Whether you are a stay-at-home parent or a working parent-your day is jam packed with appointments, duties and responsibilities so of course it sounds overwhelming to schedule yet another event into your already overflowing calendar. But trust us-this is one appointment you will want to keep. One where time spent together as a family will not only be enjoyed but will also be one of the answers to many of your parenting dilemmas. The most important appointment you can schedule as a parent is your weekly family meeting.
Some suggested items to include on your family meeting agenda include:
Evaluate last week’s solutions
This week’s issues
Planning for the Week (ie: events, rides, etc.)
Family Meeting DO’s:
-Remember the long-range purpose: To teach valuable life skills.
-Post an agenda where family members can write their concerns or problems.
-Start with compliments to set the tone by verbalizing positive things about each other.
-Brainstorm for solutions to problems. Choose one suggestion (by consensus) that is practical and respectful and try it for a week.
-Focus on solutions, not blame
-Calendar a family fun activity for later in the week–and all sports and other activities.
-Keep family meetings short (10 to 30 minutes), depending on the ages of your children.
-End with a family fun activity, game or dessert.
Reference: Lott, L. and Nelsen, J. (2008) Teaching Parenting the Positive Discipline Way.