If we had to choose only one parenting tool to use, it would be family meetings. Positive Parenting: A to Z by Jane Nelson
Weekly family meetings made our family's life a lot smoother. By anticipating what the bumps in the weekly schedule would be, we reduced the stress and made life more enjoyable. It also created a connection between members.
Even though everyone is living under one roof does not mean that siblings and parents are talking to each other in meaningful ways. Family meetings ensure that everyone reconnects. They also teach children how to problem solve the issues of every day life. This becomes a valuable life long tool.
How to Have A Family Meeting
- Start the meeting with members complimenting each other or saying something they are grateful for.
- Read something spiritual or inspirational.
- Problem solve a family issue (Only 1 or 2 problems a week.) Children begin to capable of this starting at about 4 years old.
- Go over the calendar for the week. Find ways to smooth out the week.
- Close with a fun family activity. Rotate among all family members ideas for activities. When it is your child's turn to choose, follow along with your child's activity using your child's rules. For example, if your child's activity is to jump off the bed into pillows, then everyone does it. According to Becky Bailey, five minutes of focused play time with your child reduces power struggles by 50%.
Bailey, B. (2000). Conscious discipline. Oviedo, FL: Loving Guidance.