Family meetings are regular get togethers, with the family, to ‘check in’ on how everyone is feeling, discuss important issues, and review and plan for the coming week.
The goals of the weekly family meeting are to help you communicate better, bring everyone closer together, and to have some fun. Family meetings help to teach children important life skills, reinforce the family culture and values, build family unity and provide opportunities to communicate and solve problems.
Family meetings are important because:
- They help your children know that they are safe, loved and that have your attention should they need to talk about any concerns or questions they have.
- They provide for everyone’s undivided attention to discuss important information and updates about the situation.
- It gives a sense security and routine for children, which this is particularly important during times of uncertainty.
- It provides valuable times to establish family agreements for how you are going to work, play and live together during these times.
- It allows you to establish a sense of close connections and teamwork within the family to manage any change that may be ahead.
Top Tips for family meetings
- Make meeting regular – even if they are just a quick ‘check-in’ for everyone to share how they are feeling or what they have going on.
- Make the meeting fun and positive. The aim is to connect. It could include a fun activity together.
- Be Flexible. Sometimes you might need to call a quick family meeting to discuss or organise something.
- Let your children run the meeting and create a list of topics for discussion that you all contribute to. You could keep notes that would be fun to look back on in later years.
- Use a set of questions to get everyone talking, e.g. How do you all think we are going this week? What is working well? What could we work on and do better?
- Make sure one person talks at a time.
- Start and finish every meeting with positive messages.