Saturday, June 11, 2011

52 Tool Cards: Family Meetings

My apologies for being a day late with this post.  I completely forgot about this yesterday. 

I went to draw a card randomly from the box and came up with "Family Meetings."  Sounds like a great idea but not sure how well it would work with a not-quite-three-year-old.

But maybe it would be a good habit to form now.  It couldn't hurt for DH and I to have a regular time to discuss family stuff.

Jane Nelsen suggests the following agenda for the weekly family meeting:

1) Compliments and appreciations
2) Evaluation of past solutions
3) Agenda items--person can choose
a) Share feelings
b) Invite a discussion
c) Brainstorm for solutions
4) Calendar: events, meal planning
5) Fun activity and dessert

Here's how it might look in my family:

Compliments and Appreciations
Since our big discussion a few weeks ago, I can see that DH has really been making an effort to balance kindness and firmness in his parenting. He's also been giving his all to building his insurance business, persevering through some challenging circumstances.

C gets more independent every day. She shows a lot of initiative in doing things herself. She can get into the refrigerator and is generally good about putting things back in when she gets them out. She played well with friends last week, saying "Excuse me," and asking them to move if they were in her way instead of pushing. I love her imagination and hearing her sing and talk with her toys.

Evaluation of Past Solutions
Our routine chart has helped our mornings go more smoothly. Switching C's bath time to the morning has improved the bedtime routine as well. We discussed getting a bigger bed for C or for us, but that solution hasn't been implemented yet.

Agenda Items
I would want to discuss our evening routine. Lately it's been dinner, brush teeth/quick wipe down with a washcloth, wind down together in the master bedroom until C asks to go to her bed, then lay down with her or rub her back on her bed until she falls asleep. I like that rhythm, but I still think C should be getting to bed earlier. The only way I see that happening is eating dinner earlier. I don't want to eat dinner without DH on a regular basis, but he gets home at 8 on a regular basis. We need to brainstorm some solutions.

Upcoming events include a family picture and Father's Day next weekend, and C's dance recital (and my parents' corresponding visit) the weekend after that. I'm hoping to get some play dates on the calendar with family and friends.

Fun Activity and Dessert
C likes to play tea party and pretend to make strawberry shortcake. She also likes catch, and having us hide an object for her to seek. She likes playing a version of Simon Says where she does things and we copy her.

Sounds like it would be a fun and productive meeting!


  1. We've done the family meeting thing since my youngest was almost 3. He didn't participate much back then... He's 4 now and get involved in the process (most of the time), but we see it paying off dividends with our older son, who is just about to turn 6. We started the meetings when he was 4. I think it's a great idea to lay the foundation when they are young (even if they don't participate much), because as they are older, they will engage in the process out of habit rather than... "oh great, what's this new thing mom is doing?!!" Good luck as you get your meetings going. It has been a great thing for us. Our meeting plans are not exactly as PD recommends. Instead, we do: Compliments, Concerns (past, present... i.e. old business and new), Allowance, Calendar, Prayer requests, and Next meeting plans. That has worked well for us so far. Thanks for keeping up with these posts... Mine for this week is on the way!

  2. Thanks for sharing your family meeting format, Michelle!


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