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5 Best Parenting Tips for Effective Family Meetings + Video
By Jean Tracy, MSS
How Family Meetings Are Different Today!
I did some research on Twitter to find out what adults, who grew up with family meetings, thought about them. Most said their parents used the meetings to scold them, the meetings were too long, and the kids had no say in what was discussed. One said, Family meetings? Are you kidding? For what?
Today, you'll find 5 parenting tips to help you hold the kind of meetings you would like to have had. Your family can become the safe place for them to speak up, be respected, and learn communication skills. You'll also fine a YouTube Video below to reinforce the following tips.
The 5 Big Tips and Benefits Found in Today's Family Meetings
1. Parents Can Teach 3 Listening and 3 Speaking Skills
By nature some kids over-talk and don't listen. Others say very little. Parents can help the talkative child slow down and the quiet child speak up during family discussions.
Listening Skills to Be Taught Include:
1.) Listen without interrupting.
2.) Look directly at the speaker.
3.) Ask questions to further the discussion and show interest.
Speaking Skills to Be Taught Include:
1.) Pick up the conversation where the last speaker left off.
2.) Stay on the subject.
3.) Use a timer to give other members a chance to talk.
When you set up a few rules for listening and speaking, your children will learn to:
1.) Avoid over-talking.
2.) Listen with respect.
3.) Give everyone a turn.
4.) Keep within the time limit.
Can you see the benefits of teaching your child communications skills within the family? Family meetings are the perfect place to instill these skills.
2. How Parents Set the Positive Tone within Meetings
Family meetings begin with sharing what each member did to improve the family since the last meeting. Soon it moves into the compliment section. Each member individually praises the other members about specific things he noticed them do. Some suggestions might include:
1.) Mom, I like how you laughed when I told you my favorite joke.
2.) Dad, I appreciate how you read stories to me at bedtime.
3.) Son, I noticed how neatly you did your homework before dinner.
4.) Daughter, I felt good when I heard you brushing your teeth before bedtime without being asked.
Notice the compliments are positive, specific, and true. This helps each member start out feeling great and be more likely to continue the good behaviors. No scolding here!
3. Each Member Can State a Problem to Solve or a Fun Event to Plan
Your son might want to pick a different time for homework. You daughter might want to take turns setting the table. You might like to discuss how the kids could argue less.
On the other hand, you might like to plan a family bike ride. Your kids might want to make pancakes for Sunday breakfast.
Solving problems together and planning family fun events are ways for your children to learn skills they'll use throughout their lives.
4. The Discussion Begins After the Family Votes on One Topic
The children and parents each get one vote. Parents can't override the votes to get their way. If there's something big to discuss, it can be taken up later. Children are more willing to participate if they know their vote counts.
5. Each Member Makes a Specific Promise to Improve the Family
This is not your childhood family meetings, where kids left feeling upset. Instead, your child may leave motivated to make the family ties stronger and better. The commitments could look like:
Dad I promise to fix a barbeque this week.
Mom I promise to sit down and watch a favorite program together.
Son I will quit teasing my sister about her curly hair.
Daughter I will let my little brother play with me and my friends.
Write down and post on the fridge what each member has chosen to do. This will remind the family not to forget their promises.
Conclusion for Hold Effective Family Meetings
Close-knit caring families give their members the strength they need to lead solid lives with great character. Such families teach communication skills, praise each other, solve problems, plan fun events, vote democratically, discuss solutions, and make commitments that increase their family bond. Family meetings are different today because they build up the family with love and respect.
Here's Your YouTube Video Link 5 Family Meeting Tips for Creating a Happy Home Discuss it with your children and have fun listening to their ideas.
Pick up my 33 Family Meetings Kids Love Each meeting explains in step-by-step detail exactly how to create a fun meeting that bonds your family and strengthens character.
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