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Family Meetings Getting the Most out of Family Bonding

Updated on October 4, 2011

Family Bonding Is Not Just For Eating

Share Leadershp Roles

Good family bonding requires a small bit of planning. OK, good family times and family bonding requires NO planning. However, the family spending time around a dinner table reviewing the week or the month's schedule does make for a strong family bond.

I have been the CEO of "calling a family meeting" to get the three of us together to bring the family inline with the world has been essential. Schedules, loose language, respect, goal setting, values, discussions after Sunday church, etc. "We" valued this time togehter.

Yes, there have certainly been times when I have said, :"I call a family meeting at 7:00 pm" caused groans, smirks, and "what are we going to do now? statements. I would say "No smirks from you Mr." I am always reading an article here or there to "enrich" the family bonds and try something new. OK, what didn't work was me always being the Chairwoman of the meetings. We would even write down what everyone wanted for dinner. The smirks and groans would again surface, but they did not give my fish stick casserole a chance or the sloppy joe pie. (Some meals I have really bombed at.) Which is why asking everyone what they DID want and what they DID not want worked for the three of us.

Rule One: Take turns acting as the Chairperson. There were only three of us in the family so I would pass the opportunity to our fifth grader and my husband. It would always be pretty entertaining for our son to say, "Dad...Hmm, how are you doing with your goals this week?" "Are we trying our hardest?"

Rule Two: Ask for homework once a month. For example, bring a clean joke to the table the next time we get together. Think of one thing of Who, What, Why or Where to ponder.

Once when I asked the "Who, What Question", The answers were off the chart creative!" When my son was in the 7th grade, he said,."Do you think God made bees yellow with black stripes or black with yellow stripes?" Pretty good, right? My husband said, "Why don't they make peanut butter and jelly pop tarts?" Again, this is the kind of brain power that kitchen tables are soooo useful for!

Rule Three: Don't have more than two rules or you won't get much participation. With three participants, we needed a bit of freedom. All of us are strong willed.

Rule Four: Write goals down and schedules.

Rule Five: Plan something fun using a budget. We found that we can be very creative. We even discussed Halloween candy. (Evidently handing out play dough and shoe strings instead of candy did not make us the "cool" house.) Yes, I had smarties and handing EVERYTHING was always age appropriate!

Rule Six: Limit the time of the meetings. 30 minutes or 45 minutes is good. We are a little long winded and discussions would get off topic pretty much all the time, but this is what building leadership is all about, right?

Rule Seven: Schedule the next meeting before the meeting closes.

Rule Eight: No one leaves the table mad!

Have fun!


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