Friday, June 7, 2013

Improving Communication Through Family Meetings

Do you ever feel like the members of your family are not all on the same page?  Is there family stress around trying to get everything done?  Are you concerned about an ongoing problems with your kids? 

Family meetings are a wonderful tool for improving communication and implementing changes.  These weekly meetings teach your kids skills like how to problem solve and how to present ideas.

This is the basic outline of these meetings: 

1.  Go over the agenda (during the week anyone can add items to the agenda that they would like to discuss).
2.  Each person takes a turn giving everyone else in the group a compliment.  This helps set a positive tone and also focuses attention on what you appreciate about each other.
3.  Review any action items from last week's agenda.  If your family tried a solution to a problem, discuss how that solution worked.  Does the solution need adjusting or changing?   
4.  Go through this week's agenda items.  Brainstorm possible solutions to whatever problems need to be addressed.  Choose one solution to try that meets everyone's needs.  
5.  Review the calendar for the week - who is doing what and when.  Discuss any transportation related to these activties.
6.  Close with a fun activity or a snack. 

It's helpful to have a notebook where someone records what is discussed and decided at the meeting.  This makes it easier to review any action items from the previous week's meeting (step 3 above).

You may want to limit the meetings to a certain amount of time.  If you aren't able to get through all the agenda items, those can carry over to next week's agenda.

The goal is to keep the meeting positive and constructive.  Ideally everyone should leave the meeting feeling like they were heard. 



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