FAMILY meetings are a really good way to keep connected with your children. They can be used to plan for holidays as well as to address any other family issues.

Back before we all had busy lives a family meeting would merely mean sitting around the kitchen table having a chat, with our busy lives making time for meetings like these is essential.

Meetings don’t have to be long and boring and, in fact, should be snappy and fun! Motivation should be high for all members to be present, therefore be mindful of the atmosphere created around these meetings. Avoid mealtimes for meetings as these meetings should be stress free.

lPick a time that works for all family members, avoiding times when it’s close to bedtime or when people have other commitments to go to.

lMeet somewhere away from distractions; mobile phones should not be present at the meeting.

lAllocate roles within the meeting: Time keeper, scribe etc. Younger children especially like to have a job to do during the meeting.

lSet a time limit and stick to it.

lMake an agenda, leaving space for additions at the end of the meeting.

lAgree on rules for the meeting.

lStop the meeting if anyone uses bad language or is demonstrating behaviour that is unacceptable. Deal with this issue away from the meeting.

Start with 15 minutes for the first meeting and increase the time up to an hour.

After the meeting do something as a family: pizza night, DVD, go for a walk.


NEXT WEEK: Dealing with risky teen behaviour