SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Call To Order: Family Meeting Time | Family Economics

By Trisha

My children were about the ages of four, six and eight when we called our first family meeting - to bring order to our home. My husband often refers to me as the CFO (Chief Family Organizer) and just like any officer of a company I realized the importance of having team meetings to run a successful organization. So, it was time to call to order the first family meeting for the Novotny team.

The purpose of our family meetings is to bring our family together once a week and provide an opportunity for family discussion, decision-making and keeping everyone in the know. Our family meetings are also used to dream, set goals and talk about what each other has on their schedules and to-do lists.

Family meetings keep communication open; allow time for each family member to share their opinions, concerns and ideas and to build a team. These help families stay connected and organized.

I have found that when we hold our weekly family meetings everyone is in the know of where they’re going, what the expectations are, what the needs are and our home runs smoothly as opposed to when we miss a family meeting the week feels out of control and chaotic.

To help you begin planning your own family meetings I have a few tips we have learned over the years that have worked for our family meetings:

• Keep a family meeting file or binder on your desk to place notes, agendas and items in that need to be discussed during the next family meeting

• Schedule a day and time that will work each week to hold your family meetings (consistency is key)

• Keep these meeting short and simple

• Allow everyone a voice.  Each person’s opinions, thoughts and ideas matter

• Establish ground rules.  Allow others to speak, no arguing, team decisions are made, etc.

• Remember this is not a discipline session; do not single out children during this meeting. Create your meeting to be a positive weekly session.

• Create the agenda, that might include the below ideas:
o Sharing (opener) – highs and lows of the week; go around the table and share a positive comment about each family member or the person to your right.
o Open discussion – allow each person the opportunity to add agenda topics they would like to discuss now or in a future family meeting
o Discuss upcoming activities, schedules, projects, schoolwork and events
o Meal planning this is a great time to get your children’s ideas for upcoming meals
o Family time planning  - use this time to plan upcoming vacations, family nights and time together
o Inventory time – what needs does everyone have from toothpaste to school supplies
o Chore Chart check up – go over the importance of their family responsibilities
o Goal setting – help your children set both personal and family goals
o Close meetings on a positive note – plan a family activity for the week, compliment your family members for things they have done, serve dessert or a treat

Now you are ready to call to order your first family meeting. Do you hold a weekly family meeting? What is on your weekly agenda?

4 Comments so far

Post a comment

On Thursday, November 11, 2010, momisbestjob from Tacoma wrote

We have dinner together almost daily but have not had a family meeting....I think it is time! Thanks for the encouragement & motivation to start it.

On Thursday, October 28, 2010, Eileen wrote

sigh..Id be called the CFO...chief FAILURE at Organization! I have been ill for over 8 years and takes a lot to keep up here...this whole family meeting system JUST might save me AND the rest of us some grief. With a harried sports schedule, doc appointments, a teen working now... I feel we have lost a lot of closeness...we still all eat dinner but gone is the movie nights when we are ALL home and free time. Thanks so much for the idea and the listing. I particularly love the chore chart! (insert evil and witchy laugh! LOL)

On Wednesday, October 27, 2010, Bonita12 wrote

Great idea! Perhaps when the kids know what the plans are for the week things will seem less chaotic. Plus gives them a chance for their voice to be heard. My boys are 5 and 7 now - I'll give it a try.

On Wednesday, October 27, 2010, Jeanie Cullip 24/7 Moms Inspiration Editor wrote

I have found that starting our family meetings in prayer is great as well as ending them with a fun activity filled family devotion. The kids really look forward to this every other weekend event.

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