlights and low-lights, strengths and weaknesses, vision, growth, etc… All these things happen in families.
Your family is a team. If it’s not, it should be. The members of your family will see every good, bad, joyful, ugly and sad thing that happens to one another. Coming together regularly to check in is a worthy habit to create. A Family Meeting demonstrates inclusion to your children. Here’s how:
Make them part of the decision making process.
Obviously mom and dad rule the roost (or at least they should) but talking to kids about decisions that need to be made will let them know that they belong and how they feel regarding the matter is important to mom and dad. Whether they offer insight or nonsense is not significant, (they will offer a lot of non-sense😉) just let them talk.
Share family goals with them.
If your family is working towards something, let the kids in on what’s up. When I began compiling content for this blog, we shared with the kids what I was going to be doing and they were so supportive! This gets them in on the action so they can dream big with you and share in the rejoicing when goals are reached.
Make them aware of the things you are believing God for.
If your family has any needs (don’t we all) that you are believing God will provide and praying in faith to see those needs met, your kids should be able to share in the rejoicing that will be had when you see requests filled and you are able to cross that need off your list! This creates a great habit for them to trust their Creator to meet their needs and gives them many chances for a testimony and experiences with God early in their life! Just ask my oldest son about the baby brother he spent 2 years praying for. God is good.
Offer time for each person to share any highlights or low-lights.
These are things that made them particularly happy or sad recently. Did someone say or do something nice for them? Did someone hurt their feelings? Are they feeling like they’re not getting enough one on one time from mom and dad? Etc… Doing this all together creates an important habit of being comfortable talking about heart issues with the WHOLE family.
This will benefit them later in life if a family member is every struggling with something major and needs to “come clean.” He or she will have grown up knowing that family meetings are a safe place to open your mouth and share your heart.
You can certainly tailor your family meeting to whatever you’d like it to be. Keep these things in mind;
It does not matter how old your children are.
My oldest was ONE when we started. He didn’t have much to say that first few years, but here we are 10 yrs later, still doing it! It’s all about creating habits. It also was a great practice for my husband and I to intentionally sit together to set goals, prayer requests, etc.
Keep it short and simple.
Set a timer if necessary. Allowing just a minute or two for each person to talk during highlights/low-lights. Kids lose attention quickly and will start to squirm if asked to sit in a wooden chair for 40 minutes! 15 minutes is usually more than enough time.
Pick a day that works.
One day of the week that you know everyone is home and available. This cuts down on other things interfering with meeting time.
Don’t forget to take notes at your meeting.
You’ll want to revisit any goals that have been met, praise reports and dig deeper with a child that may have offered a concerning low-light.
I am currently working on “the perfect” “how to hold a family meeting guide” with printables and instructions. You won’t want to miss this resource. Be sure to receive it when it’s ready along with many other helpful resources by subscribing below.
Be encouraged to know that you are doing something different. Something that not many others are doing. Be proud of your family’s meeting!