A weekly family meeting is a great way to keep your family bonded. You can discuss family rules, upcoming events, and share information that everyone needs to know. However, unless you have a family meeting agenda, everyone will be off-topic and not paying attention, making it a big waste of time. That is why I have included a family meeting template here to help make sure you have a successful meeting that stays productive.
Why Have a Family Meeting?
Most importantly, it puts everyone on the same page and the whole family will know the same information. No one can say “I didn’t know” or “Nobody asked me”. No excuses! If there’s a new house rule, chores, vacation being planned, or an event everyone has to attend, the family meeting is the time to share. This way you can make sure all family members know what’s going on and expected of them.
Weekly meetings are also a great bonding tool for your family because everyone has the opportunity to connect and share the important things. It reminds everyone that their family is there to support them and help them. It also provides an opportunity to discuss family goals.
Additionally, regular meetings teach your kids important life skills and family values. By being exposed to the challenges of parenting, kids can learn what the real world is like and how to deal with their problems in a productive way. Meeting as a family can teach good things like communications skills, problem-solving, planning, conflict resolution, and even budgeting.
Lastly, family meetings help your kids build their confidence as they learn to speak up for themselves. This regular scheduled meeting time gives your kids the opportunity to say what they think and express how they feel without judgement or punishment. It is a great way to encourage open communication. Meetings make sure that even when you are busy, you take the time for each other.
How to Have A Successful Family Meeting Agenda
1. Set a regular day and time.
This will help everyone know when they need to be present, no exceptions. They can mark it on their calendar for a regular time and day each week. For the first meeting especially, ensure that the entire family is there and make it a positive experience with a fun activity planned. It is also good to set a regular safe place for meeting like the living room where everyone can easily gather round.
2. Keep it positive.
Help your family stay focused on the positive. Ask your kids to share something good that happened over the week. Even when things are tough, it is important to help each other find the silver linings and be grateful for family life.
3. Moderate, but don’t control.
As discussions run off-course, you might need to reign your family in and keep them focused, but don’t control the entire conversation. Let your own family participate with their own thoughts and ideas even if you are decision maker in the end.
4. Give everyone a chance to run the meeting.
Taking a leadership role will help your kids build self esteem. Allow each family member to take turns calling the meeting to order and going through the family meeting agenda. Getting everyone to buy into the event in this way will help the idea of family meetings be more appealing. Everyone will want a chance to be in charge.
5. Have A Family Meeting Agenda.
I have provided a family meeting template below that you can print and use as your weekly agenda. This really helps to make sure you don’t forget anything. It gives you a chance to review daily routines, and talk about any difficult issues that need to be addressed. Proceeding through the agenda should encourage effective communication from the rest of the family as they know when to pipe up about specific topics. It will also keep things moving so you don’t get off track and use up too much time on unimportant matters.
6. Don’t make it all business.
In addition to the important family stuff, having something fun in the agenda is a good way to keep your family engaged. Create a fun family tradition for the meetings. It is an excellent way to keep older children looking forward to the next family meeting. Have a fun question that everyone has to answer at the end or everyone can share a quote or play a board game.
7. Post reminders.
If you make new rules or discuss future plans, it is a good idea to write them down. Then post them where everyone can see as a reminder of what was discussed.
8. It’s okay to have a difference of opinion.
Not everyone will agree on everything. Working through disagreements will help with improving communication skills. Finding a compromise can make everyone feel like they got something they wanted.
Family Meeting Template Printable
The image version of the family meeting template is above or you can use the pdf version. Print one for each family meeting. They will help you plan out your thoughts to make sure things stay on track during your meeting. They can also serve to document things that everyone agreed to work on. Post it on the fridge it people need a friendly reminder!
The benefits of family meetings are countless! Hosting regular meetings, making them a fun experience, and encouraging your kids to participate, will help build their confidence while also creating a family bond.
Even if regular family meetings aren’t for you, they can still be a useful tool to help you address problems or set rules. Prioritize the important messages and make sure to try to end on a positive note. Obviously, this will be customized to the problem area you discussed but here is an example of ending the meeting positively. “I am sure that you all now understand that we each need to pitch in. If each of us does our part, it will keep things from getting out of hand or all falling to one person to do. Now that you all understand the expectations, I know we can do this!”
If you haven’t already planned your first family meeting, get out your calendar and get add it on there. It’s a powerful tool and a fun way to bring your whole family together! Set goals and create a positive family culture.