Family Meeting – A Suggested Format

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The primary goal of the Family Meeting – To create and maintain a well-functioning, organized family that meets the needs of all of its members. Following is a suggested format for creating such a meeting. Leadership: Once the structure of the family meeting is decided upon, then all members will take turns chairing the meeting. Parents lead the meeting until the details have been agreed upon.

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Ground Rules for A Meeting of the Minds

    • One person talks at a time.
    • Everyone’s opinion matters and is needed in order to make good decisions.
    • Treat each other with respect.
    • There are no bad questions
    • Everyone has a right and responsibility to make their feelings known.
    • Attendance & participation of all family members is critical.
    • Create Win/Win Scenarios – “must give to get”
    • Trust is earned
    • Commitment to reach consensus but when not possible Mom & Dad have final say.

Family Business:

      • Develop, update, and maintain a weekly calendar
        • Briefly review last weeks calendar to look for what went well and what needs work
        • Plan and update calendar for the coming week:
          • Where is everyone going to be?
          • When are they going to be home?
          • What are this weeks family activities and events?
      • Discuss And Plan Family Activities: Daily or weekly activities that occur regularly and everyone is expected to attend
      • Discuss and Plan Family Events: Plan special activities such as trips to the zoo, movies, and other outings…Celebrate success!

Develop, review and update a weekly house use plan:

      • Schedule high use home resources:
        • Computer
        • Bathroom in AM
        • Family Room
        • TV schedule
        • Other…

Develop and Review Weekly House/Yard work Plan:

      • Assign duties
      • Review & discuss concerns
      • Adopt a team approach

Individual Personal Agendas:

    • Express feelings and concerns
    • Identify and solve problems
    • Identify and celebrate successes
    • Make requests for changes or special arrangements for things that affect the calendar and plans outlined above.
    • Make other requests.

All groups “grope & gripe” a little bit when setting up a weekly meeting format… but within the first few meetings things get better. A well functioning meeting will become something you wondered how you ever could have lived without! Remember disorganization costs a lot more time than it takes to sit down once a week or so. And, by all means, know when to call a special meeting when necessary.

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