At our house, we recently started a new weekly tradition.
Monday night is our Family Meeting
Do you have something similar at your house?
Family Meetings are a chance for us to gather and:
- Discuss future plans (weekend fun, vacations, etc)
- Talk about goals we have as a family
- Get input from each other
- Swap up chores
- Thank each other
- Resolve conflict
- Brainstorm together
- Ask for help
- Remind/reinforce family rules
For instance, tonight we talked about conflict resolution.
I printed up a simple 4 step conflict resolution model and we did some role playing to demonstrate the right and wrong way to resolve conflict.
We also reminded the kids about a previous problem (everyone using way too many drinking glasses all day long!) and a solution.
I take minutes on the meeting which are reviewed at the start of the next week’s meeting.
Anyone is free to bring up any topic they want to discuss with the group.
For example, one week one of the children told everyone that he was feeling a little lonely and wanted people to pay him more attention. Another time, one kid asked if everyone would please remember to flush! The kids make suggestions (this week, one child asked if on Monday we could rotate having movie and game night) and we vote on the outcome.
So far it’s been a good thing for our family. The only problem is that sometimes the kids don’t take it as seriously as I would like. Their attention wanders, even after only a few minutes. While I don’t want the process to be entirely democratic, I do want them to enjoy the meeting.
I don’t want the thing to play out like a Dilbert cartoon, in other words.
Do you have any suggestions on how we can keep Family Meeting fun as well as engaging?