Family Meetings

Oyez, Oyez. In the name of good communication and solid family bonding, I respectfully call upon all families to begin holding weekly family meetings.

Remember when your dad used to call up the stairs and tell everyone to come down to the kitchen for a family meeting? No? Me neither. Maybe that was just on Full House but I certainly agree with Danny Tanner, so much so that I’ve added a new Family Meeting Service to my Family Coaching practice.

To put it plainly, I thFamily Meeting Imageink we’ve all just plumb forgot how to communicate with each other. There’s no doubt that all the iPads, iPhones, and iPods have led to an I, I, I world ~ a me centered family dynamic. Even so, when I walk into my clients’ homes and lead a Family Meeting I see a lot of love, a lot of genuine concern, a lot of fear and frustration but very little communication. We must start talking to each other again! Parents will confide in me and express concern for the fact that they don’t know what their child is thinking or how they are feeling about a school situation or even a traumatic family event. I will ask them in return, “Have you asked them how they feel?” Nine times out of ten, the answer is “No” or “Well, even if I asked, he wouldn’t really tell me what’s going on.” We must get out of our defeatist rut and start getting into the nitty gritty of our family’s lives.

During a recently held Family Meeting, we laid out the relevant family rules and created a uniformed schedule. Then I opened up the floor to each member of the family. Instead of talking to each other, however, they were talking about each other. Turns out this dynamic had been going on for years. Each member of the family just sort of  forgot how to talk to one another. Getting those lines of communication rewired is the key to understanding each family member’s needs, and when those lines of communication were finally opened each person felt heard and loved.

This weekend I encourage each of you to give this family meeting thing a good old fashioned try. Put on your listening ears and hold a Family Meeting of your own. You’ll be amazed at what a little time together can actually reveal.

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2 thoughts on “Family Meetings

  1. I like the idea of family meetings, even though I too never grew up with them. In my current family we don’t hold family meetings every week. I find it becomes ritualistic, forced and not as genuine as random ones. In times that scream for a meeting we have one. On special occasions, we have one. In times of trauma and sadness, struggle and stress that is effecting the whole family, we have one. Sometimes for fun we have a questions and answers night. (We can ask anyone anything and then we are asked things in return). Yet I find making the time to show interest in our children’s lives daily is a must. Ask them how their day was, how their friendships are going. What they learned today. Ask for an interesting story from their day. These questions prompt responses. It always works for me whether with my own children or guests. People want to be heard and understood and taken an interest in…No matter their age. Great post , Blessings to you!

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  2. Pingback: A Family Contract | HONEST APPROACHES

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