1. Make stronger connections among individuals and, therefore,
creates a closer family.
In this very busy world, designating this time every week is one
way to ensure that family members stay connected with one another. Relationships
are living things, and must be nurtured. Family meetings are about nourishing
our relationships with the most important people in our lives. Form the habit of
2. Create family value statements and operating principles.
Family meetings give you a chance to discuss what's important to
you as a family and to create family value statements, which reflect your
collective thoughts. Similarly, they give you a chance to talk about how you
want to operate together as a family and treat one another, by developing family
operating principles. 3. Share appreciations and give thanks for our many
This is a way to give children and adults permission to let one
another know how much they are appreciated, and to share the many things they
have to be thankful for. It is far too easy to take the blessings in our lives,
and our loved ones, for granted if we do not form the habit of appreciating on a
4. Improves family communication
More and more today, family members are going in different
directions and at break-neck speed. Add to this the fact that each person is
unique and perceives the world in his or her own way. Miscommunication can cause
hard feelings. It is crucial to never assume that what you are saying is being
understood the way you intended it, or that you are understanding what others
are trying to tell you. Always take the time to check perceptions. The family
meeting can be a "rest area" where time is set aside to make certain that
communications are clear.
5. Provide leadership experience
Everyone gets a turn at leading the family meetings. This is a
great way for children to get early leadership experience. Be certain that their
contributions in this regard are honored and respected. You will be building a
confident future leader, who will experience the joy of positive leadership.
6. Offers an opportunity to stay current regarding upcoming
commitments, activities, and events.
Family meetings are wonderful opportunities to review the family
calendar, clarify who needs to be where and when, as well as who will be taking
responsibility for what. Once again, clear communication and joint planning can
relieve the ongoing stress of busy lives.
7. Gives an avenue to celebrate each other's successes.
This is most important. Family meetings should always contain a
time to celebrate successes of each family member during the week. These need
not be big, monumental events but can simply be every day successes. This not
only creates pride and joy in daily life, but also forms the habit in each
family member of looking for the positive in one another.
8. Provides time to plan family vacations, activities, and
This gives everyone in the family a chance to give their input
into a family trip or experience, rather than the adults always doing the
planning. When the whole family is involved, everyone is much more likely to
enjoy the event. Investment in family activities, for each member, is often
directly proportional to his or her involvement in the planning. A richer shared
experience is most often the result.
9. Establish a safe, respectful environment to problem solve.
By following the family's operating principles, and with open
and honest communication, children will learn that problems can be discussed
openly and solved respectfully together. Creating win- win solutions takes
practice, for adults as well as for children and youth.
10. Have fun together
These meetings provide a great opportunity for the family to participate in
fun family activities. As family members get to know one another better, share
stories, laugh, and problem solve together, deeper relationships develop. Try to
weave fun into every family meeting.